This is getting exciting! Old Stumpy is up for preorder at Smashword, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Google books. You know, the usual spots.
If you’re thinking about getting into the world of Borobo, you might want to hit Smashwords up now and get Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef for free! That’s right, you’ve only got a day or so left to grab a freebie and ride that octopus bandwagon.
Tedrick is on his way! I’ve uploaded the final draft at Smashwords, Kindle and Google Play now, and I’ve set the preorder date as the 13th of August, 2019. So that means that, as of now, Tedrick Gritswell Makes Waves is up Kindle, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google and iTunes. That gives me a bit of time to iron out all the kinks.
Kinks? What possible kinks? The physical copy, that’s always a drainer. Then there’s the final-final check of the formatting and like. Then there’s the front cover. It’s just a matter of getting an image, slapping a title and author in comic sans and that’s job done, right?
Yeah. Nah. You see, the requirements of each platform is different. There are minimum sizes, recommended sizes, form factors, resolutions, margins and bleed. All of that. Which is why the keener eyed among you (probably of octopus stock) can spot that the digital cover and the hardcopy cover are, in fact, different.
Smashwords requires a minimum width of 1400 pixels, with the height ‘greater’ than the width. A bit loose. Amazon wants an ‘ideal’ 1:1.6 ratio, with a minimum of 1000 pixels, with a preferred width of 2500 odd. Google doesn’t really care, so long as the file is under 20MB. The hard copy depends upon the physical dimensions of the book, plus a margin and bleed. All in all it’s a tricky dance.
As such, the image needs to be painted bigger than normal. I went for a 1600 x 1800 dimension. I kind of missed the memo on Amazon’s ‘ideal’ stuff. Never mind, the process is still the same and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Using Corel Painter and my trusty Wacom tablet, I began with a sketch. In this episode, Tedrick isn’t so sure of himself, and there’s a bit where he’s hiding out from a vicious predator. I toyed with having the darkness of the Abyss stretching out before him, before scrapping that and wedging him in a crevice on the Reef. Above is shining and colourful, with happy fish flitting about and brain coral in pink clumps. Below is dirty and dark, menacing. Stumpy’s clinging on, somewhere in the middle.
One thing I really like about Corel is that you can have a play, see what you like, see what works, then undo it if you’ve muffed it, or slap on another layer to see what happens. I haven’t played with the full range of brushes available. There’s a ‘Real Watercolour’ I’m keen to try out, but I’ll have to wait for the next one, I guess. I’ve got more work ahead of me to get this book in order.
It’s wintertime. It’s cold. It’s fireplaces and curled up cats and cups of tea on the couch.
I like winter. I like being able to rug up in jumpers and wear hats and gloves. Most of the time, even when it’s chilly, I’m pretty hot. Maybe it’s got something to do with genetics and my metabolism or whatever, but unless I’ve got the flu I’m usually trying my best to cool down.
I stick my feet out the side of the bed. I wear only pants because a pyjama top is too constrictive. I don’t like having a warm cup of cocoa before hitting the hay. Give me some water. Just the way God made me, I guess. On a side note, it’s the Smashwords Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Sale – get e-tonnes of e-books for bargain prices, with many of them (including all of mine) as free.
One major benefit of being a walking radiator is that I’m quite at home sitting outside on a cold night, and that’s where I’ve been during the cool autumn nights and winter evenings. There’s a little table and chairs set up on the porch, you see, and it’s perfect for writing out my drafts for the next Tedrick Gritswell. Perched out there with a coffee or a cognac, take your pick, I managed to knock out the first draft fairly quick.
Now I’ve done the ol’ red pen trick, and I’m happy with my second. I’ve already made notes to myself for where I’ve dropped a few stitches, and I’m tidying those up as I’m going. Nearly time to print it out again and go for the third.
There’s something special about this time of the book. It’s ‘done’ but not done. You can see it, touch it, it’s there and real, but not so real as being published. That rumbling feeling that comes up as the anticipation builds. The myriad conflicting ideas about whether a section should even exist, whether Bill should have a greater role in the story, whether this bit is too verbose, too lax, too crude. It’s time to chill again, be patient and print it out.
It’s a laborious process, believe me, and there’s every temptation to put it down and play Metro Redux, but that’s not going to get the cows milked, is it? It’s the final slog to the end, to keep pushing until it’s at that point I nod my head and say, “That’ll do it.”
Until then, to keep my mind in the zone, I’ve been working on the cover and the title page. Here’s the latest:
There’ll be a bit of poking an prodding with this bit – I don’t want to rush out the front cover just yet. Once I’m happy, I’ll make a post about the design process behind it and let you know.
I took some time off work yesterday and today. I had some things around the house that needed doing. The fireplace, for one, needed painting. The original coating was faded and buffed and rust spots were appearing. Some sandpaper, mineral turpentine, a paint brush and a tin of pot-belly black high temp paint solved that problem.
Now the house smells like turps, but that’s not the point. The point is that I knuckled down, got the job done, the fireplace looks a treat and I’m ready for winter.
I also needed to replace a strip of quad in the bathroom because it got left out during the renovations. Some stain, some gloss, cut it to size, stuck it on the wall, job done. And the lawn needed mowing – got that out of the way. Oh, the doorbell dinger needed to be replaced – done. The winder in the bedroom is failing – turns out I can’t fix that without replacing the box, so I’ll have to leave that to another day (and someone else).
So where does that leave me? It leaves me with some time to actually do what I want to do, which is finish off the sequel to Tedrick Gritswell. That’s right, folks, our favourite little spud from Borobo Reef is back in business and he’ll soon be peeking out from a bookshelf near you!
The Second Draft is complete. I’ve put my poor little printer through its paces (took a while to get the drivers and get it working) and it dutifully churned out 100 odd pages of words for me to read through and correct. Now I’ve got to go get another red pen. I kind of killed my last one. Time for a trip to Officeworks. After that, more editing and corrections and then onto the final.
In the meantime, I’m having a break. I’ve got to get onto the front cover, after all. I had decided this time around to do the cover first, but that idea got lost along with everything else that came at me this year, but don’t you worry, I’ll get out the tablet, crack open my Corel Draw and reacquaint myself with just how to apply a virtual paint to a virtual canvas.
Checklists are awesome. Whenever I’m working on a project, I make a checklist. I take the time to fill it out, put down all the things to do. Bigger tasks get broken into smaller tasks, with their own box of course, and I get a sense of accomplishment ticking them off.
It’s not only the feeling of progression that helps me along – it’s a genuine reminder of exactly what needs to be done. If I’m interrupted at any stage, which is more often than I’d like to admit, then I can revert back to my list and find out where I was at. I’ve tried relying on my memory. Doesn’t work. I struggle to remember what I did yesterday let alone what I was doing last week.
Considering book-work is in terms of months and even years, checklists are crucial.
The problem with them is that they only work if they are followed. You can see where this is going. When I published my last title, Portsmouth Avenue Ghost, I got everything done, on time, and was pretty chuffed with the end result. Only thing is, it wasn’t the end.
First draught – check. Second – check. Third, Run Through and Final? Check. Cover – check. All the way to publishing it to Kindle and Google and Smashwords. Gravy.
What did I miss, then? The rotten hard-copy, of course! Sheesh!
I’ll head over to Lulu and get cracking on this now. If all goes smoothly, it should be up in a couple of weeks. It will mean that Tedrick gets put on ice for a few days, poor guy, but if I don’t do it now, fast-forward to November and watch me pull my hair out.
After each release, I get deflated. Steam whistles out of my joints, my brain shimmies to a halt, my fingers become indecisive. Floff! That’s me for stint. Don’t worry, I’m not slacking off or anything. There’s always more to do. It becomes a matter of prioritising based on necessity.
Then, after a week or two of recuperation, my eyes lift up from where I am and start looking at where I’m going. I have to make a decision for the future. I have to look to the horizon and plan where I’m going.
I have to answer that burning question, “What’s next, Jez?”
Do I continue with the Paranormology series? Do I resurrect some of my older works and bring them up to speed? Well, both of those prospects are tempting, but I’ve decided to give that funky cephalopod a bit of love.
That’s right! Tedrick Gritswell is getting another book. And why not? He’s a hero. He has an assist-kick to help him. He has escaped the clutches of the Abyss. He’s only just getting started!
This time around I won’t be using KDP. I found it too restrictive, too cumbersome. I didn’t really enjoy the advantages touted and, frankly, I prefer Smashwords.
Of course, I’ll want to get a jump on the front cover as early as possible, but I’m not sure how that’s going to look yet. I’ve only got the skeleton of the story sketched out, and I’m still changing that around to suit.
I moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org over the last few weeks. The transition wasn’t all that hairy, just took a while. What with all the other duties I must perform, I hardly had two minutes to rub together. There was the dump of the content, the files and settings, and the domain names and setting up the server.
In the end, though, it’s done. It means I’m paying my way but I’ll have more freedom over how the page looks and what plugins I get to use. On that note, if you are having trouble viewing jeztyr.com or jtyrrell.com, please drop me a line and let me know.
Also, I’ve tried my best to maintain the followers, but if you’ve dropped off somehow, I’ll do my best to sort it out.
Cool, Jez, so what’s cracking?
Admin time is over. Now it’s back to getting the books out and other fun stuff. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, the next release is “Portsmouth Avenue Ghost”, number five in the Paranormology series. I’ve finished the first draft and I’m looking to take to it with a razor.
After this, I’m tossing up whether to do a sequel to Tedrick Gritswell, or dust off some of my older projects and breathe some life into them
Speaking of Tedrick, my incarceration with Amazon is almost over, so I’m going to ditch the exclusivity crap and release Tedrick on Smashwords – and subsequently all the other book vendors.
One thing at a time, eh?
Portsmouth is looking to be released early to mid November. I’ll settle on an official date as soon as I can.
Bartek Sobieszczuk, or ‘Bart’ to those in the know, is taking part in a fundraiser to live off only rations for a week in order to raise money for Syrian refugees.
I got to thinking about how I could help out. I’m not rolling in dough, no sir, and a lot of my spare change has gone his way but that’s not quite enough. Well, Bart has helped me to help him help others.
I’ve agreed to two things:
Any and all profits from any and all sales of Tedrick Gritswell from today (Tuesday, 20th of June) to Saturday (24th of June) will go straight to Bart’s fund.
On Friday I will do as he is doing and subsist solely off 600g of rice for the day. I think I also get to have a tea-bag. Maybe.
It’s not much, I know, but it means that I can at least contribute something more than a fistful of dollars and, as he put it, “They (you guys) get a great read and contribute to a worthy charity at the same time!”
Sounds about right to me.
Of course, if you wanted to donate directly, go right ahead:
And is set to splash its way all across your e-reader? Tedrick!
That’s right, everyone’s favourite octopus detective is due for release tomorrow, 1st of June!
OMG! I’ll be holding my own little celebration, but I can’t celebrate for too long, no sir. There are too many things to do. I’m still getting AMS to play ball, and then there’s the hardcopy to finalise, and distributions. Man, it almost makes me wish I had multiple limbs! Sorry, Ted, I know you’re still smarting about your missing arm.
You can find Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef at the Amazon store here, for the price of a cup of coffee. And once I’ve passed the required number of days, I’ll publish to Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Google Play. Or you can download the mobi or pdf and import that into your reader – I’ve heard that works.
Thanks for sticking with me on this ride. I’ll continue with the hardcopy KDP journey in a day or two, once I’ve shaken off the darkwater hangover.