Falling in Love

Kindle Paperwhite - Guenette photo

I have fallen madly in love with my new Kindle Paperwhite! Okay, I was more than ready for the plunge. Having been without an e-reader for several days, I may have been slightly desperate. But all kidding aside, this Paperwhite is truly the cat’s meow.

Let me tell you why. It has cured me of my extreme fear of touching an electronic screen. The ease with which I can manoeuvre through the functions is amazing. I was able to create collections and file almost all of my books in next to no time. That type of thing took forever with my old Kindle. Watch out Emma, Subway Surfer here I come.

But here is the real kicker. This new version has its own email address. I can send Word documents to my own Kindle via email and when I open them up they are almost perfectly formatted for reading. Wow! At first this may not seem like such a ground shaking thing but let me elaborate. While traveling, if I would like to review a manuscript, I can’t always whip my laptop out everywhere I go. But a jazzy-looking Kindle is ideal. It is truly no bigger than a small paperback and barely a quarter of an inch thick.

And there’s more! (Oh my goodness – I’m starting to sound like a late-night info commercial for Kinsu knifes.) I have discovered that reading on this new e-reader is the perfect way to do my final proofreading. Two weeks ago, my editor and I finished line-by-line edits for Maelstrom. I let it sit for a week, emailed the Word document over to the new Paperwhite and started doing my final proofread. I see things on the Kindle screen that I would never pick up on my laptop or even on a hardcopy. There is something about such a different way of looking at this material that makes typos, extra words and even little bits of strange spacing jump out at me.

I’m glad I live in a semi-isolated area. If I was spotted yesterday, strolling up and down my deck with my e-reader in hand, reading aloud, suffice to say observers may have thought I had lost my marbles. But no! I was proofreading. And why sit when one can be in motion?

I am now busy with formatting and looking forward to a fall publication date for Maelstrom.

Bear in the Mountain Ash - Guenette photo

I’ll leave you today with a photo I snapped from the deck last week when our drop-in bear decided to scoot his way up the Mountain Ash tree. As branches cracked and snapped around him, he merrily chomped away on the bright red berries. That is, until Bruce pitched a well-aimed rock at him, shouting all the while, “Get out of that tree you crazy bear.” We were both amazed at the easy leap said clumsy-looking bear took from that tree to the ground, ambling away as if he had not just suffered the indignity of being beaned by a rock in the hindquarters. Not even five minutes later, he was back harvesting salal berries right behind the kitchen. It takes a lot to deter a bear from eating at this time of year.

Bear behind the kitchen - Bruce Witzel photo

Reminds me of this photo I snapped of a squirrel right outside the back door. He was far more interested in eating than in running for safety. Getting a full belly is currently the prime directive in the animal world.

Squirrel - Guenette photo

The E-Proofs for “Disappearing in Plain Sight” Have Arrived

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I have officially left the limbo stage of waiting while  Disappearing in Plain Sight was with the layout team and have entered into my first round of formal revisions.

When the email arrived from Friesen Press two days ago, I could barely catch my breath. There was a link to a four page document of detailed instructions on how to manage revisions within an e-proof – a process that is somewhat picky to say the least. Following instructions, I waded through all of this before actually opening the three attached files – e-proofs for the hardcover book jacket, the soft cover, and the text of the actual book.

My first look at how the cover had turned out was a thrill. We printed it up in black and white, on plain paper. We fooled around with a couple of copies to get the size right and sort of tacked them together with scotch tape. We then wrapped this makeshift book jacket over a hard cover book of the right size. I think it was at that moment, looking at how neat even that crude effort seemed, that the whole thing hit me – Disappearing in Plain Sight is going to be a real book. Amazing!

Naturally, there are a few things I’ll want changed – that is what revision rounds are for. But all in all, the sight of that book cover sure made my day.

Working with revisions for the text portion of the book is a challenge. It has to be revised within the e-proof itself using the tools provided by Adobe. A bit of a learning curve for sure. Formatting changes are handled by a function called sticky notes. First click the sticky note icon, place 11252500-the-words-quick-fix-written-on-yellow-sticky-notes-representing-a-fast-solution-or-answer-to-an-urge[1]cursor where the note is to be located, click again and a text box will appear. Write instructions for the layout team in this text box.  Being clear about what I want is harder than I imagined. It would be so much easier to sit across the table with a real person and explain how I want things to look. But this is the process and I am making the best of it!

So – I’m coming up on a busy weekend. We’ll be stowing away all the Christmas stuff. We always try to wait for the twelve days of Christmas to go by before we take down the tree. I’ll be working on end of the year stuff for the business books and plunging into a slow and careful look through the e-proof for the dreaded typos, repeated words, extra words or missing words. Those little nagging errors that dog the self-published author who has to do this tedious work his or herself. Wish me luck!