Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CHOKE is an ebook! (soon)

It's not quite done with the processing yet, but it's on the page at Amazon for Kindle! Also at Smashwords, since I put it there first. I'm putting it on PubIt for Barnes and Noble Nook, too, but there's a glitch at the moment. OK it's due to user error.
I was tooling along, talking on the phone and uploading and pasting stuff, thinking how good at multi-tasking I'm getting. After all, I had just put the ebook onto two other sites, this was the third one. I knew what I was doing.

Oops. I loaded it up with the wrong last name for the author. Doh. And some other bad words.

Now I have to wait for it to finish processing (maybe 3 days) before I can change it. Some of you may know that my actual last name is not George, but Egner. (See why I have a pen name? Have you ever heard of that name?) I typed that name for the author! There's no button to edit my book until it's finished with it's grinding away.

It's not clear to me if this is a totally automated event, or if there are humans involved. I'm thinking the former, but if that's true you wouldn't thing it would take that long. Whatever.

It's like that email that you send--then, as it's disappearing, the words flash in front of you and they're not the words you intended. Come back, email, come back! Too late. Gone forever. At least this mistake will be fixable.

I wasn't going to put CHOKE up as an ebook quite yet, but I've gotten so many requests, I decided to start the process. And--to be honest--it might be another week before it's completely finished. Smashwords is waiting for approval for premium status so it can be distributed everywhere. Kindle is waiting for publishing to be complete. And Barnes and Noble, when the processing is done, will need to be fixed. So none of them are complete. I'm not sure if you can purchase them yet on any of these sites.

So much for multi-tasking. Next time I load a book onto an online sales site, I'll hang up the phone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Online tools for writers

I can't remember if I've blogged about this before or not. But even if I have, these could all bear repeating. I'd like to list some of the tools I use when I'm writing.
#1 Spreadsheets
I like to list my characters across the top and the main events down the left side. I then freeze those columns so I can always see them because this spreadsheet gets big. I can glance at the little rectangles and see if I've been neglecting a character longer than I want to. Sometimes I put the main plot points down at the beginning (if I know them, and I do try to know them), then fill in the blanks between them.

This is a nifty free download. You don't need this, I'm told, if you have a Mac because this feature comes built in. But for those of us with PCs, this gives us a way to hear our own words without reading them ourselves. I cut and paste a chapter or so into the program, kick it off, then go back to the document itself. When I come to an egregious error (yes, this happens!), I pause the reader and fix my manuscript, then continue. I find lots of little typos and repeated words that I would never in a million years find any other way.

There's also a, but that just counts words and most programs do that already., though, will tell you which words you're repeating too much. I hate it when I see "little" listed 7 times in 6 pages. That happens, too!

Do you have any tools you like?

Spreadsheet by Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon
Readplease logo is a registered trademark
Wordcounter logo appears on their page

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Travel, taken to the extreme, I'm afraid

All I did in April was travel! I'm taking the title of this blog a little too seriously. All fun stuff--very fun stuff--but I came home exhausted and with a cold that has now nicely settled into bronchitis, complete with my usual horrid sounding cough.

The cough is temporary, the memories of my trips are forever. My first trip was Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe. I managed to deliver a blog to you on that one (

I made a quick trip to Chicago to see my niece's new baby (a belated trip because I hadn't seen his older brother yet!) I don't post family or children pictures here, but you can be assured the babies are over-the-top precious.

Next, Malice Domestic, held in Bethesda this year. I owe you a report on that one, in fact I may be the last attendee to blog on it. I've read many nice renditions of the convention, but, of course, I have my own pictures. :)

I attended this conference as a completed published author, with my novel in the book dealer room and everything! I can't describe the thrill. People I don't even know bought it. Amazing! The new Guppy anthology, FISH TALES, was also for sale and I must have autographed my story (page 121) 15-20 times, also for complete strangers in some cases. More amazing!

Here are some scenes taken by others:

The table for our anthology publisher, Wildside Press

A fun dinner a few blocks away at Guapo's

Some Guppy friends pre-banquet

(I wish I could figure out how to wrap text around these!)
Elizabeth Zelvin, second from the left in the pre-banquet picture took that one, but I've lost track of who took the other two.

I took the ones below, hence the lesser quality.

The Best First panel: Avery Aames (who won!), Laura Alden, Amanda Flower, Sasscer Hill, and honorary Guppy Alan Orloff (the Guppies swept this category--after we added Alan)

The Best Novel panel: Nancy Pickard, Louise Penney (winner), moderator Harriet Sackler, Hank Phillippi ryan, Heather Webber, and Donna Andrews.

The California group, Men of Mystery, with Guppy Tammy Kaehler co-presenter, on the right.

Maggie Toussaint and me on our panel about family in mysteries.

The rest of the panel, Kris Neri, Kay Finch, and moderator Joan Boswell. The lights weren't working the the floor lamps that the hotel crew brought in added an air of, well, hominess? Pretty funny.

Sandra Parshall moderating Tales with Tails.

Verena Rose moderating the guests of honor, Sue Grafton, Carole Nelson Douglas, and Donna Andrews.

After Malice, I spend a few days with my daughter's family and their baby ran a little temp, his first (he's eight months old). I got to go to the doctor with them, and brought home a souvenir cold. Totally worth it, though!