Well, I messed up. I forgot I’m probably going camping from 2-4 December. So I’ll make the switch with the Journal to the big site sooner than that. Again, it won’t make a difference to those of you who are signed up to receive the Journal via email.
Well, yesterday after I sent this, I got some admin stuff out of the way. I finished formatting and uploaded The Professional Fiction Writer: A Year in the Life, which actually contains almost TWO years of this Journal.
And that leads me to today’s topic. (And the topic within a topic.)
I mentioned a day or two ago that I wasn’t looking forward to manually creating a TOC (table of contents) for The Professional Fiction Writer: A Year in the Life. But to distribute it through Smashwords, an interactive TOC is required. Just the thought of it made me tired. As it turns out, I had no idea.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me share with you the process for manually creating an interactive TOC. Consider it a topic inside a topic.
1. Go through the entire document, stopping at each chapter heading. (You can use the Find function to do this easily.) At each of those headings, create a bookmark. (For specific instruction on anything in Microsoft Word, visit HarveyStanbrough.com and click the MS Word for Writers tab.)
For me, in this book, that would be each date heading and each topic.
2. Save the document with another file name (I just hit Save As and add TOC to the current file name).
3. Use the Find and Replace function again. This time under Formatting > Font, search for normal font face. Leave the Replace With block empty, and click Replace All. This will leave you with nothing but your chapter titles. Copy/paste this and use it as your table of contents listing.
4. Now go to each TOC item in the list, right click and create a hyperlink that links back to the corresponding bookmark. (In the hyperlink dialogue menu, you’ll also have to select Place in This Document the first time.)
5. Finally, make the heading of the TOC listing (Contents) a bookmark. I call mine TOC. Then I add “Contents” at the end of each chapter and link it to the Contents bookmark. (Actually, after I create the first Contents hyperlink, I copy/paste it at the end of each chapter.) When the reader clicks Contents anywhere in the book, the link will take him directly to the Contents listing.
Very mechanical, and therefore boring and easy-peasy, right?
In my process with this book, thankfully I first created a new document (see 3 above) and created a TOC listing first.
I searched for any “normal” text, then replaced it with nothing. That left only bold text, and that was what I would put in the TOC.
But the result of that process only magnified my sense of dread. Exponentially. The TOC listing alone, even single spaced, added THIRTY-SIX PAGES to the book. There were 1004 (that’s one thousand and four) individual TOC elements in my listing.
That’s a lot of bookmarking and hyperlinking. To create an interactive TOC would take something close to 4,000 mouse clicks. And that’s a conservative estimate.
Okay, back to Distribution.
No way was I going to create an interactive TOC for 1004 items. So for the Smashwords edition I created a TOC that had only six items (Dedication, Intro, A Year in the Life, About the Author, Frontmatter and About StoneThread Publishing). Then I submitted it.
Now, if Smashwords comes back after their human review and wants to make me manually create a full interactive TOC, I just won’t do it. The book will still be live and for sale in their store. They just won’t distribute it to a bunch of minuscule markets.
I’d LIKE to have the book available in those markets, but not enough to take on the headache of creating such a massive TOC. Priorities, right?
But what about the larger markets like Apple?
I used D2D for distribution of this massive book to the Big Four (as I think of them): Apple, Kobo, B&N Nook and Tolino. They also distribute to Page Foundry and 24Symbols, a subscription service. I used D2D because their conversion engine creates the TOC for me based on formatting. How cool is that?
I also uploaded the book separately to Amazon, of course.
So The Professional Fiction Writer: A Year in the Life will go on sale “live” as scheduled on January 15 in all venues.
Later I’ll separate out the topics and put them in a separate book or (more likely) books. Not sure yet what format those will take. Maybe I’ll group them per subject.
But I have no pressing need to slap them together and rush them out by a certain date. And you can bet my major distributor for those will be D2D as well.
So why the cheap price for a 500,000 word nonfiction book?
Because I’ve already invested the time in creating the thing. I think it’s valuable to some readers (who are themselves writers), and I want to give something back.
Oh, and I also created a PDF version of the book, which I will sell myself for $9 per copy. I’ll make around $7 per copy for every sale at Amazon, B&N, Apple, and Kobo. A Smashwords sale will bring me around $8. And person sales will bring me $9. Not bad.
Now let’s all join hands and hope it sells a million copies. (grin) If it does, the party’s on me.
* * *
Rolled out late again around 4:20 this morning. Around 6:30 I created a PDF file of the nonfiction tome (over 1300 pages) and then moved the whole folder over to my Nonfiction folder. Later today (or soon) I’ll add it to my website.
I could’ve sworn a few days ago I created a spreadsheet to hold all my nonfiction titles. But yesterday and thus far this morning, I’ve been unable to find it. That is truly annoying. I hope I don’t have to completely redo it, but I guess I will if I have to.
For now (a little after 7) some breakfast and then to the writing.
Extremely interesting discussion in the comments over at Dean’s (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/chasing-the-market/#comments).
At his 11/22/16 Daily post (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/112216-daily/) Dean put up the first video of his Writers Block lecture.
Dean also continues the ongoing discussion of Artistic Freedom with Writing to Market… Timing at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-to-market-timing/.
StoryBundle. If you sign up for an account (you don’t have to buy anything) over at http://storybundle.com, you can download a free book: Jo Lallo’s The Book of Deacon Anthology. It “includes the entire Book of Deacon trilogy as well as Jade, a short novel set after the events of The Book of Deacon, The Rise of the Red Shadow, a prequel to the trilogy, and more!”
I revived Snubbing the Gods. I decided to quit sniveling, put my fingers on the keyboard and just write what comes.
I listed it back on October 16 as “stalled” at 22,264 words. I brought those words forward (from Day 10) so the count will remain unbroken.
A fairly decent day today punctuated with a trip to the store and messing around in the yard at the house.
Feels good to be writing again.
Fiction Words: 2493
Nonfiction Words: 1200 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3693
Writing of Snubbing the Gods (tentative title)
Day 10… 2829 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 11… 2493 words. Total words to date…… 24757
Total fiction words for the month……… 14899
Total fiction words for the year………… 670054
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13840
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 252680
Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 922734