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So I Disappeared, But I'm Back Now

My job as a writer is to tell good stories.

My job as a publisher is to do a good job producing those stories for readers.

I failed at that second job this week.

For reasons I still don't know, my ebook formatting went sideways. Parts of Sand of Bone looked like a proper book. Other parts were block paragraphs with weird spacing. I spent hours redoing and undoing and redoing again... then realized I was mistakenly working on a pre-proofreading copy.

Alas, the proper copy wouldn't show up as formatted correctly either. So I went the through the undo-redo-undo-do-again process. Finally got proper html, epub, and mobi files.

Uploading and previewing then came to a grinding halt due to computer issues. Every online preview informed me my browser wasn't compatible. What changed, I don't know. After much more random messing around and pacing and rending of clothing, I figured out how to see what I needed to see.

Then Smashwords wouldn't take my epub, so I reverted to the doc file. Its mobi preview looks good, but until it loads to other sites, I won't know for certain. And that could take more than a week. Grr.

The Amazon file is already updated, and looks good and professional. I'll be contacting KDP about the updated file and, if they think the formatting change is significant enough, they'll email updating information to all those who've already made a purchase.

I'm so embarrassed. Sigh.

My lesson in all this is to be MUCH more diligent in my file-checking. As I said, I have no idea why my standard template -- the same template I've used for every other piece I've published -- came out all twisted on the other end. But in the end, it doesn't matter why. It happened, and it's my job to do what I can to prevent it from happening again.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Aug. 31st, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
Welcome back!

But, sheesh! I'm so sorry you had to go through that!
blairmacg
Aug. 31st, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
I was lulled into complacency by the ease of earlier projects. I've never had a formatting problem that affected only part of the book, for reasons I couldn't figure out.

I still don't know what set the problem in motion!
sartorias
Aug. 31st, 2014 03:35 am (UTC)
Absolutely guaranteed it's my fault. I can make mistakes that no one has ever heard of. And my files, never, ever just stay still. Weird formatting and crap ALWAYS enters, and italics vanish, thought I DO NOTHING. Nothing. Just type words. So, because I read this novel, my horrible computer karma somehow infected your file. If only I could harness this superpower to, like, fry the machines of terrorists, or something useful!

Edited at 2014-08-31 03:37 am (UTC)
blairmacg
Aug. 31st, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
I think that should be your next storyline: Sherwood Smith, undercover editor, takes on the terrorists as clients to FIGHT CRIME! :)

sartorias
Aug. 31st, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
You mean undercover computer-anti-hacker! As in: breaks computers by mental beams of stupidity!
blairmacg
Aug. 31st, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
Hee! It's all a matter of choosing targets!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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