Kindle Publishing Progress Report #1

The waiting has begun. I uploaded Just One Look, my first ebook, to the Kindle Digital Publishing Platform Thursday night.

This funny, sexy romantic comedy was originally a print-published book. In fact, it's been printed in hardcover, softcover, and large print. Now, it's an ebook, and I'm happy and excited about that.

I gave it a cover far superior to any of the covers the print publishers slapped on this chick lit story. In fact, the hardcover design was just about the ugliest book cover I'd ever seen.

I spent several days editing and updating the text. A lot of authors ebooking their backlist don't bother to make any changes in the manuscript, but life is vastly different now than it was 10 years ago. We have technology that is woven into the fabric of our daily lives, and I think contemporary fiction should reflect that technology.

So I spent more time than I probably needed to in getting the book to be contemporary again. That's one of the things I love about ebooking: the freedom to make it be the best book possible. The day of the upload, I spent the entire day going through it again -- proofing, editing, proofing, converting, proofing HTML copy -- over and over ad nauseum.

Perfectionism Sucks

Previewed, tweaked, uploaded again. Repeated this process 4 times until I was satisfied that the HTML formatting was as perfect as I could make it. Uploaded the final, edited HTML file about 10pm and received the immediate response that it would take 24 hours to a few days for my book to appear live.

Next Step

So did I turn off the monitor and go about my business? Heck no! I sat there clicking the darn refresh button like a trained monkey hitting a lever that delivers food. Somehow, I just refused to accept that it would take a day or more for my ebook to go "live."

Changes Already

I already know I want to change some of the editorial copy. I forgot Joe Konrath's advice: in the first line of the Product Description say it's a special low price. Darn! How could I forget that teaser? I'll just blame my lapses for what I am calling The 14-hour-HTML-Migraine Blues because that's what C & U day (convert and upload) amounted to and I ended the day with a killer headache.

Follow Up

I'd planned to follow up the Kindle upload with uploads to PubIt, XinXii, and Smashwords to catch all the other digital readers, but my DH called from LAX to say he'd broken a tooth and was coming home on the red-eye.

Did I go to bed like a sane woman? Heck no! I stayed up and did all the domestic drudgery I'd put off during a week of writing, proofing, and editing since I was finishing up the prequel to my trilogy The Good, The Bad, and The Girl, in addition to getting Just One Look ready for upload.

By the time my tired, pain-racked husband arrived at 3am, I had finished the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, tidied the house, and transferred all the income tax crap to the kitchen table so that it looked as if I'd actually worked on it during the week instead of ignoring it.

Oh, and every hour I went to the computer to check the status of my ebook. Guess what? It's now more than 24 hours later, and my ebook still isn't live! However, it does show a product number now. That's progress, albeit of the slow kind. Stay tuned for another progress report

Takeaway Truth

A watched pot never boils, and a watched ebook never goes live.


  1. Gee, you said you had updated it, and yet I hardly started reading until there was a reference to a Lotus spreadsheet.


    I'm not a fan of the romance genre, but since I don't have to find room on a bookshelf, since I don't have to buy another bookshelf, since I don't have to build on a room to have more space for bookshelves, and since it was only 99c, I bought your book because of my interest in you as a blogger.

    I'll continue to use Kindle For PC for now. I figure there will be a new generation Kindle next year for $89, and one the year following for $49, which will eventually sell for $29. I'll buy the $89 one.

  2. Hey, Harl!

    LOL -- I'm making notes for changes! If you find any other anachronisms please let me know.

    I'm almost afraid for anyone to buy it until I've been through and vetted every page. One thing I learned is that the preview mode for Amazon is like dial up 20 years ago and very erratic. I tried to preview it but couldn't get it to do every page.

    I downloaded it this morning and immediately saw a typo! I hate that. So for future books, a friend and I are going to exchange proofing duties.

    My problem is that trying to proof via HTML makes me blind and crazy. Crazier.

    You're a sweetheart. Thanks again!

  3. Guess what, Harl! My husband was reading over my shoulder, and he said Lotus is still being used in more places than you expect. So I'm safe.

    He said a lot of corporations drag their feet on the Lotus issue. He hates it.

    Have a great weekend.

  4. There's a sentence where she's talking about ever since I was twelve ad these started growing. I think you mean "and", not "ad".

    She'd be willing to be they had. I think you meant "bet" instead of "be".

    Texas isn't the third-largest city in the country. I'm not even sure whether it's the third-largest state.

    Corporations might well have a pre-1995 computer in a corner running a legacy application, but a doctor who uses an iPhone isn't likely to have a computer running DOS software. I'll leave that one up to you, though, and point out that I know people who listen to oldies from the 1950s and 1960s, but not the Doobie Brothers. (I'd have been inclined to leave the whole thing set in the 1980s, as historical fiction, but the iPhone reference makes everything else seem dated.)

  5. Hey, Harl,

    Let's make this easy. I have a feeling you're going to find a lot since this was such a patch job in HTML. I've already learned what I'm going to have to do with this form of editing and publishing.

    By the way, when you get ready to upload an ebook I'll send you a template. I'm working on one now that will make it much easier next time.

    Do me a favor? Let's not clog up the blog with this.

    Email me the corrections you find please to joan @

    Thank you! I appreciate it!