Monday, 27 April 2015

In this episode I attempt to use Scrivener

It has been a while, but I have been busy. I  finished editing Under the Coconut Tree (finally!), sent it to Storywork for editing and have just been through the final copy! Wooo hooo. It's taken long enough to get here. There wasn't too much red pen from the editor - but let’s face it face it – five grammar books and one course later my punctuation must have improved. And while we are talking about improvements I have also finished reading The Elements of Style. If you are a writer, you must read this book. It’s not an option. The book is, quite frankly, amazing. I have now started reading the Oxford Style Manual. I’ll let you know how it goes, but it’s more of a doorstop than a book. It may take me a year to finish (think bigger than Shantaram)

Anyway, back to UTCT. I heard of an editor from a writing friend and asked for a quote. The quote sounded reasonable so I’ve gave him a go and he was pretty good. So perhaps I will let him have Poison in the Water which should be ready for editing late summer – yes, I know my deadlines are slipping. I blame H for not going to the gym as much anymore – it has seriously cut down my writing time. So, now that my ms is back from the editor (along with the blurb, promo material wording etc- yep, I’m getting organised in my old age) my next task is to think of formatting the document for epub, kindle and paperback. – argh! Is a writer’s work ever over these days?

A writing friend recommended Scrivener as it can easily convert your work to Mobi and epub formats. A couple of you tube videos later, I bought the thing and tried it out. I have to say it is fiddly to use, but once you get the hang of it makes publishing pretty easy ( I say that although I'm not there yet). As I am a simple soul I bought Ed Ditto's ebook on publishing your book to kindle, Nook, Kobo, ibook,  Createspace and Smashwords. His claim is that you can do all this in an afternoon. I have to say it has taken me longer than that and I'm only half way through (but I'm easily distracted), but seriously the book is fool proof and simple to understand, plus he guides you through downloading Kindle gen and the reviewer. If you are feeling daunted by the thought and effort involved with publishing you need Scrivener and Ed Ditto's book in your life. I remember having to manually format my first book for kindle four years ago now and I was dreading it the second time around. Scrivener makes it all so simple! I reckon by the end of the month I will have all the formats I need.  H has stalled with my front cover, so I need to keep on at him to finish it!, but when that's done I am definitely going to try to upload directly to nook, kobo, kindle and create a paperback on Createspace, but I'm unsure if I need to go down the Smashwords route yet and I still haven't got my head around ibooks (but it's on my to-do list!). Perhaps I'll leave it till the others have been done.

Another bonus is that writing from now on, on Scrivener should be simpler. It has this great corkboard feature which looks like a great way to store a synopsis for each chapter and scribble notes while you are writing, and cross check two scenes at the same time – plus it’s compatible with Mac. In fact I hear it works better with a mac. My top tip is if you have a map download it from the app store, as it opens up straight away.

So I'm a couple of days formatting and a front cover away from a book launch. I'll let you know when I'm there - I'm thinking early June. The lack of  front cover means that I can't really publicise Under the Coconut Tree as yet (annoying), but I am hoping that old saying is true - good things come to those who wait!