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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rolling With Disaster

I have a sick new game I like to play. It's called, "Well, at least things can't get any worse." When things get bad, say it. I guarantee they will get worse. I cannot help but say it every time.

So, I just had a big spamming ^H^H^H^H^H^H promotional weekend, and gave away around a thousand copies of Perfect Me and Hurricane Regina, two works that I am really anxious to have read by more people, both being modern day classics. ; )

At the same time, I asked the lovely folks on the Kindle author forum, which is this cute little link stuck in a page of tech support message boards, where the authors are safely sequestered from the readers and hence try to sell books to each other. Line.

Ah. I asked them to be brutal in regard to my covers and blurbs. Nice. I got some really good feedback, some of which I already implemented. Thanks, guys! I haven't been back lately, as I am still dealing with a formatting crisis...

Someone correctly pointed out that the Amazon previews show block formatting with no spaces between paragraphs, making it more than a little hard on the eyes. Sensible and seasoned computer user I am, I started disregarding previews a long time ago. None of them were very good, and the downloadable copies coming from Smashwords were beautiful.

Protip: Smashwords has a better import module than Amazon, apparently. So, my thousands of ebooks? Probably bad formatting. It's good to find out, regardless, and I did a quick fix on three of my most heavily downloaded titles, so far. But a disaster, nevertheless.

I'm sure there are tons of lessons to learn, here. I've been sending copies to reviewers from Smashwords files, or I would have found out sooner, I'm sure. I'm just glad I haven't gotten clobbered with bad reviews. I think I may get a few, but the writing will carry it for most people. Still, bloody bad form. Literally.

Meh, what do you want for free?

Formatting can be corrected. That's sort of the beauty of digital publishing. You can make mistakes in real-time. You can also correct them. If you're really sneaky, you blog about it and turn it into a positive. I don't think anything can kill a book dead but bad writing. 

Pageburner, Hurricane Regina, Radar Love, Zombie Killa, Perfect Me