Saturday, 12 January 2013

An update on my progress with FeedARead

The Only Genuine Jones (paperback) by Alex Roddie

I've been so busy with writing and reading since New Year that blogging and book promotion have suffered a little, but I promise to be better from now on! An important job I am keeping on top of is the production of OGJ's paperback edition. I thought I would write this brief post to bring you up to date with recent developments.

Readers will be aware that, well before Christmas, I began the process of turning my novel into a paperback.  The proof arrived in mid December and I spent a couple of weeks diligently reading through to check all was well before approving things with the printers.

Surprisingly, several errors had slipped through the net! I noticed a few minor spelling and grammar errors ("fi" instead of "if"--that sort of thing), a comma instead of a full stop, and (worst of all) a missing paragraph indent. A few readers had also emailed me to let me know about typos they had noticed in the digital edition. These issues may sound minor, but one of the major complaints readers have against indie authors is amateurish publication standards. For this reason I will not accept anything less than the most professional result possible.

It took a little time, but I carefully hunted down these errors and corrected them in my manuscript, then sent it back to FeedARead on about the 29th of December with a note explaining things.

I received an automated reply saying that nobody would be back at the office until the 6th of January! This threw me a little (as I am on a fairly tight timescale), but I figured I would still have enough time to get everything done.

Shortly after the 6th of January, FeedARead emailed back to thank me for the amended proof, and to inform me that the printers charge £29 for alterations at this late stage. I was aware of this alteration fee thanks to other authors who had used their service, but it is not actually made plain on their website; I do, however, think it's completely fair considering this is a print-on-demand service. The £29 is payable once the new version has been accepted by the printers, which can take several days.

I received a communication the day before yesterday saying that the new version has now been accepted and the book is ready. However, I was left with a dilemma: do I need to order another author copy to check this version, or can I just go ahead with production? I emailed them to ask what the team would advise, but have not yet received a reply.

At this stage I can still say that FeedARead are acting in a very professional manner and are replying to my emails helpfully and as promptly as can be expected. My anxiety is due to the ticking clock: I need to have a batch of books ready for the 27th of February, and ideally I would like to leave myself enough time to approve Amazon distribution as well (which can take up to six weeks!)

Ultimately I'm new to all this, and it's a learning process--next time things will be smoother, and to make things easier I will release the digital and paperback editions at the same time!

P.S. Now that The Only Genuine Jones is (hopefully!) typo-free, I have issued a second Kindle edition. I have also made a few other tweaks such as adding the "All events after July 24th 1896 are imaginary" advisory line before the story.
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