That’s how it was starting to feel, anyway.
Getting The Unicorn’s Daughter ready to debut as an ebook looked pretty easy…at first. All I had to do was scan the pages and give them to Collin, who would then use Omnipage to peel the text from the scans and convert them to a Word document. Then the Word document would be converted to HTML for the ebook edition.
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
Not simple at all, we quickly discovered. Late Thursday night, Collin uploaded the HTML file–after carefully checking the file on the KDP viewer. We were told it would go “live” within twelve hours, but it didn’t take that long. I got an email from my surrogate sister Beth early Friday morning. It was up and running. I immediately went to KDP Select to set up the free book promotion.
I should have checked out the free sample first.
After setting up the three-day free book promo, I went back to the book’s product page and clicked on “Look Inside.” I thought I might be on the verge of a stroke! Somehow, the text we had so carefully prepared had been replaced–with the scanned JPEG pages from the original edition!
Converting those JPEGs to a Word document had not been easy. It might have been easier to retype the book. It was originally written on an electric typewriter; there was no disk to work with, not even the original manuscript, since once it was edited, it looked like fourteen miles of bad road. No…there was only the printed book. And it was full of errors that existed in spite of the best efforts of my editor, copyeditor and myself.
This is why I find the criticism aimed at errors in self-published books so funny. As if conventional publishers never get anything wrong. The ebook will have fewer errors than the original. There are things we couldn’t change–like gaps between chapters and spacing inconsistencies that resulted from the typesetting on the original (to fit the text to the pages, it was sometimes necessary). I have no doubt some nitpickers will point that out in their reviews. If that’s the only criticism they have, so be it.
I thought I might have to cancel the promo, but Collin–with some assistance from Mike–corrected the problem almost immediately. To unwind, Collin and I headed for the cineplex…to see The Avengers again!
The free ebook promo is now set for Sunday through Tuesday.Now to deal with the paperback reissue….
5/27/12: Looks like it was worth the effort. The free book promo is getting off to a good start ….