Putting Out: Anthology Behind the Scenes

Chemical [se]X 2 Just One More Cover
cover of chemical [se]x 2: just one more

Welcome, I’m Mischa and I’ll be your program director today. Yeah, you’re stuck with me since I own the domain name and all. I know, I know… poor joke (boo hiss). Anyway, I wanted to talk about putting out an anthology and I thought well, I have a blog. Let’s do this.

My erotic dirty-minded friend calls it an ‘anthropology’ and yes he knows that’s not the word he’s looking for.

Chemical [se]X 2: Just One More is the second anthology I’m included in. Let me tell you, being a part of the editing team and the design team and the formatting go-to gal, is damn hard work. Also, I’ve learned things about Word I never thought I’d have to know. AND I’ve learned valuable information about formatting print books. Which also means I know I have a lot to still learn. All-in-all, this has been an expansive learning experience. You can’t find this kind of information at Lynda.com, y’all. Trust me, I looked.

(Hint Hint to those with classes available on Lynda.com (or teachable, or somewhere else) that are also indie authors. You’re missing your niche.)

There are so many resources on formatting a print book. There are templates and there are guides. And even for me, they are all damn confusing. So, I pulled the templates from Amazon since that’s who we were starting with and used the formatting from Smashwords because I wanted to skip the error-laden (note: extra spaces at the end of a paragraph) document. But, before all of this, came writing and editing stories, revising stories, discussing word-changes, picking which version of a word to go with, and that doesn’t include creating the cover.

While the three of us (Dr. J., Oleander Plume, and myself) worked together, we also pulled out all the stops on our strengths and helped each other with weaknesses. If you don’t have a team you can work with, argue with, cry with, and have panic attacks with – where are your people? Find them. STAT.

And when the three of us were able, we would Skype together. Working on a book cover via Skype is something everyone needs to try. I’m going to get Oleander a shirt that says “Could you move that (insert direction here) a skosh?”

Yes, Skosh is a tech term, but not when it comes to Photoshop for me.

Is that tap the directional button 5 times for 5 pixels or do you want me to shift+click meaning ten pixels at a time? We finagled it though and hot damn that cover looks GOOD. You can almost reach out and grab a chocolate off the plate. There are over 170 versions of this cover and pieces, yes pieces, of this cover on my hard drive right now. Once #Smummit is over, I’ll move them all to the external drive.

And the book itself? I think there are somewhere around 70, if not more, versions. When I save something, sometimes it’s for minuscule changes. My naming convention changed a couple of times, too because there were PDF versions, HTML versions, etc. Don’t even ask me about the naming convention for the cover. Some kind of glitch was changing the dates on things (back to 2013) in Photoshop, so that made things even more confusing and I had to start adding dates.

But there’s more. Remember up above not that long ago that I learned this is an expansive learning experience? The book is out but we’re still learning!

Dr. J. and I were going over Smashwords. Our first mistake? Doing this on a day we were both exhausted. Like, super long day. I know we had talked previously about changing author accounts into publisher accounts. At some point I may have mentioned starting a new account as a publisher, but it got lost somewhere in the vast caverns of my mind full of random crap floating around up in there.

Which, of course, caused a few minor issues that have sort of been fixed. Thankfully, the SW team is quite prompt with their replies and helpful. But hey, the anthology is up on Smashwords! We learned during the uploading process at Smashwords that we needed to use a separate ISBN number than we had at Amazon. How amazing is that? I would never have known if they hadn’t said “Oh by the way, you need to use a separate ISBN for (insert reasons I don’t remember here).

It took time to do all of this work – and we are not done yet. We plan to put the anthology up on Ingram Spark as well in hopes that bookstores will want to stock a few copies (or create an awesome display of sex and chocolate).  All in all, it’s been a very good experience. I know that future projects should run smooth now that we know many more things about the processes involved.

Don’t like shy away from trying to do all the things reading my post, the only way you can learn something new is to dive into it and give it a shot. We put a lot of effort into Chemical [se]X 2: Just One More, and you can tell from the reviews that it shows.

Uh, classes though… (If you have a formatting class, please share it in the comments).

Do you format books for a living? Have you thought about having a class on Teachable or Lynda or somewhere else like that where someone like me (who enjoys doing all the things, even when she starts losing hair from the stress) can learn quick tips and methods regarding book formatting? Seriously, if the price is reasonable, you could make a nice side income.

If I knew enough to create a class, I would. But I don’t. Yet. Maybe in a year or two I’ll know more about using Word to format print books and ebooks. Honestly, I’d prefer an expert (or close to one) to create a class at a reasonable cost for me to learn.

Share you experiences in the comments. What new thing did you learn in the process of doing something?

Hyde: Mad Qualia

Similar Posts

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.