Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Progress Report #6, End of Act One

It has been a busy week.

Last week I completed the video trailer for Containers 4 Death (see below or select), finished the conversion of Containers 4 Death into an ebook format, and completed the final InDesign layout for the trade paperback. The word doc was suitable for Smashwords and I loaded it on Mark Coker’s excellent site (here). I was selected for Premier status that allows the book to be distributed to the all the major ebook sellers (they do the distribution), but not Amazon. I then went to my author’s page on Amazon and loaded the new book into their system (using the .mobi format), it’s there and up and running (here).

The paperback (pdf format) went to my printer in LA, BurdgeCooper and Joe Silverman, my rep there, I expect a galley proof this week; it will be a Print On Demand (POD). The formal release is for mid-April. The one thing I learned from Land Swap 4 Death, was to get everything (or at least most everything) ready before going live. So, like a soft restaurant opening, I’m pulling things together to make sure the book is available when we say it will be.

I also completed the ebook construction of America’s Original GI Town, Park Forest, Illinois into a format for the Smashwords conversion. With 65 black and white images it was complicated. I’m sure there are houses out there that would do it for a price but, well, I like to do things for myself. So, I found out, after two hours in the Smashwords queue (I was 405 when I posted), it was too large, they have a max of 5.0 mb, my file was 8.5 mb. So I’m debating whether to reconvert the images to smaller sizes and resubmit, or try Amazon’s conversion site that says they can do up to 10 mgs. Maybe later this week, the trade paperback is on Amazon.

The novel Elk River’s first draft is done and I am grinding through the second or is it the tenth, I’ve lost count. I may drop a character or combine two of them. Not sure yet. The book is both literature and art; I will have ten original black and white sketches in the story. The setting is in the cherry country of Michigan in 1956, and the story involves a restless boy emerging from childhood, migrant workers, a family in crisis and a giant. I love the story, now to make it a great story.

The New Book
I have chosen a title for the newest Sharon O’Mara Chronicle, Toulouse 4 Death. And yes, it’s Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, and now you know one more, of the many reasons, it’s now the shorter Toulouse Lautrec. He died at 37 and it wasn’t from inhaling lead based paints, a lot of Paris free love had something to do with it, they say. I’m almost 18,000 words into the manuscript, and have completed the first act. The next chapter is four and starts a difficult transition with new characters and a twist. I guess the stolen Nazi art, stolen again while being unloaded at the San Francisco Fairmont, will have to wait. But, I’m sure Sharon will figure it out. So let’s see where we are: World War II, stolen masterpieces, a dwarf, a billionaire, San Francisco, Paris, Argentina, a half-ton of gold, and a redhead carrying a gun. More wine?

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