Formatting Shadow of Stone for CreateSpace, & and an excerpt for #WIPpet Wedneday

The last couple of days, I’ve been spending most of my “writing” time putting together the PDF file of Shadow of Stone for the paperback version. I’ve been meaning to do this for much too long, but now with Christmas coming up, I really need to get it done. And the last couple of days before the craziness of Nano sets in seem to be a perfect opportunity.

The reason I keep putting off getting my books ready for paperback is all the work involved. Although I have to admit, Shadow of Stone ended up being a lot easier than Yseult, requiring maybe 10 hours of work, rather than 20 or 30 (I don’t really remember anymore, I just know it was a lot.) I also had to make a black and white version of the color map I have in the ebook:

Britain in ~500 AD

That was complicated by the fact that my ancient version of Photoshop decided to go on strike the first go ’round, refusing to save my changes and claiming I didn’t have enough RAM. Hmph. It did work on the second try after closing pretty much all my other programs — and my computer is not all that old or that wimpy. My version of Photoshop is a lot older. Moody software.

But for the actual formatting of the interior, I took a shortcut which helped a lot. Instead of starting from scratch with a doc file exported from Scrivener, I started with the version of Yseult already formatted for print and poured the chapters one by one into that file, replacing the text of Yseult. That had the big advantage that the chapter headers etc. were already formatted. It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself:

So since my last post, the only thing I’ve worked on is Shadow of Stone, which is not strictly a WIP. But since I did find a couple of random typos that had slipped past all my beta readers and the editor I hired and the extra editing passes I did myself, AND it happens to be what’s open on my desktop right now, it’s the book you’re going to get an excerpt from, dagnabbit! Here’s how my math works this time around: since we have 10-30-13, I’m splitting it up 103-013 and giving your 13 lines from page 103. In this scene, Arthur and his advisers have just suggested to Cador and Yseult that they wed for political reasons, to strengthen the kingdom of Dumnonia in southern Britain:

“Would you have any objections to such a match, Cador?” Arthur asked.
Only that it is what I have dreamt of since I started dreaming of such things. Only that if Yseult were my wife, she might no longer be my friend. Only that she has a lover who is also my friend. Only that having a dream so close within my reach scares me more than an army of Saxons on the other side of a valley.
“No,” he said. “The thought has crossed my mind that Kustennin would be the best choice as my heir – if it were possible. But I have no interest in pressuring Yseult into a marriage she does not want.”
“Think on it,” Arthur said, rolling up the map. “And now I suspect the two of you may want to discuss the idea alone. Myrddin, Modrun?”
The Queen of Gower turned to Yseult, practically ignoring Cador. “I cannot claim that my instinct is always right in these matters,” Modrun said. “But I suspect the two of you could be happy together.”
“Perhaps even happier than most,” Myrddin said with a smile.
With that, the Dux Bellorum and his advisors departed, leaving Cador and Yseult to their silence and their thoughts. His gaze caught on one of the ceremonial swords decorating the walls of the hall, a mosaic of bright stones in its hilt. As stunning and useless as Arthur’s suggestion. Yseult would never agree to marry him, he knew.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. 🙂

26 thoughts on “Formatting Shadow of Stone for CreateSpace, & and an excerpt for #WIPpet Wedneday”

  1. Yeah…that’s why I never really wanted to do self-publishing. It would just cause me a massive headache and so much frustration I might combust. For the excerpt, it’s highly amusing and sad, especially when there’s only interest on one side. (though we don’t know…there could be interest on the other side. We don’t know yet.)

    1. Yeah, well, I’ve had my experiences with traditional publishing (Yseult originally came out in translation with Random House Germany), and there’s a positive side to having to do all the work — having control. And, when it comes right down to it, getting a bigger slice of the pie. 🙂

      1. I actually have a ton of control over my stuff even though I have a publisher. It’s great. And I really do love my publisher. People keep saying they don’t have control with one and I’m like uhhhh… Guess I lucked out.

  2. I couldn’t self-publish, so kudos to you to having the know how to do it. For me, the smaller piece of pie is worth not having to figure it all out myself. I liked the excerpt and I wonder, too, how Yseult feels about the interest there, and how her lover might feel……. Nice job!

  3. Aww… Poor Cador. It would stink to have exactly what you wanted handed to you on a silver platter and know you couldn’t actually take it. Especially since you know someone you like has basically claimed it already.

  4. I hope that after it gets worse, perhaps it can get better. Yseult doesn’t seem to have much to say; maybe Cador is making assumptions, here….I hope so. I’m a big fan of love.

    It’s interesting to read these opinions about publishing. I am going to be giving it a try within the next few years when I have something ready), and I learn a lot from these conversations, in tiny little digestible bites.

    I’d like more of this!

  5. The map is gorgeous . . . even an old version of Photoshop is doing a fine job. The idea of pouring Book 2 into Book 1’s format is equally a neat shortcut (with graphics to show how well it worked). Very nice. The final plus was that excerpt for WIPet Wednesday. The characters come to life, the conflicts and uncertainties revealed, and I’m ready for Yseult’s reaction. Will she? Won’t she?

  6. Seems you are getting the hang of that lay out stuff! Glad it was less stressful this time around.

    Your WIPpet felt very bitter sweet to me. Really tugged my heartstrings.

  7. So glad to hear that things are easier this time around for Shadow of Stone. I guess it makes sense that the first time will have its challenges.

    I have to say I’m feel very sorry for Yseult here. I can imagine her, knowing how deeply she cares for and values the friendships she has, how hard it was for her to allow herself to feel love again after Dystan’s death, only to be advised to give up that love for another marriage of political convenience…. At least Cador does care about her and her feelings on the matter.

  8. I’m currently reading a trad published e-book (horror) which so far includes grammatical issues and spelling mistakes and has around five different fonts on random sections. The formatting is awful! Also, the words ‘had, was, that’ also predominate, much to my irritation. I wonder if the author, who must assume the publisher would take care of this, even knows? His story is a page turner and is allowing my to keep reading, but the publisher has let him down. At least doing it yourself you know exactly what your readers are getting when they click BUY.

    Don’t get me wrong, formatting sucks! Clever of you to use an old one as a template! 🙂

    As for the excerpt: Aw and ouch! Made me inhale and hold on, you know? 🙂 X

    1. Hee, that’s a nice reaction, Shah! 🙂

      That’s amazing about the trad-published e-book. You’d think they’d be able to get a professional to do the formatting and not put out garbage!

  9. I can commiserate over the ancient version of Photoshop. I think I have . . . 9??? At work I get to use CS somethingorother. Nice. Of course, my home tablet is a 8×10 and at work it’s a ginormous 12×18.

    Now that I’ve read Gawain & Ragnell, this excerpt has a little more meaning for me. I love how fluid your writing is. Well done again.

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