Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Dad's Birthday, Self-publishing with Smashwords

January 26 is my dad's birthday. I always think of him on this day. The weather on or around his birthday was almost always not so nice.( Even in Florida! Yes, don't let the Florida Chamber of Commerce fool you, there are cold days and rainy days during the Florida winter.) He is pictured here with his first grandchild, Staci, who is now a mother of a college-age student.

Time passes so quickly. I lost my dad when I was 28 years old. I didn't think I would ever get through that first year without him. The deep grief that gripped my life that first year has been replaced by good memories and stories about him when the family gets together. He still lives in our hearts.

Dad was an undertaker, yes, a funeral director. He loved people. He didn't care if they had nothing or lived in a mansion. He was always good to every one of the people in our small town. He taught me to treat every person with respect and appreciate the small things in life like the intricate snowflakes or spider webs. He was a brilliant piano player and could play anything by ear, never needing to look at a sheet of music. And he was a night owl. But being in the funeral business he was on-call 24 hours a day and a lot of the calls were in the middle of the dark Illinois nights. 

You can probably understand then when I tell you I am writing my third mystery, and it will take place in a funeral home. Yes, really! Of course the family who runs that funeral home will have the same attention to detail and caring that were so important to my dad. 

I thought it would be easy to write because I know the characters so well.  I don't know if it's because it is my third book or because the subject is so close to me that I'm having a difficult time putting the story together. It's not writer's block, it's just my own tendency to get the words right the first time and this is an especially close-to-my-heart project. Stay tuned!

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I recently updated a previous version of my non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed! so I easily uploaded the revised manuscript and new book cover to Amazon and it went live the next day. I dreaded loading it on Smashwords because of my first experience with them. They are picky! LOL..I like that though. If there are problems, they tell you so you can fix them and put up the best e-book you can for your readers. Originally I had to upload my book about 19 times in order for them to allow it to be distributed to all their outlets like Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Sony. So you can understand how I dreaded the possible hassle ahead with uploading the recent files. 

Image on the cover by
After uploading the new file, I checked it in the free e-reader for e-pub formats and found a couple of errors. It's so much easier to find them when you actually see them as an e-book on the Adobe Digital Editions instead of a Word file for some reason. So I quickly fixed those errors and re-submitted. The file was okayed to be put up on the Smashwords site and was fast-tracked to be checked for re-placing the e-book in the Premium Catalog for their distributors. Hallelujah! It was included in the catalog in only four days with no notes about any problems. 

So can you picture me jumping in the air like the happy jumping girl on the new cover of my book? Yes, I was a happy girl too when the e-book passed the muster for the premium catalog! Now I'm ready to get this revised book into the hands of girls to inspire them to dream big.


Unknown said...

That is just great Janet or should I say JQRose? I love the new cover and I think girls will be attracted to it too! I am happy for you. You work so hard. I am not sure about reading the funeral home book. Is it going to be a mystery too? Helen

Leona~Author said...

Hi Janet, I lost my dad when I was 28 also. I have so many good memories of him.

I'm afraid the smmashwords instructions scared me away. So glad Lea handled my book.

Good luck with your next book. I sounds like it will be a good one.


Anonymous said...

Your Dad sounds like he was a lovely guy, JQ. You've really painted a vivid picture of him. I struggled, too, with my third novel. I hope the words start to flow for you more easily. Good luck, and I can't wait to read it!

Miss Mae said...

Congrats on getting the book through Smashwords and yes, they ARE picky! Your cover looks great and fitting for the story. :)

Love your tribute to your dad, and I have to ask... did you ever help him work on the bodies? That'd, weirdly cool to read about that in one of your books. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Helen. Glad you like the cover. Yes, the new book will be a mystery, romance,and have a shadow man (ghost) so it's paranormal too. Psst--not a scary ghost!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Leona, Smashwords is pretty daunting, but the guide by Mark Coker really helps. Hope you're staying warm in IL. My girlfriend in Mt Zion said it was warmer at the North Pole than it was at her farm!

J.Q. Rose said...

Helena, you know there is a special relationship between fathers and daughters and I was the only girl in our family. Two older brothers and yes, I was spoiled..LOL..I just bought an e book by K. Weiland about outlining. I'm going to try doing a more extensive outline per her method to help me put the pieces together on this book. Good to know others struggle with book #3.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks MM, knowing you are an artist, I truly appreciate you telling me you think thecover looks great! Thanks! Ummm, no never allowed in the preparation room when I was a kid and as I got older the more I knew I didn't want to go in there either! Weirdly cool.,LOL Not sure everyone would appreciate reading about it but hey you did give me an idea!!

Kim Van Sickler said...

The whole e-publishing world is still foreign to me, but I like reading about it. Navigating Smashwords sounds like a project but worth it. Congrats. Wonderful remembrance of your dad.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Kim, Yes, e-publishing is something you just have to jump into and experience it for yourself. There are lots of people available to help you if you have questions and tons of books written on it. You're wise to read about it and glean lots of info before you try it. I'm no expert, but if you are curious about something, I'd be happy to try and share what I've learned so far. Thanks for stopping in.

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