Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


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Apologies to Createspace

It looks as if most of my formatting problems have been, and still are, my fault. As I’ve said before I’m hopeless at reading instructions–it’s just gobbledegook to me. I’m one of those people who has to learn hands on, which, in this high-tech age, is probably rather unfortunate! I generally stumble along and eventually the penny drops and I get to point B. Taking most of a year, though, is a bit extreme, even for me. So anyway, it turns out that after all my formatting woes with Createspace, they actually have a template; who knew? My latest endeavour, for which I’m still awaiting cover art, I just copied and pasted into the template and hey presto, it’s done! Almost. I did have to do the page numbers, which has been another source of angst–getting the numbers to start at the page I want, rather than the default first page. I did read instructions for that, which I found online, but it didn’t work until I fiddled around with the format page option as well. After I did that once, I was sure I’d remember the next time, but I didn’t. Then I eventually figured it out again and was sure I’d remember the next time and I didn’t. The third time I jotted down some extra notes and put them in my desk drawer so the next time will be easy, won’t it?

beastfromkindlecoverHaving so easily (relatively) formatted the new book I thought I’d re-format all of them, just to make sure they were all good. I know the kindle versions are fine but the PODs, although they’re okay, could maybe be even better using Createspace’s own template, I reasoned. I started with ‘Beast of War‘, a kids’ book I wrote a few years ago, and it was a complete disaster. Instead of the easy copy and paste I expected it came back with 5 errors and they were not easy ones. I tried again and then thought, ‘Bugger it. It was fine before.’ I have emailed Createspace and asked if we could just forget about all that–pretend it never happened and just revert to the copy that was already there! I’ve never sold PODs of that particular book in any case, only kindles, but I suspect they’ll tell me I have to re-do the whole thing. I think the problem is the original formatting. I wrote that, as I said, a few years ago and probably used a lot of tabs and so on instead of proper paragraph formatting, so I might have to nuke it. Won’t kill me anyway.

One of these days I’ll get back to some actual writing–I seem to spend all my time formatting and editing and creating covers. I do enjoy doing the covers–it’s both challenging and kind of fun. I dabbled in art and design for a few years, before I found I was better at writing, and while I would never in a million years paint my own cover art I have used some of my own photos. I’ve also found a good free source of photos online that I used for ‘Stony Creek‘ my most recent publication. I have mentioned it before but for those of you who missed it,  Stony_Creek_Cover_for_Kindleit’s http://www.morguefile.com/archive. Most of the others that are supposedly free aren’t and there’s lots of free pictures on this one.

Nine days till Christmas. I should probably start doing something Christmassy. We do have a tree up, so that’s something. And we’ve worked out who buys whose Kris Kringle this year. Now I have to find the perfect gift for mine, as well as something for our two grandsons. I have my mother’s present all ready to post at least–a copy of ‘Stony Creek’! Nice being able to give her something no-one else can. Hopefully I’ll have another one ready by the time her 94th birthday rolls around in April.

In case I don’t have time next week, Merry Christmas to everyone and stay safe.


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Fun and Games with Amazon–again.

Why do I do this to myself? I should obviously wait until I’m 100% happy with all aspects of my book, including the cover, before I publish. I’m quite patient up to a point and then I think it’s all good but I tend to change my mind. I’m still waiting for CreateSpace to sort out my new cover for Not Guilty. Although they assure me it’s all done it’s not displaying on my author page with the new cover–the kindle version is. Weird.

So I decided to do the same thing with my new novel, Stony Creek. What a brilliant idea! I just wasn’t really happy with the cover and found something I liked better. After much mucking around I had a cover I was happy with and that CreateSpace accepted. Yay! But my author page now shows the new cover in the initial display but then the old cover when you click on the kindle. If you click on the POD you get the new front cover and the old back cover!Stony_Creek_Cover_for_Kindle

Weird or what? I’ve emailed Amazon of course. I’m also waiting for them to remove the odd phrases that somehow magically attached themselves to a couple of my books, again just on the author page. They’re described as Inspector Banks novels! They certainly don’t contain any reference to Inspector Banks and are not detective stories at all. Amazon assure me they’re fixing it but I don’t know why it’s taking so long or how it could happen. I’m sure the creator of Inspector Banks wouldn’t appreciate it any more than I do but there’s nothing I can do about it.

My thesis on Infanticide and Child Murder, Demented Mothers, is on a countdown deal for 0.99, starting on 25th November. It is a university thesis rather than a commercial true crime and is where my true crime book, Not Guilty, had its origins. For those of you who like the facts and the sources etc. I’m sure you’ll find this an interesting read. If you prefer more of a narrative I’m hoping to have the fictionalized version available before Christmas. More on that later.

Happy reading.