Today I was forcibly reminded of why people used to like my user manuals [back when I was a tech. writer]. Because I always managed to get things wrong when learning a new software program, I always assumed that anyone prepared to read a user manual would be the same, only a little less sanguine about making mistakes [after all they had paid for that piece of software, I hadn’t].
Sadly, my enormous capacity to make mistakes is not quite so welcome now that I’m trying to publish my first ebook. The only silver lining I can see is that, if I ever get all this sorted, I’ll have a lot of material for a post on how to use StoryBox to produce a Kindle-ready ebook.
Not that any of this is StoryBox’s fault. Nope. The fault lies with Word’s Track Changes, and my own ignorance of how this useful feature actually works. 😦 For example, I worked out how to delete my editor’s comments, but I had no idea I was supposed to click accept, or reject, for each small change she made to the manuscript. The kind of changes I’m talking about are little things, like adding commas. I grew up in an era when we didn’t put commas before ‘and’ and ‘but’ so there were a lot of commas required. Another thing I did not know was that turning Track Changes off does not in fact, turn the feature off, it only hides it.
So, after doing all the final edits, I thought my MS was ready to be imported back into StoryBox as an .rft [rich text format] file. Imagine my horror when I fire up StoryBox, import my MS and find a million commas underlined!
Before I go any further I should explain why I need to import the MS back to StoryBox in the first place. Okay, so I wrote the story in StoryBox because it’s a great tool for the actual writing part of things. Then, when it was time to edit the MS, I had to export the file to Word so my editor and I could use the Track Changes feature.
So far so good. The problem, however, is that I want to publish my MS on the Kindle, and it just so happens StoryBox has a wonderful feature that allows me to export my MS as a .mobi file with ease [.mobi is needed for the Kindle]. However to do that, I have to first re-import the edited file back into StoryBox. The only other alternative would be to duplicate all those edits in the original StoryBox file. Hah. Not bloody likely.
To cut a long, sad story short, I’ve wasted most of today learning from my mistakes. Tomorrow I will cross all my fingers and toes while I import the ‘clean’ MS back into StoryBox. If all goes well, I will then be ready to work out the next step, which is the ISBN. -sigh- And some time after that I will have to face the pitfalls of creating a cover image for the book… [Insert sounds of disgust and frustration.]
As many of you know I’m normally a glass-half full type of person. I’m hardwired to see the good in any situation, but I have to be honest and say that, just at the moment, my silver lining is looking a little tarnished. I really, really think it’s time for some mindless fun, so mmo, here I come!
Meeka signing out.