Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Almost Like a Release Day

Today was the day I'd picked out as the release day for Missed Chances, my "taster flight" of classic love stories that all feature "the one that got away."

Another cool cover from my designer!
The various retailers had other ideas for me.

Since this collection consists of stories in the public domain, Amazon policy requires some sort of "differentiation" in order to publish. This is fair enough, so I happily set about obtaining some illustrations for the stories. I wasn't 100% sure if this would be enough, or if Amazon would require the title to include "[ILLUSTRATED]" (which would be confusing, since this is not an exact copy of a single public domain book, but a collection of stories culled from multiple public domain sources). So I wanted to get Amazon to approve the book.

It turns out that the only way to get them to review the book is to submit it for publication, and since they don't allow pre-orders on public domain works, that meant submitting it for immediate publication. So, last week, that's what I did, expecting some back and forth before Amazon approved the book. Instead, Amazon approved and listed the book in less than 12 hours, so the ebook version has been listed on Amazon for over a week.

Meanwhile, I was busy assembling the print version and the ePUB version for, Kobo, and iBooks (the iBooks ePUB version is slightly different from the one for and Kobo, too).

I finalized the print version and ordered the proof last week. I had to place a rush on the order so that it could arrive before my release day. I had proofread the text pretty carefully before submitting it, so I thought that maybe I'd get away without any changes. I was wrong. I found two typos in the final proof, and had to make the changes and resubmit the files for review. I stayed up late Monday night getting all of this done.

I arranged my schedule so that I could go in a little late to my usual client on Tuesday, hoping that my files would be through the review and ready for me to re-proof. They were not ready by the cutoff time I'd set, so I went ahead and went to my client site. And of course, by the time I got there, there was an email in my inbox saying that my files were now ready to proof. I left as early as I could and re-proofed and submitted for publication yesterday afternoon... but the book is still not showing on Amazon. It is available directly from Createspace, but the really opportunity for sales comes from having it on Amazon. It should be there soon. In the past, the paperback version of my books have appeared on Amazon in a day or less. No such luck this time, I guess.

Yesterday, I also created the iBooks version and submitted that. It is available for sale... but they turned "M.R. Nelson" into "Mr. Nelson." A rather common mistake, actually, but since they've managed to get it right in the past, I was surpised. (The mistake was fixed a few hours after I notified them of it.)

So, all in all, not the smooth release day I'd have liked. I jokingly blamed the retailers at the top of this post, but it is really my fault. The release of this book was a bit more rushed than it should have been. It isn't a big deal in this case, since the authors of the stories in this collection are long dead. I have not ruined a release day for anyone but myself, and I am more inclined to laugh at all of this than be bothered by it. I'll chalk this up to a learning experience and be sure to leave myself more time for reviewing proofs, etc., next time.

I had a good reason for rushing things, of course. I wanted to use this book as a "thank you" to my Tungsten Hippo mailing list subscribers, and as a lure to get some more subscribers. I am pleased with how it worked in that regard. I also wanted it to be ready for my usual "first Wednesday of the month collection recommendation" on Tungsten Hippo. And it was!

Therefore, I'm calling this book's release a success, even if the release day was a bit wobbly.

So! Now for the usual release day post. All of the links for where you can get Missed Chances will always be on the Annorlunda Books page for the book, but I'll also list them here:

Sadly, I can't have this book on Oyster (while it is still around!), Scribd, or Overdrive, because I use Smashwords to get into those channels, and Smashwords does not accept public domain works.

But, that's still a lot of options to get the book. I don't have reviews to post yet (see above about how tight the schedule was) so you'll just have to take my word for it: the stories in this book are all great. I still enjoyed reading them during my last proof of the book, which was after reading them roughly 10 times. (That surprised me, frankly.)

The stories are:

  • Aunt Philippa and the Men, by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Kiss, by Kate Chopin
  • The Victory, by Rabindranath Tagore
  • The Mystery of Wilhelm Rütter, by Helen Hunt Jackson
  • A Florentine Experiment, by Constance Fenimore Woolson

I obviously like them all, but I particularly love A Florentine Experiment.

This release concludes my ridiculously busy six weeks of work. I still have a lot of cool things coming up (my paperbacks on! Navigating the Path to Industry on Smashwords! Integrating the GumRoad sales directly on the Annorlunda web pages!) but the pace should be less hectic, and I should have time to write some of those blog posts I've been wanting to write. Phew. I also owe myself a walk on the beach. I'm hoping that the weather might be nice enough next week that I can get one last barefoot walk in before it gets too cold to let my feet get wet. I'm going to take the walk, regardless, though!

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