Formatting and metadata


Getting an eBook ready, especially sorting out the ‘metadata’ isn’t easy if you don’t want to end up tearing your hair out. I’ve just spent all my ‘free’ or writing time for the last two weeks proofing, editing and ensuring the chapter headers and all that shizzle are in apple pie order. Reminder to self; buy more Tylenol. I’ve mercilessly hunted down the last errant apostrophe, ruthlessly swatted the last inadvertent spelling error, jumped up and down on the non-deliberate grammatical errors, and corrected the chapter headings. When you’ve been working on a hundred and fifty six thousand words, it’s easy to make mistakes. Three times this morning I’ve gone back over a hundred and forty heading entries to find stupid dingbatted errors, and I’m allowing myself two days pause before I run the spell checker twice more, and re-read the MSS specifically looking for those dumb ‘a, the’ errors I’m prone to after cut ‘n paste rewording of a passage that feels clumsy and clunky.

Target price is CAD$4.99. Which is pretty cheap, considering all the time and effort that’s gone into it. I think there’s an option for serious discounts for the first two weeks as well, which will be nice for some. Depending on their taste in Sci-fi.

The metadata is fine. The author and title names all match throughout the manuscript, and I’m sticking with some old cover art that I really don’t want to change. Especially as I’ve moved computers twice and lost track of the specific cover art font. There is a follow on already written (155,000 words at last edit), and I just need to get that ready before skipping over to see friends and family back in England, Ireland and the Netherlands. I’ll have my laptop with me, so will be logging onto the nearest free WiFi point every so often to check on the distribution. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iBookstore shouldn’t be an issue, and I’ll be confirming availability via the Kobo marketplace. which should be relatively easy now that we have a little Kobo Glo.

End result is a tale in a style of Robert Heinlein meets Tom Clancy (I think). The characters love, hate, laugh and cry, get alienated, reconciled, killed and wounded and all that jazz. What’s truly amazing is the fact that I still actually like the story, even after all the prolonged birthing pains of repeated rewrite, edit and format.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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