Monday, April 17, 2017

8th Night of Pesach!

Pesach or Passover ends at sunset tomorrow. Tonight's the last night. I stopped with the holiday's specific dietary restrictions on the 6th day, though. So, I guess I kind of ended the holiday early that way? The problem with that diet, especially following Ashkenazi (Jews that came from Germany and Eastern Europe) tradition, is it's difficult to keep up if you have digestive issues. For me, specifically, with the IBD or colitis. Even though I may be in remission, things still affect me. (What it might aggravate most now is the scarring left behind in my colon.) Anyways, my diet's restricted a bit normally because of this. Also, the change in food and some of the specific foods I don't eat normally messes with it. Especially if I do that for a while. I made it through most of the holiday, which is a plus. It's one of my fave holidays, too. I'll still try to finish most of the Pesach stuff that we have left. It just might take me a little while. Already finished quite a bit of it today. Although, I just noticed that I never touched the kosher for Pesach noodles. They're based on potato starch, and can seem sticky and somewhat gelatinous. (Especially if you cook it like a minute too long.) Sounds gross, but I love it, and was looking forward to having it. So, I don't know why I forgot about them...Just means I can enjoy them now.

I finished setting up the print version of Alliance on Amazon, and they published it on the 14th. I remember reading that it might take up to today for it to be available on their global marketplaces. I think even if people purchased a copy that day, they wouldn't get it until today. I don't think I get paid for it until they get it, either. So, we'll see how this goes. Here's the link to it: Alliance. It's a paperback. I think it might have been better if it was a hardcover book. The only the option they have is paperback at the moment. They might have more in the future, since it's still in beta.

It took a while to get the formatting just right, and I ended up using their template for it. A whole different mindset for everything compared to the ebook. You first have to decide the trim size. I thought the 6" x 9" would be best, and they said that was standard. Looking at other paperbacks in their catalog, they seem to be smaller than that though. I decided to have it as black ink and cream colored pages. I think that's easier on the eyes than white is. There was an option for color ink, but I didn't have any pics or colored text in it. It's also more expensive to do, and you have to add a bleed. With a bleed, it's formatted slightly different. 

The template made it so the document in Word was the trim size you specified. So, that was cool to see. The margins are different depending on how long the book is. Had a bit of difficulty, at first, with figuring out the headers. How to keep the title of a chapter in the header part of its pages, and not have it for the entire document that way. Once I figured it out, it kind of became mind numbing, because you have to add 'stops' and 'starts' for every single one. The other header, which had the title of the book, didn't change for the pages it was supposed to be on. (Either the odd or even page numbers, unless a chapter started on it.) That made it easier. Also, copy and pasting 20 chapters from the Word doc that had the ebook version, took a while. Had to change the text formatting almost every time...

I like how the full cover turned out. They had another template for that, as well. It went both by the trim size and the number of pages. It ended up being 300 pages. I remember reading that if it's 100 pages or less, there's no spine, which was interesting. I think their max is somewhere around 2000 pages. I highly doubt I would ever write something that big...Still with 300 pages, the spine looks rather thick. I used photoshop with the template. I already had the front cover done. The spine has a marbling effect, which looked like shadows of trees/leaves. The back is a distorted version of the whole pic that's used in the teardrop on the front. The pic, that I shot, is from a local reserve/park I went to a while ago. I thought it was a nice one. 

A major theme throughout is that nothing is as it seems. The front is kind of from the humans' (in the story) perspective, looking through the teardrop towards the demons' side. It looks much better than the darkened brick wall and ashen ground side. The spine is where the wall ends. The back is the actual demons' side. It's a distorted view. I used white font for the front and spine, and black for the font of the description on the back. Kind of on the idea of thinking things are just simple and white and black. This gives a deeper meaning than just seeing the front cover. 

The preview proof before publishing it was kind of fun to see. They have a 3-D version of the outside that you can twirl around. It looked thick. Also, it was good seeing the 'guts' as it would be physically. It actually costs to get a print (physical) proof copy for the author. So, after I sell some copies, I'll order that. It's kind of backwards this way, but I want it still. 

It was also tough deciding on a price. I didn't want it to be too expensive, and I didn't want to cheapen myself. The minimum amount I could do was close to $7.50. It apparently costs about $4.50 to make and ship it. The most I could charge was $250. That's waaay too much. So, with this stuff in mind, I looked at similar books on Amazon. Ones that were a similar size, were in the fantasy genre, similar length, etc. It looked like most of them were around $13 to $16. The ones that were in the 20s range had at least 400 pages. So, that would be too much. I ended up deciding on $14.99. Interestingly, many had an ending of .95 or .20. I just went with the mindset of what Smashwords would say in order to be included in many of its distributors' catalogs. Usually, most need to be .99. I don't know if it really matters this way or not, but it's one idea I kept. This makes the print version exactly $10 more than the ebook. I think that's reasonable. I worked out that I'll end up getting 30% of the sales as royalties. I'll still end up with about a $1 more than the ebook for each copy.

I've promoted/announced it in several places online. Partially, to share my happy news about it. I, just in case, decided to tell one of the closed ace groups on fb. I thought it would immediately be taken down, since they don't allow ads. But, it wasn't really an ad to me. Just good news. Anyways, many people liked it and asked for the link. When I gave it, many were interested in it. Saying they really liked the premise. So, yay! That might have worked in a surprising way. I'm still deciding if I should let some of the other groups know...People seemed to really like the back cover on Instagram, too. 

I also had a lot of sudden ideas for a sequel of Alliance. It struck me late at night recently. I couldn't just ignore it, and so many ideas were flooding into my head. I don't think I got everything, but it's most of it. I typed it out in Notes on my phone this time. I think if I had written it out, my hand might have hurt more afterwards. I'm definitely going to start that sequel soon. I might do something like a memoir at the same time. That's something that's been on my list for a while. We'll see.

Next, I'll start making a print version of Sweet Endless Terror. This will have to be a little different. For one thing, it's much shorter than Alliance. So, I'll use a smaller trim size. Not sure how much smaller. (It'll be interesting if I pick something that's half the size.) It has short stories instead of chapters. I suppose that wouldn't make much of a difference. Just the table of contents will be slightly different. It might be cheaper, too. Although, it's a horror anthology. Not sure if they tend to be more expensive or not. I'll have to look into that when I get to it.

We had one other person show up again at the local ace meeting on Saturday. At least, someone showed up. I'm happy about that fact on its own. Hopefully, more people will start coming to them. I think they're nervous about it. We made it to 14 members on the fb group! Yay! For so long it was at 9. Hopefully, with our numbers growing, more people will go. Another incentive, too. I don't think the cafe could accommodate if every member showed up. Although, there's hardly anyone there when we go. There's plenty of room in the back, too. It's kind of secluded back there. I also decided to have it end an hour before the cafe closes, so we could have somewhat of a social time if we want. 

I've also been thinking more about gender lately. To be honest, I never thought about how I actually felt about it. When someone tells me their gender, I automatically get who they are that way. I understand it, I guess. When it comes to myself...not so much. I don't think I've felt like many of the women I've been around throughout my life. I've also been apart of several women's groups in the past, so I've had some experience with that. Most of the time, I just feel nothing for it. I like to occasionally dress up, wear makeup, do my nails, etc. However, it's like fun and pretty decoration. I don't necessarily 'feel' like a woman with that stuff. And, most of the time, I don't feel like doing that stuff. So, I'm thinking I might be non-binary. There are a lot of different orientations within it. I might be genderfluid or agender. I'm leaning a lot more towards the latter, but I don't know...Agender means that the person doesn't experience (or doesn't have) a gender. There are subcategories within that. After watching some youtube vids about being agender, I've felt I can relate to a lot of it. It's a scary idea to me. Maybe more so than figuring out I was aro ace. A triple 'A' would be interesting. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just thinking too much about it, but then realize I didn't think much about it before. So, why not think a little about it? I also don't want to feel like I'm invading a space I don't belong. I don't really know if I am. Just questioning it, I guess. I might bring this stuff up at the next local trans meeting on Wednesday. I've just always thought of myself as an ally, and to bring something like this up is different. Although, I wanted so badly to just be straight, and I wasn't. So, maybe this is a similar thing. Who knows? I know one person that's non-binary there that might give some insight. I'm also nervous that since I don't feel much of anything about gender, that it'll make the people who actually are a certain gender feel like I'm somehow invalidating them. I'm so not trying to do that, though. It's just different for me personally.

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