I’m in the middle of yet another edit, trying to smooth and improve, and easing out any final clunkiness. When that’s done I’ll do my hard copy edit which is where I print it out and go through it, marking things up with a pen. It’s amazing how many small, stupid things you find that way. Mostly at this stage it’s not typos – it’s the flow of sentences and word repetitions and the occasional misplaced comma. I’ve also tweaked so many little things by this point that I hope to catch any new inconsistencies that have crept in as a result. You know, where Character A turns to Character B and tells him some deeply personal thing he already told him four chapters ago *g*.

When that’s done, I’ll be turning my attention to formatting – which I’m kind of dreading! When I post my fanfic on the net it’s in standard fanfic form – which means not indenting new paragraphs but leaving a big blank space between them instead. I can also put it out there in any font I like, although usually it takes the standard font of the site I’m posting it to. As this is an e-book, I’d like to do it properly, to make it look like a ‘real’ book, with paragraph indents, and chapters, and starting new chapters half way down the page etc. However, I have zero experience of this so it’s going to be another learning curve.

There’s also making sure the font is readable on e-book readers (I prefer to write in Calibri because it’s easy on my eye but I doubt it’s a supported e-book font), and figuring out things like page numbers and page breaks and so on so it displays correctly. I understand the formatting requirements of the different communities and lists I’m on, but I must admit that it’s the one thing I’ve always found nerve-wracking over the years. I’m not a small detail person and have to concentrate really hard to get that stuff right. But I do think it’s part of the process I want to go through, to learn how to do it, so I’ll know for next time. Even once it’s been formatted and uploaded to Kindle, I’ll then need to do ANOTHER read through to make sure there aren’t any formatting errors. So that’s a lot of reading for me (and hopefully explains why you have to wait another few weeks to read it too!).

As I discussed with Sione86 in my post yesterday, I want to make Ricochet available as a paperback book too. Bluespirit is all set to make the cover in hard copy form – but when I read up on it, it sounds very complicated! At the moment I’m researching and trying to decide between using Lulu and using Amazon’s CreateSpace. One of the issues here is that you need a different ISBN number for a hard copy book to an e-book. Lulu will register your ISBN for you for free, but I’m wondering if there’s a catch there, and whether it’s better to create your own ISBN. I’m also not wildly keen on their terms and conditions, especially relating to ownership. But I haven’t dug deep into CreateSpace yet so it might be the same there. Lulu also requires you to fill in tax forms to ensure that tax is paid for any copies sold in the US, and I have some concerns there too. Another thing is what size to make it – Lulu seems to have a gazillion options although I think US 6X9 inches is the way to go.

It’s clear to me that any hard copy version of the book will be considerably more expensive than an e-book. I’ve talked about pricing with Taylor Gibbs, who has gone down this path already with herStrategic Affair series, and I think I’ll retail the e-book at $5.99. A hard copy is likely to be considerably more because it’s a long book and there are printing costs associated with that. That is all out of my control and set by the printers. So, the upshot of all this is that I think I’ll concentrate on getting the e-book done for the publication date of November 5th, and if I can get a hard copy version done too then all well and good, but if not, that’ll have to follow on later when I’ve had more time to figure out the best way to do it.

One additional problem with both e-books and hard copies, is that I live in the UK and this complicates the tax side of things. I don’t think I CAN publish through Amazon.co.uk where I already have an account – I think it has to be via Amazon.com.

That brings me on to – spelling! As this book is set in the US and is my first foray into the world of e-book publishing, I’m going to do a spell check on it at the end and change all the UK spellings into US ones. I usually prefer not to in my fanfic because my eye catches spelling errors much better if it’s the spelling I learned as a kid, but for publishing as an e-book set in the US and likely to mostly be bought there probably, I think it’s necessary.

So, at this point it’s all the nitty gritty of publishing. I think this will be my least enjoyable part of the process, but we’ll see.

Now, it’s time for another poll!

I didn’t include a ‘I’m not going to buy it’ option on purpose. I know some people won’t buy it because they don’t like BDSM, or the BDSM universe, or they don’t have the money, or for whatever personal reason to them, and I want to stress that that is absolutely fine and no explanations are required. As I’ve said before, this whole thing is a learning experience for me, and while I’d love it to do really well, I don’t have any unrealistic expectations in that respect. It’s something new and different and a challenge I set myself that I want to experience. I really hope as many of you guys as possible come with me on the ride, but nobody needs to worry or explain if they don’t want to or can’t!

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