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Author Topic: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1  (Read 848 times)  

Offline Bria Quinlan

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Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« on: August 12, 2011, 07:00:41 AM »
If you stopped by my "uh-oh" thread you'll have seen the joy that is not know you don't have the updated version of your formated book.... the person who fixed it did a great job, but I didn't know what I had back wasn't the latest version. I found one typo and changed it....and uploaded a reallllly old format that was a mess.

So, I learned: Always make sure you have the latest format. Always make sure it's labeled "final" or "kindle" or something easy to find and grab. Always make sure that updates are done in only one place.

I'm working on learning to format on my own for my book this winter, but this was a good lesson...and I've learned a TON doing this first book.

What are your biggest lessons from book 1?

~Caitie~

Offline David 'Half-Orc' Dalglish

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 07:05:27 AM »
Get someone else to edit the dang thing.
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Offline Lisa Scott

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2011, 07:07:34 AM »
Get someone else to edit the dang thing.

Oh yes.  This. 

Offline JRLeckman

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2011, 07:09:41 AM »
Just got my 1st book back from the editor. I second having someone else edit the dang thing. Marks all over.
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Offline Judi Coltman

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 07:11:39 AM »
Ditto to the above!  I have a content editor and my anal eyed engineer minded spouse who is a format editor.  I dread their fine filters but they are always right.
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Offline Krista D. Ball

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 07:12:50 AM »
Get someone else to edit the dang thing.

 :D :D :D :D

My first title was published with a publisher and my experience is actually like David's. I learned how to work with an editor and what professional editors actually looked for.

I find the lessons I learned in that round really pushed my own growth as an author. I can self-edit significantly better than I could before because someone had pointed out my trouble areas.

For me, editing isn't just about improving the story so that it's the best you can make it. Editing is also about stretching and growing as an author.

Krista D. Ball

Offline Courtney Milan

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 07:31:11 AM »
If you stopped by my "uh-oh" thread you'll have seen the joy that is not know you don't have the updated version of your formated book.... the person who fixed it did a great job, but I didn't know what I had back wasn't the latest version. I found one typo and changed it....and uploaded a reallllly old format that was a mess.

So, I learned: Always make sure you have the latest format. Always make sure it's labeled "final" or "kindle" or something easy to find and grab. Always make sure that updates are done in only one place.
The "final" or "kindle" label won't help if you end up fixing things after the fact, like you did here. You could end up with 4 versions that say "final" and "no, really, this one's final" and so forth.

My solution:

1. When you're uploading and making changes, sort by date modified, and make sure that the date modified matches.
2. In the file folder where you have all your formats, keep a file that says "LAST CHANGED." When you make a change to your file, modify the "LAST CHANGED" so that it reflects the last thing you changed.
3. Everytime you are about to modify a file, make sure that you're modifying the latest version by making sure the last thing you changed is in there. Every time you upload a file, use the preview feature to find that last thing that you changed. That way you KNOW you're uploading the latest version.

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Offline Bria Quinlan

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 08:10:35 AM »
LOL It's worse than that... I didn't even HAVE the updated version because the person who formated didn't mail me the newest version. 

So you're saying you keep old versions if all that's changed is the formating?

Offline Courtney Milan

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 09:11:30 AM »
LOL It's worse than that... I didn't even HAVE the updated version because the person who formated didn't mail me the newest version. 

So you're saying you keep old versions if all that's changed is the formating?
Once I've made my first production version, I NEVER overwrite a file. NEVER. Hard drive space is cheap, and you never know what horror might happen.

I name my files like this:

"Unlocked-kindle-production-5.31.2011.354pm.html"

And I never name anything as "final." No such thing as final in e-books; even if the book is 100% error free, I'm going to be uploading a new version everytime I upload a new book so that I can update the "also by Courtney Milan" section at the end, to increase cross-selling.

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Offline Bria Quinlan

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 09:23:31 AM »
Ok, that makes perfect sense to me.

Add that to the things I learned during book 1.

Offline scl

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 11:42:51 AM »
I use a version control system (bazaar since I'm on Linux.)  Every time I make a significant change to one of my source files I commit the changes.   That way I can go back and get any old versions that I need later.  I have version control for the .opf, .ncx, .html, and a readme with the kindlegen command line I use to make the .mobi file I send to Amazon.   I need to set up something similar for epub.  So far I've only done kindle versions as I want to check my files on the actual ereader device and the only one I have is a Kindle 3. 

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Offline Courtney Milan

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 11:48:52 AM »
I use a version control system (bazaar since I'm on Linux.)  Every time I make a significant change to one of my source files I commit the changes.   That way I can go back and get any old versions that I need later.  I have version control for the .opf, .ncx, .html, and a readme with the kindlegen command line I use to make the .mobi file I send to Amazon.   I need to set up something similar for epub.  So far I've only done kindle versions as I want to check my files on the actual ereader device and the only one I have is a Kindle 3. 
Oh, see. I should have thought of that.

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Offline dalya

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Re: Everything I Know I Learned From Book 1
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 12:18:42 PM »
I agree, never name your file "FINAL" or you'll end up with final3 final4 etc.

I always put a date.  Actually, for older versions I'll convert them to PDFs so I'm less likely to open them by mistake because the icon is different.

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