Formatting is fun

I have no idea why I like it so much but I do love formatting my books! I also finally, finally figured out the solution to an issue I’ve been having with my table of contents not working on the Kindle and me having to do all kinds of things to get it to show up properly. I always intend to write down how I fix it when I format a book and then I forget and have to try to figure it out all over again.

To get the toc I’ve already created in Word to work once I import the file into my Jutoh project, all I had to do was right-click my Table of Contents document in the project organizer, choose Projects, and then select toc for Guide type. I also unchecked Show in Table of Contents.

I’m almost positive I’ve tried this before, but if I have, it didn’t work for some reason. I always ended up having to use the table of contents wizard and try the different options until I got one of them to generate a working TOC in the Kindle. The last few times I’ve had to delete my own table of contents list and let Jutoh manage it. I don’t like that because by default the generated TOC never quite matches my formatting and that bugs me.

But no more! The quick right-click thing worked without a hitch on two different projects last night. Yippee. ;) Just in case I actually knew this at one point and forgot, I wrote it down. The fact is, I’ve read the quick start guide and basically learned everything else in Jutoh by trail and error. :D Ah well. It works!

100% isn’t quite 100% done but it’s close

I’m going back through the book one more time, because I left a few highlights in place to deal with after I’d finished the first run through. That’s 9 notes and 12 highlights that remain. Once I’m done with those, it’ll be time to move on to a quick review of a legal blackline comparison of the draft pre- and post-edit. Then it’s formatting, side-loading, and a final read through. :D

I’m only doing the final read through because I made so many edits. Normally, I’m happy with one thorough read through, but I’m not confident this time that I haven’t made more typos, etc, so this is a chance to be sure everything looks and reads okay.

On the other hand, I might end up skimming a lot. I don’t have a lot of patience at the best of times and considering how tight my timeline is getting, I don’t know if I’ll be able to concentrate well enough to read it again! ;)

But I will say this. I am much, much happier with the book now. I’ve added about 826 words today net of deleted stuff, and the book is smoother, tighter, and all those dangling things that were worrying me aren’t worrying me quite so much now. I’m pleased. The book has some great moments, IMO. I laughed so hard at one point I almost cried. :D

I can definitely see myself rereading this book for fun and that’s my goal every time I sit down to write.

Whew. Now, back to work!

It wasn’t a long night after all

It wasn’t a long night after all, but not because I finished quicker than I expected. Oh, no. If you thought so, then you obviously haven’t been reading this blog long enough. :D

I gave up early. I estimated the time it would take today to finish (best case scenario I’ll be done at 11 pm tonight, worst case, tomorrow at 1 pm, haha) and then I assumed I’d hit the best case scenario and went to bed. :D

I’ve been editing today for 1 hour 40 minutes, and I’ve added 558 new words during that time while editing. This makes me really chafe at how slow I’ve been writing lately. There’s no point in it. I can write faster.

Ah well. Thoughts for another time. I need to get back to that copy editing. I’m finally at 50%. ;) (1 hour of the time was writing the new material, the 40 minutes was writing some new material but mostly progressing from 47% to 50% on the Kindle progress bar for my book. At that rate… Ouch. I don’t even want to think about it. I’m hoping it’s not true.)

I’m editing!

I started editing the book last night. Yesterday I worked on cover stuff and I’m certain now that I’m going to take a week this year and spend it learning as much as I can about image editing and design. I use GIMP, which I’m quite happy with, to be honest, but design isn’t something I’m that comfortable with. I can repair old photos, which is the first thing I learned to do on Photoshop over 15 years ago, but that certainly doesn’t help me create a vision for a book cover and then translate that into an actual cover.

I’m excited that I got that stuff out of the way though, including the cover copy for the book, listing out my keywords, etc, so publishing will go smoothly.

Then I started the edits. Since this book is going to require an unusual number of edits from me, I made a copy of the draft specifically for the purpose of comparing it at the end of my work using Word’s compare feature.

I want to see what I’ve changed, but mostly I just want to feel comfortable making all the changes. Since I work in one doc, I don’t want to have to rely on going back to one of my many (many, many) copies if something goes wrong, but I also know better than to use the track changes in a doc I plan to turn into an ebook.

Track changes will kill your formatting and create a mess to be cleaned up. My suggestion is to never use it if you can help it. If you send a doc to an editor or readers for comments, just read off it and manually make your edits in your original draft.

I’ll just do a legal blackline compare at the end and make sure everything looks good.

Now, it’s time to finish those edits. I have a lot to do, and very little time to do it in! :D

A classic case of avoidance

Looking back, I can see quite clearly that yesterday’s decision to work on my Calibre library was nothing more than a classic case of avoidance. I spent a significant amount of time on that project, with very little to show for it. I think I deleted about 40 books from my main library while I deleted a ton of books off my Kindle and my Nook. :o

I finished reading my book today. The section that caused me so many issues day before yesterday still dragged (I reread it). It’s terrible. I know it is. But once I got past those couple of chapters, the story really took off again and I really enjoyed the rest of the book.

So yes, maybe I will have to do a bit more work on the story which is a little unusual for me once I’ve finished a book, but maybe not as much work as I was worried I would have to do. :) Whew.

Now I need to get back to it because I have quite a lot still to do today and it’s already 6 pm. I actually have to finish the fixes and the copy edit tonight. No choice. It has to be done. Woo hoo. :D

Today I will stop hoarding ebooks

My ebook library is up to 940 1222 books** now in Calibre. The last book I bought, I didn’t finish, but I do plan to finish it. ;) I do! I’m on page 73 of 367 in Aldiko*. But several other books caught my interest, even though they too have ended up unfinished, and it occurs to me today that my library is just too big. Not just my ebook library, my physical one too, tbh.

I can’t find, or focus on, the good books. It takes me too long to decide what I want to read because I have so much available. A month or two ago, I subscribed to BookBub. I received emails everyday and I couldn’t resist at least one or two books each day and so my ebook library swelled. I went to update my Nook, Kindle, and phone libraries and the whole idea that I have all these books in my library that I probably won’t ever read smacked me like a limb whipping in the wind. It was a sudden and shocking realization, and although I’m generally against minimalism and de-cluttering (one of my favorite books is A Perfect Mess), I’m having the most irresistible urge to declutter my libraries. Starting with the ebooks.

So, I think I’m going to delete some stuff today, in between reading and copy editing the book I’m working on at the moment. And I’m not going to regret it. And if I do, well, regret is not so hard to live with when there’s nothing that can be done about it. :D

*I highly recommend Aldiko. I use the free version on my Kindle and the premium version on my android phone. The free version is good enough that with my particular reading habits I can’t even tell the difference between the two. (Update: I discovered the premium version was compatible with my Kindle Fire and Fire tablets and upgraded them too.)

**I hadn’t imported my Kindle books in a while. Ouch.

A flawed perception of time

After a glance at my calender where I’ve been keeping up with my activities the last few days, I’ve just realized I haven’t actually been reading slower at all, it just felt that way.

I’ve been noticing ever more often just how flawed my perception is of the passage of time.

According to my logged times (because why not, right?) I’ve only spent about 2 hours and 37 minutes reading my book. That’s not bad for 49% of about 50,000 words, while making highlights and notes along the way and catching typos too. I took a break at 1:00 and then a break at 3:00 and I haven’t gotten back to it yet.

I can tell from looking at the calendar that these times are right, and yet … it makes no sense to the rational part of my brain. The times don’t match up to my feelings of how long I spent reading.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a new thing. I should be used to it by now.

I should probably try to improve my perception of time but is that even possible?

Ah well. Getting back to it now! :)