I knew publishing my second book was going to be demanding, but I had not anticipate the tsunami of work it caused. For the past several months, the pressure to release bore down on me. At times I felt as if I were suffocating under successive tidal waves of work. I was finally able to gulp lungfuls of air as I met my deadline (March 15), but I still had huge waves of work crushing down on me.
The disturbances that caused this “wave train” of work was having over 130 photos and illustrations compounded with the fact that I planned to publish two paperbacks: one in black and white and the other in full color. As I wrote the book, I resized and decolored the photos without realizing that the tool I was using to do so produced inferior quality products. The photos in the proof copy appeared grainy. I reformatted the art using GIMP, and the quality improved immensely.
The second catastrophic wave was formatting the ebook. With all the artwork, the file was too large to upload for most online publishers. After several attempts to compress the photos and minimize the file size, I was able to create a .mobi file with 44.2 MB. Amazon, thankfully, is very generous in allowing large files to upload.
I had to reduce the file size even more for an .epub, which meant another round of editing. At last, I created an epup with 14.3 MB, a size agreeable to Smashwords and Nook.
Most of the other vendors limit the file size to 10 MB. I was unable to create files for these sites without compromising the integrity of the book.
Publishing two versions of the same book created a wave of confusion on the vendor sites. I had to contact each publisher to ensure that all three books (ebook and paperbacks) were linked so they could share reviews and discussions. But by linking them, I lost the listing of the full-color book under the “Other Books by Author.” Weighing the pros and cons, I decide linking was better than a separate listing. Would you have made the same choice?
Because the printed books are separate books and not a different edition, I had to add comments in the online description of each book on each of the country sites to make the difference between the books obvious to potential readers. I’m not happy with this solution that Amazon gave me, but there seems to be no other recourse.
All of this may sound simple, but it required weeks of frustrating work, research, and learning to use new tools. My reward is adding three new items to my product line and, perhaps, a lot of lessons learned.
Today, my feet touched bottom as I completed the final touches to the Website and corrected what are, I hope, the last errors. I am tired of working on the release and ready to get back to normal.
I missed my weekly “chats” with you, my readers. Over the next few weeks I hope to tell you about my lessons learned, new tools, and suggestions for improving your author business. Thank you for hanging in there with me.
Do you have book-releasing horror stories. Please tell me about it in the comments, I would love to hear about it.