Publishing eBooks with Smashwords

I love Smashwords. It’s free, they give you step-by-step guides for how to do things and they distribute my stuff to most of the other retailers so I can manage my eBooks from a single interface.

Their meat-grinder (the way they turn your eBook into all the different formats various retailers require) is a bit clunky. I’ve learned so much over the last couple of weeks of mass uploading children’s’ anthologies, and I thought I’d share five of my favourites:

  1. Do not use the words ‘Prologue’, ‘Chapter’, ‘Part’, or ‘Epilogue’ in any of your headings unless you really want a page break.
    It turns out children writing 2000 word stories really like breaking their work into parts and chapters, which makes a total mess of the eBook, so this year I am outlawing all of these words in their section headings.
  2. The auto-generated table of contents doesn’t work.
    Apparently the meat-grinder will only accept manual TOCs, built with hyperlinks and bookmarks. This process makes up about half of my total formatting time, but there you have it.
  3. Word your bookmarks carefully
    Any special characters will break your bookmarks (e.g. * ( ‘ etc). Also, the bookmark won’t work if it is too long. Some children like very long titles, and I’ve had to chop a lot of them down to four or five words at the most.
  4. Be careful with pictures!
    Make sure you make them ‘non-wrapping’, or they will mess with your formatting.
  5. There is no obvious way to include additional authors in the eBook metadata, so I’ve been including a list of authors and their stories in the long description. (This is still an open question for me – is there a better way of tagging the authors included in anthologies?)

If your interested in reading the children’s’ anthologies, they’re available free here at Smashwords (or at your favourite eBook retailer).

Inside the Minds of Children

Have you ever wondered how kids see the world? Teaching creative writing to children over the last five years has been an eye-opening experience. Kids are observant, funny, deep and sometimes breathtakingly honest. From stories about bullying and popularity to tales of survival in post-apocalyptic wastelands, from the concentration camps of world war two to the pain of supporting a friend through mental illness, these young writers are tackling big themes with courage and compassion.

Now, for the first time, their stories are available for free through Smashwords (or your favourite eBook distributor). I’ve got a complete list of the anthologies and their authors here.

Happy reading!

Life Happens

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My last post was in August, 2015. By January, 2016, I was a Mummy. I had high hopes of being an author and a mummy, but it was not to be so.

Now that she’s two, I’m starting to feel inspired (and sufficiently well-rested) to dive back into the world of authorhood.

Wish me luck!

Oh, and if you want to follow my fun-filled adventures in comic form, check out Mind Bits (publishing weekly on WordPress, Facebook and Tumblr).

Book two first draft – complete!

So excited I’m bouncing around the room right now. I’ve finally reached the last word of the full draft of book two. My super awesome beta readers are going through it now with a fine toothed comb. May still be a couple of months before the book is released (depending on the scale of the rewrites required), but it’s significantly closer than it was yesterday.

So happy!

Happy.

=D

– B

New Cover for Book Two

After a very productive photoshoot this weekend, I have a first draft of the cover for book two, and I’m excited. Having a cover makes the whole book feel much more tangible! Huge thank you to Kath Doig, my beautiful model on the front, and Alex Robinson, who provided a very manly silhouette!

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