Friday, September 16, 2011

Brunch at the Piedmont Grille

On Today's Menu -- Belgian French Toast, Peach & Blueberry Tart, Scrambled Eggs with Chives, Cream Cheese & Crispy Bacon, Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Don't knock ice cream for breakfast until you try it.)

I don't know if I mentioned I would do Brunch on my new list of things for the restaurant or not. But I think it's warranted. I have some things to tell you.

I'm sorry I haven't been around the last few days. More to come on that later.

Also, very sorry about the missing link on Wednesday for the Step-by-Step Guide Mac did up for Amazon. I tried to fix it throughout the day, but it didn't work. Let me try it again right now and see what happens. If you go here, you'll find it. And if this doesn't work, well....I'll think of something.

And hey, thanks to all my new followers. I really appreciate you coming by and adding to the fun and madness here at Piedmont Writer.

Now, as most of you know, I decided some time ago that I would publish THE LADY'S FATE to Kindle in September. I thought when I announced last spring it would give me enough time to work through all the things I needed to work through, and then, boom, there it would be.

Okay, so I kind of put it off for awhile. Well, that's not true. I read the Kindle Help pages. I went to a couple of blogs and got some more information. I wrote up a post on formatting. I thought once I got the information in my brain it would make uploading all that much easier. You know, read the directions twice, THEN put the bike together.

Yeah, no, it doesn't work like that. I read directions until my eyes bled. I worked on formatting scrap manuscripts until they were all so crazy I had to completely delete ALL the formatting and start again from scratch. I have so many screaming emails in my inbox back and forth to Bridget who was walking me through the steps, I sometimes wonder why she remained my friend.

Let me tell you right now, if you have the money to have someone format your manuscript, spend it. I realize I gave the impression that it was kind of simple, but let me share with you from the deepest reaches of my heart, it's not. Not in any way shape or form. Not unless you really know how to click your buttons, find your drop down boxes, read directions in tech speak, and know how not to crash. And I haven't even gotten to the MobiPocket Creator yet.

Formatting a manuscript for Kindle is NOT easy. Not by a long stretch. It's difficult, it's time consuming, it's frustrating (especially when you don't know what the hay-zoo you're doing) and it causes pounding blinding headaches. Bridget offered time and again to do the formatting for me, and you know what, I refused.

Why not, you may ask, if she knows how to do it and I so obviously don't. Because I got it in my head that I would do it. Someone told me awhile ago, they thought it was too hard for me and that it would be so much easier for me to pay someone to do it. Well, you can't tell this east coast, type -A personality, Irish, Taurean she can't do something.

And so I'm still in formatting mode. Yup, formatting the manuscript mode. And I haven't even gotten to the Table of Contents yet. (Oh yeah, did I mention you need to make one of those, and not the easy kind that you just write, but you have to link to your formatting. No? Sorry, I'll get to that next week I think.)

Anyhow, this is just a friendly little piece of advice -- if you've got the cash, and a perfect manuscript, go for it. Upload to Kindle. If not, make sure you invest heavily in Tylenol, have a great friend to help you when you think you're having a heart attack, and have more patience than you ever thought you had.

I'm sure I'll laugh about all this when I actually see the book up for sale, but right now, no, I'm not laughing.

I promise to be in a better mood next week.

Have a great weekend!


Em-Musing said...

Awww! you poor, frazzled gal! But I admire you for trying. I know I can't follow instructions, and Word gives me enough blues that I wouldn't even attempt to upload to Kindle. But! I'm thinking of buying a Kindle because I'm missing out on reading e-books. Yeah, I know, I could download to laptop, but my eyes tire of looking at the screen all day and I need a break from it. Plus, it's hard to read on the loo balancing a laptop on my knees. Have a great weekend...and ice cream for breakfast? Bet my grandkids would go for that.

Anne Gallagher said...

Em -- And you know it probably wouldn't matter if I wasn't a maniacal perfectionist. Every little dot has to be removed. Every tab taken out. Mastering the ruler took 2 days. But it better look nice when it's all done. Cuz if it doesn't, I'll definitely pay someone next time.

Laura Pauling said...

Sorry it's been so frustrating. you'll get there. Recently, I read about a program you can buy for 40 dollars that makes it really easy. I think it was Jutoh? It automatically formats your ms for you, even the table of contents!

jbchicoine said...

Okay, let me just say that it's a whole lot easier to mess around with someone else's manuscript (duplicates .docs are great!) and when you're not feeling pressured. And I'd like to make it clear that I've never formatted anything for Kindle! I'm not a formatting guru--I just like messing around with that stuff (probably goes back to my book binding days). I read a bit of the Kindle Help on Formatting, and I'll admit, some of it was a little intimidating, but I think if you approach it when you are fresh and have plenty of TIME, that would help! Hang in there, Anne!

lotusgirl said...

I would so hire someone to do it for me. I'd be completely out of my depth. Good luck. End of Sept. sounds good for lunch. Email me.

Mac said...

Didn't I tell you to forget the TOC...

(Don't you hate people who say, "I told you."?)

Anne Gallagher said...

Laura -- I found a couple of programs but I'm a totally DIY girl (except for plumbing and electric). I have to push myself to the limit to see what great things I can accomplish.

Bridget -- I am so fresh today. Yay! Back into the fray.

Lois -- Yes, the end of September sounds great!

Mac -- Read the Kindle Help again. YES, they DO require TOC. "I told you so."

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks. I was already leaning in the direction of paying someone else to format, if I decide to go in that direction.

And also, thanks for nothing ... you show me that scrumptious looking food ... now my hubby is out of bed, and we're gonna go eat our bowls of fruit and cereal. (sigh) Oh well. Tomorrow is Saturday. We always eat big decadent breakfasts on weekends.

Take care.

Linda G. said...

Oh, my, but that brunch looks delicious!

Sorry the Kindle formatting is giving you such a headache. But I know you'll master it. Can't wait to see THE LADY'S FATE for sale at Amazon. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You'll figure it out! I have faith.
And I'll be over for brunch soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. What a nightmare for you. But *I* (he he) still think I can do this. Well, let's say like you I'm going to try first on my own. Someone above mentioned not being pressured timewise. I'm not. I just hope I'll get my second book out there sometime before I die!!

I think I need, like you, to relax and fill up my plate with this delicious looking brunch!

Take deep breaths. Do something relaxing over the weekend....
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Anne Gallagher said...

Susan -- Sunday is the big day for breakfast in our house and I haven't had waffles for a long time.

Linda -- Patience. It just takes so much patience. And soon, I hope. Finished the formatting last night. Hope to dive into the TOC next week.

Alex -- Come on over. You're more than welcome.

Ann -- I do believe it takes a lot of time. More so than I thought, and that's what brought about my frustration. It does get easier when you take it step by baby step.

Francine Howarth said...


I was so at your point of frustration I named it a hair-pulling experience. Though I must say I found the Mobi-Pocket device really handy. I also downloaded the Kindle browser to be sure I'd got it right before I posted. Ha ha, even after trial and error blips still appeared in end product. Kindle is a bastard for picking up on the slightest keyboard stroke and will, when it feels like it - completely misinterpret coding in one place, yet accept same code a chapter later.

I found Kindle griped at justified text, it basically scrambled it in html and ignored hyphenation within text. Kindle needs/prefers free flow html text.

After reading numerous e-books posted up by self-pubbed and conventional big-time publishers I was surprised at how bad some of the formatting was from the big boys. Some of the books, especially back copies re-pubbed as e-books even had weird characters and symbols within words and sentences: apparently due to their not re-formatting by hand and letting electronic coding for printers pass as OK in Kindle. Kindle proved them wrong!! ;)


Francine Howarth said...

Sorry, meant to say TOC isn't that necessary. Anyone who knows how to use Kindle properly they can buzz around the book without a TOC. In any case is shuts down and opens up on last page read. Who in hell wants to buzz around the ruddy book looking up TOC etc.

Donna Hole said...

Yep; if I ever decide to go the self pub Kindle route I'm hiring somebody. I already know who - how's that for planning from a pantster. Technology always looks so easy when I'm just reading it, but implementation is an alien universe to me.

You'll bet there Anne; you're to stubborn not to succeed :)


Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

yeah, but just think about how awesome you'll feel that you did it yourself once it's done! And next time it'll be easier and it's a useful skill for you to have

Anne Gallagher said...

Francine -- You answered every single question I was getting ready to ask in an email. Thanks for all your input.

Donna -- Yeah, that's been my problem all along -- too stubborn for my own good.

Sarah -- Yeah, you know Sarah, that's pretty much the main reason I AM doing it. Sticking with it. So I can say I did it all myself, (with the help of some very good friends.)

Liza said...

I give you so much credit for even trying. The thought overwhelms me! Comments on TLF coming soon.

February Grace said...

'tell a Taurean she can't do something...'

I wish you could hear me laughing.

So. True. I guess the bull is our sign for a reason, eh?

thinking of you (even if I'm only thinking incoherently much of the time these days, you're definitely always in there!)


Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Formatting sucks. Hard. I just LOVE getting to the time of year to put out the next Literary Lab anthology. Oh. Happy. Day. Not. (It's harder because it's not just YOUR manuscript - it's EVERYONE'S with all that formatting to fix, too). That's the only part I don't like about publishing those anthologies, though.

I feel your pain.

I highly recommend hiring someone.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, Anne, you put yourself through a lot. I know what it's like to want to do it yourself -- I have a hard time trusting other people's abilities -- but lesson learned. I'm sure it'll be amazing to see it for sale when all's said and done. Too bad I don't have a Kindle. Good luck with the rest of the process!

And visit me at my new blog address if you get the chance:

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm sorry you're not in a good mood. Sounds like a lot of frustration. If/when I get a Kindle, you'll be my go-to guy!

WritingNut said...

Okay, who could ever knock ice cream for breakfast??? I'm so sorry to hear that you've been frustrated! I wish you the best luck with this process, I know it's a difficult one.