28 May 2011

Smashwords is Anti-Serial

Yesterday I happily uploaded chapter two of my serial novel, Aeryn Daring and the Scientific Detective (written under the pen name Calliope Strange), to Smashwords. This morning, I learned that Smashwords doesn't allow serials.

Here's the relevant passage from the Terms of Service:
9d. You further warrant the book represents a complete work:
• this is not a work-in-progress;
• the uploaded file is not a partial sample or sample chapter, or is not a collection of sample chapters
• the uploaded book represents a complete story with a beginning, middle and end;not a short serial
I suppose I can understand why; they don't want unhappy customers who've bought a chapter or two of something, only to find that the rest of the work never appears. On the other hand, serials have a long history and it seems a shame not to allow them to flourish. The age of ebooks seems perfect for the serial: bite-sized bits of fiction to read on the morning commute, which over time add up to a complete work.

I'm also publishing this book on Kindle, but I haven't found any similar restrictions in their Content Guidelines, so unless they tell me I can't do it, I'll keep posting them there.

So what now? I'm glad I can keep publishing on Kindle, but I want the chapters to be available on other platforms, too. But I've got a few ideas. First, I can publish each chapter on my own website (once my website has actually got some substance), as well as selling the printed version on Etsy and ArtFire (and on the website). Or I can find an online publication that might want to publish it as a serial. Then, once the whole work has appeared, I can publish the whole book on Smashwords, Kindle, and wherever else (plus a POD print version).

So here's my To Do lost for Aeryn:
  • get website up
  • add individual chapters in various formats for purchase via PayPal
  • format and print cheapo print versions
  • print deluxe versions, complete with letterpress covers and colour insert
Any suggestions are welcome, too.

22 May 2011

New Cover

It's not Wednesday, but I'm going to write about writing anyway, because this is now finished:

It's the cover for my YA/middle grade urban fantasy short novel The Coming of the Fairies. The eBook version will be out very soon--just a couple of small tweaks to the manuscript and some front and back matter to add. The print version will be a little longer--aside from an entirely different format, it needs a back cover and spine, plus the ISBN application has yet to be sent in because the web page isn't finished and I need somewhere to send the ISBN folks when I apply.

But, yay! This one's almost out of my hands in into the world.

13 May 2011

Something I'm Working On

Just a little sneak-peek of something in progress. If you go to the Wayzgoose tomorrow, you might get to see something more finished. If I get it more finished by then . . .

10 May 2011

Letterpress: Wayzgoose and Sea Things

If you're in Halifax this coming Saturday, how about stopping by the Dawson Printshop (right at the end of Granville Street, in the N block of the NSCAD campus) for our Wayzgoose?

There will be food, possibly music, presses running so you can try your hand at printing a souvenir, and lots of cool stuff for sale, including our brand-new limited edition printing press posters.

I'll also be selling some of my letterpress stuff there, including the finished sea things cards:

Nautilus above, and octopus below.

All of them are hand-letterpress printed (from polymer plates made from my own drawings), then hand-watercoloured.

Sea anemone above, sea jelly below.

I'll also be adding these to my Etsy shop shortly (unless the unlikely happens and I sell out this weekend).

09 May 2011

Foggy Porcupine

For those of you curious about what's going on at the homestead, here are a couple of fairly recent photographs.

First, around mid-April, our resident porcupine decided to take a wander through our yard to nibble on some of the new plants.

You can see that even just a couple of weeks ago, the grass was quite brown (though the coltsfoot was busy popping up its yellow dandelion-like flowers). A more recent photograph, from last week, shows how things are greening up around here.

They're even more green now. Pretty soon, the maples will have dropped their flowers and come out in full leaf. The buds are just about ready to burst now.

06 May 2011

Morgan in Ferryland

Just a quick post to show you something I'm working on (I know, I still haven't posted the final sea things cards images). It's an image for the cover of my YA/middle grade novel The Coming of the Fairies (bonus points if you know where I swiped the title from).

(Even more bonus points if you know who was in the photo I used as a reference for Morgan). (Yet more if you know what camera that is.) Anyway, just inks so far. I drew it in pencil, then traced onto vellum to get a clean image, inked with technical pen and brush/india ink, then scanned and adjusted the levels. I still have a bit of touch-up to do on the linework, then I'll start colouring.

I plan to try digital colouring, but if it's a disaster, I'll re-draw on watercolour paper and go analogue.

04 May 2011

Writing Wednesday: Sharper Pearls

So yeah, I didn't quite get around to posting the final sea things cards update, but I'll get to it soon. I also have some pictures of our resident porcupine wandering around in the front yard to share. But it's Wednesday, so it's writing update time.

I got my story "Sharper and More Fragrant" added to Smashwords and Kindle (it's up now at Smashwords, from whence it will be distributed to various other venues; the Kindle version should be live in the next day or so). This is the story that eventually led to the novel I'm back at work on, formerly known as "White Foxes, Full Moon" (which title I'm now using solely for the short story that I later expanded into the first third of the book), and which is now probably going to be called Reindeer Girl, Fox Woman. Maybe.

I also formatted and posted "Cobbleshore Knit" but it's still in conversion. It should be completed by later today at Smashwords, and in a day or two on Kindle. "Cobbleshore Knit" was originally written with a completely new character, but I re-wrote parts of it once I realized the drowning man was actually Torin Danickson, the young man who captured the selkie girl in "Sealskin." It's a standalone story (at least I hope it is), but obviously connected.

And that puts me nearly halfway through the stories that make up the Frisland cycle. Unless I write more. I'm trying now to complete a half-written story that connects "Hollow Bones"/"Remembering to Fly" with "Great Skerry" (and also, in a background sort of way, to "Fox Point Dragon").

Phew. Sorry about all those titles all at once.

In non-Cobbleshore news, but still in Frisland, I should soon have the second part of Aeryn Daring and the Scientific Detective written (under the pen-name Calliope Strange). The cover is nearly done, too, largely because it's the same as the cover of chapter one, but in a different colour with a different flying machine image. I'm lagging a bit on the printed versions, as they require an entirely different sort of formatting, and also because I want to include an image in each chapter that will be full-colour in the deluxe (letterpress-printed cover) version and greyscale in the cheapo (photocopied cover) version. And I have yet to draw them.

And in completely non-Frislandish news, I have a new story in my head called "A Pearl Beyond Price." It's a fairytale thing with sentient dolls (creepy), weird sex (really creepy), and possibly incest (really, really creepy). All the creepiness means it gets to be by Nic Silver, instead of by Niko Silvester, because despite the fact that Nic and Niko are both me, Niko writes nice things and Nic writes weird shit. Nic Silver also wrote Brother Thomas's Angel.