The Manuscript Battle scott biddulph two drops of ink

The Manuscript Battle

I just finished one of the most irritating undertakings I have done in quite a while–the editing of a manuscript for publishing. First, let me say the Microsoft Word 2010 is a real bitch to work with! With both eBook and digital printing formats, Word 2010 tends to have little, hidden issues. Things like embedded fonts and hidden bookmarks and blah, blah, blah, that will drive you nuts.

Self-Publishing

I published my first book “Apples of Gold” with Word 2007 (I think…who knows…I know it wasn’t 2003…oh well–whatever) and it was a breeze as I remember it. Hell, I had the manuscript formatted for an eBook in about two days and–BOOM–I was done.
I had submitted my finished manuscript for Voices from the Heart. Unfortunately, it was rejected from the smashwords.com “premium catalog.” What does that mean? Well, it means your book will not show up in the major eBook retail sites and catalogs: Barnes & Noble, Sony, iTunes, Kobo, Diesel, etc. Now, smashwords.com gets a fantastic amount of exposure; however, as an indie author, you want your book in the premium catalog for sure. So, back to my story, I set out to get the job done.

Editing the Manuscript

I had gone through a rather tough time this last month. I had some personal issues that basically vanquished my creative abilities for about three weeks. Nothing like exposure to neurotic assholes for a week or so to wreck your ability to think logically. When that garbage was all over, and the shit quit hitting the fan, I finally got to work.
When your formatting an eBook, create a table of contents that hyperlinks to the chapters in the book. This is not mandatory but highly recommended for a really professional eBook. I received a message from the review team at smashwords.com that my T.O.C. hyperlinks were not working properly. Also, I overdid my chapter dividers (I had used Word’s solid line template). Both of these issues were an easy fix, or so I thought, and so I began to edit the documents.
I quickly realized, I could not remove the embedded solid line from my page, not that it can’t be done, but that I–me–could not do it. I finally decided the best option for me was to copy and paste the entire eBook into a new Word document and get rid of the solid lines that way *laughing*. That worked. Now, if you’re out there reading this and you’re saying something like: “Good grief Scott, all you had to do was…” then all I can say is “#$%^^&&.”
So, I began the process of hyperlinking the T.O.C. to the different chapters. This is also a fairly easy process normally–not this time! It seems there were some hidden bookmarks and no matter how many times I deleted them, they would not go away. I finally decided to call a psychic friend of mine to perform an exorcism of the document–not really but it sounded good. In the end, I  the hyperlinks work and the manuscript is submitted. I wonder what it’s like to be Stephen King, or some other author, who pays to get these things done.

My Finished Product

Having said all that, I am proud to announce that my second eBook, Voices from the Heart. It is now available at smashwords.com. I am proud of the poems and stories in this book. The book has some of my previously published stories and poems but is also full of new stories and poems as well (about 10,000 words worth). All of these stories and poems, although mostly complete fiction, are based on true stories or real life experiences–both my own experiences and other people I have known in my life. I set the price at $1.49 with the hope that the book would be available to as many people as possible at any income level.
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