Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A Little Note on the EBook Process
Yes, going through with the e-publishing process has been difficult for many reasons, but I'm going to focus on one: formatting.
Silly me. I thought I could take a Friday off work, format the novel and take the rest of the weekend relaxing and getting caught up on cleaning and reading and whatnot. The hard work was done. The novel was finished.
Please do not make the same mistake I did.
I had downloaded a free trial of Scrivener, and this is the pop-icon in the writing world right now. Scrivener has many loyal users, according to some of the blogs I had read over that weekend trying to sort out some of the many problems to follow. I am not one of them, but I can certainly see its benefits.
I won't detail the difficulties I went through with Scrivener, but in summary, I must have downloaded Clary twenty times, but the actual text of the novel only appeared in the first five downloads, before I figured out how to set the Table of Contents, the chapter headings, title page, and the dedications. Changing these things couldn't be adjusted easily, so I ended up watching numerous videos, reading half of the manual, and sending a help-desk email (I did get an answer several days later, but it wasn't entirely helpful).
I recognize the benefits of Scrivener as a drafting and developing tool. In my brief weekend encounter with Scrivener, I can see how this can help some writers. I am not one. My creativity comes from my head and the outside world and the exchanges I have with other people. Technological tools just delay and distract me from what I need to write.
By Sunday morning at about 2 AM, I was praying for a sign that I wasn't forcing some sort of mistake. I had the motivation to e-publish, but all the signs were telling me that God wasn't behind me. Then, I ran into this fantastic blog posting:
And I formatted my book by hand. I spent a couple of hours Sunday in the wee hours, and a few hours Sunday afternoon after church. It was slightly annoying, but lots less bothersome than the hours I spent with Scrivener. Then I spent at least a few more hours banging my head against my computer looking at the Amazon site, convincing myself that I was doing the right thing.
Formatting by hand doesn't allow for tons of bells and whistles or a paginated table of contents, but if you're doing a basic novel like me, consider doing it by hand.
If I can do it, so can you!