Last week, I received from BookNook, the e-formatting company I’m using, the ePub file to proof. So excited! I opened Adobe Digital Editions, added the file to my library, and opened it. Ah…the book cover looked fabulous! As I scrolled forward, I came to…what’s this? A front page I had deleted. Then the prologue I’d deleted! I clicked on table of contents and…sure enough. I had sent BookNook the manuscript that I’d sent my editor to read last August. I was absolutely mortified! How could this happen?
First order of business was to notify BookNook. I sent a note to the production manager, Leonard. When he replied, he assured me this was a fairly common mistake authors make, but it would cost me. My mortification would last through the afternoon and e-mail exchanges with Leonard and the company’s owner. I approved the additional cost and requested an invoice. Then I sent them the true final of the manuscript. So, what happened?
I had a brain freeze moment, I think. A week earlier, when I was going over the true final manuscript one last time before sending, I recall closing the file, then going to my file explorer. I wrote the cover e-mail to BookNook then attached the files for the book cover, the manuscript, and the production notes. Unfortunately, the old manuscript and the true final files had the same name. And I picked the old one, even though it was over 1 mb in size and the true final was under 1 mb. Needless to say, I have now changed the name of the true final file so I will always know that is the true final for the e-book and moved it to the correct folder.
This mortifying mistake set back publication by about a week. BookNook sent me an invoice which was about $20 less than they had originally quoted which was nice, but still an expense I had not budgeted for. Yesterday, I received the redo ePub file from BookNook with a note from Leonard about the conversion. My manuscript had had over 900 broken paragraphs that they needed to correct. Leonard explained that broken paragraphs occur when the writer hits the enter key at the end of a line instead of allowing Word to wrap the text to the next line. I suspect it’s also caused by moving sentences around, copy and paste, etc. At any rate, he told me that any broken paragraphs they missed and I found would be an additional charge to correct ($1per error).
I’ve checked the ePub file to make certain it’s the true final. It is. The book cover looks fabulous. The font I picked, Libre Baskerville, looks fabulous. And I will proof this file over the next 4-5 days. Once the proofing is done and I’ve sent any corrections to BookNook, they’ll correct the ePub file and send it back for me to check. When we reach a final that’s to my satisfaction, I’ll approve it and they’ll move on to create the mobi file for Kindle from the ePub file. They’ll send me the mobi file to proof which I’m anticipating won’t take as long since it’s from the corrected/approved ePub file. Once I’ve approved the mobi file, the conversion process is done and I’ll have the two files I need to e-publish my novel. They will be clearly named so I won’t mix them up!
While waiting for the ePub redo, I moved forward with my marketing efforts. I spent some time at my college alma mater’s website to see how I can use my page there to promote the book. I’ve checked on advertising rates for the Mensa Bulletin that reaches approximately 50,000 people. I’ve gone to VistaPrint to find out what I need to create a postcard that I can use to spread the word about Perceval’s Secret e-publication. Price was extremely reasonable.
I have created a public Facebook page: The Perceval Novels. My purpose in doing this is to provide another place where readers can connect with the novel and me. I will post updates there, announce publication, and announce marketing fun. I’m thinking of running a contest for free e-books fairly early after publication. I’m also thinking of offering the e-book for free at Kindle and Nook stores for a day or two early after publication.
I still have more marketing tasks to complete, including contacting AuthorBuzz to find out what they can do to support the book launch. But first, I’ll proof the ePub file…..