Saturday, October 27, 2012


I advise writers I work with to discover what their characters like to eat, what they drink, how they dress, and what music they listen to. All those details reveal something about the characters.  You know all of the final scenes in Agatha Christie books, the scenes that assemble all of the suspects in the drawing room so the sleuth can reveal the truth? What would those scenes be without wardrobe, a tea table, a drinks cart, and someone tinkling away on a piano in the corner?

And the details keep the writer amused, too. It helps the creative process.

Now I'm a publisher (Lystra Books and Literary Services) as well as a writer and I've discovered a whole new world of details.

For a print book, the manuscript must be uploaded as a PDF. For an ebook, it must be a DOC. And I don't mean DOCX, I mean DOC. But a plain old DOC isn't good enough. It has to be reformatted in mysterious ways. The instructions run a hundred pages or so.

Amazon doesn't play with Barnes and Noble, or Apple or anyone else. Thus, multiple uploads are needed. My beloved indie booksellers don't want to carry print books produced by certain companies. More uploads. I still don't know for sure if I've gotten Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts signed on with Google Books. Would someone please try to order and tell me what happens?

And I'm a newly hatched marketer as well as a publisher, so there's SEO to worry about. And websites and Facebook and Twitter. It's a good think I like technology and embrace social media.

But I want you know, the publisher and writer aren't nearly as amused by their details as the writer should be.

My publisher and marketer selves are glad to have and acknowledge who has helped--copy editor and book designer, Kelly Lojk, formatter, John Low of http://ebooklaunch, and web designer Trudy Thomson of Thanks, y'all!

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