A Man of Many Hats (And I Don’t Mean I’m an Improv Troupe)

Man, there are so many little details about getting a book finished and out, it’s no wonder my former publisher seemed incompetent.

On the other hand, they had a few more guys on staff who didn’t have to relearn the wheel every time, like I’m doing.

Honk Honk, My Darling: A Rex Koko, Private Clown Mystery is barreling down the track of e-publishment. It’s pretty exciting, and might even get here sooner if I weren’t such a doofus and actually read all the instructions, manuals and tutorials that are supposed to help me get it out there.

But barreling it is, thanks to the work of Airan Wright, who did the cover art (and also redesigned my webpages here). I don’t want to put the cover art up yet, but believe me, it is knockout. Or as my friend Jon Eig emailed, “Totally Kickass!” When Airan and I got together last month to talk about the cover of this and its sequel, The Wet Nose of Danger, it took us literally three minutes to agree on a look, feel and color palette. Fonts? Layout? Graphic elements? Check, check, check. Waitress, please, another zinzer torte!

So at least the look will be handled by professionals. The coding for Kindle and its brethren is going a little smoother, too. Honk Honk will be the fifth book I’ve formatted (did one for a friend gratis, though it may have been a little rudimentary). I haven’t really dug deep into coding, but it appears that’s not all that necessary for a straight-ahead fiction book. My copy editing skills from days gone by have come in handy (so has the OCD). My formats might be changed and improved in the future, since uploading new versions is really a snap. Doing it frequently would be a bad idea, though, if I want to keep readers happy.

In addition to this, I’m recording and editing the audiobook podcast for Honk Honk. Audacity is really a great program for it: Very intuitive, easy to undo mistakes and miscues, easy to save files. It DID crash on me when I tried to copy and insert a very big chunk of dialog I had been pasting together. But it wasn’t a catastrophic loss, and I learned (again) the value of saving files. The first episodes will be available shortly. It’s taking longer than I thought, but I’m doing 16 characters in all, which I’ve been editing together from separate audio tracks.

Now, the only things I have to figure out are how to set up merch from Cafe Press, how to promote the books online and arrange book reviews, how to create postcards for it, how to get physical copies made, and how to use social media to better promote me and my brand.

Well, I guess that’s what the afternoon is for.

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