Thursday, February 16, 2012
Update on Permission, Chapter Posting, & eReaders - and why not give "Monster" a try while you wait?
It seems there is a problem with the publisher who holds the copyright for Evangeline Walton's "Island of the Mighty," and since I can't publish my book without that permission, I will have to beg you to continue to be patient and not to lose interest. I found somebody to work on this problem for me, somebody with more pull certainly than I have. So something WILL give sooner or later.
In the meantime, I've decided to post a few more chapters here on this blog. I'll continue at the rate of two a week, with the next one due next Monday (watch the sidebar I added this morning). Since I posted the first chapters last Monday (today is Thursday), I've had 69 page views, so somebody's interested! I haven't had many comments, though, and I would welcome them. Also, if anybody spots a typo, a spelling error, an omitted or duplicated word, etc., feel free to tell me. It's not too late to fix errors! I have nobody to proofread my material and the author's eye often simply skips over such things.
An update on ebook publication: I checked with Smashwords and they say that symbols will come out only as "?" in their "meat grinder." However, before this is all over, I might still attempt a download with an edited text and see what happens.
Yesterday, I did try such a download on Kindle, which is much more forgiving in what it will accept. I put in a sample containing all the weird symbols that my conlangs require. They give you two options as to previewing, one called "simple" and one called "Enhanced Previewer." The symbols didn't work on the Simple Previewer, but the Enhanced sends the preview to the MobiPocket Reader and by golly! Everything was perfect! I was thrilled! Then it occurred to me I'd better load the Mobi version onto my Kindle. And woe! A lot of the symbols came out as D, M, 9, etc. But the musical notes showed up with no problem! Those of you who have read the initial chapters know how pervasive and important those are!
So I spent yesterday afternoon analyzing which symbols come through incorrectly, and I found that the only ones that won't print out are the ones I took from the Wingdings 3 list in the Symbols table (that Word drop-down feature represented by the omega icon on the toolbar). There is also a section of Arrows earlier in the list and those come out OK, but the arrows on the Wingdings display can't be used. So the vertical and horizontal arrows used in !Ka<tá are fine, but the slanted ones which indicate pitch don't work. For example, <( indicates a low-pitched whistle and <& indicates a high-pitched whistle. The symbols <↑ and <↓ indicate upward-sliding and downward-sliding pitch on the whistle and those work fine because they come from the Arrows list on the Symbols menu.
But unfortunately the links in the Shshi language all come from the Wingdings3 list. I'm working on finding substitutes to use in the ebooks -- either that, or omit them. Whatever I do, I will add an explanatory note at the beginning of the e-version.
All this is to say that I believe I will be able to publish "The Termite Queen" on Kindle, but it will take some editing. I will also have to get one more permission, since the holder of the e-rights for Robert Graves is a different publisher from the holder of the print rights. So don't expect to be able to purchase my book on Kindle soon, but I promise it will come.
In the meantime, I would encourage everybody who has read my sample chapters to give "MONSTER IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER" a try. I assure you, it's just as good a read as "TQ" and because it's shorter and more focused, it may be even more compelling! Get it in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon, or get it on Smashwords for many different e-readers. For anybody around the world in places where Amazon doesn't publish, go to the CreateSpace e-Store, which sells paperbacks globally. And enjoy!