Well, as finished as a book ever can be while the author is still alive. What I mean by that is that I am sure I will find some fault with it and go back and start messing around just like George Lucas (only with better results I hope).
I have submitted the book to Amazon for publication on the Kindle platform, the release date is scheduled for 30 April. It looks good from what I can see at the moment. I have trialed the manuscript on other e-readers but I don’t have a Kindle, just the application.
Today most of my time has been spent on formatting the manuscript for a paperback version through CreateSpace. I hate this process. Although I applaud CreateSpace for giving writers like me this opportunity to see my work in a physical format the rings that you have to jump through to get to the end product are very frustrating. I am sure that I do not help the process myself but there has to be an easier way of doing things.
I downloaded their template for Word, used its page properties to alter the margins and layout of a version of the manuscript that I had saved for this very purpose, never use the original – only copies! I changed all the margins, gutter, etc., to match those in the template, uploaded the file and it came back with 2 warnings; both about the gutter on my table of contents page. Despite altering the settings in excess of the stated minimum I still keep getting the same end result.
Yes, it is frustrating. Eventually you feel like just ignoring the warning but then you run the risk of a customer buying a less than perfect example of your work and that is not something that I really want to happen. Of course I could pay CreateSpace to do it for me but their starting price is somewhere in the region of $199 and I don’t have that much disposable income.
I know that I will get it sorted, I did so in respect of my 2 previous novels, The War Wolf, and For Rapture of Ravens. It is just all the trial and error that becomes exasperating. Do I sound like I am whinging? I do not mean to whinge, but you see all this hassle does not stop at the manuscript, nope, it continues and increases with designing the cover.
Now not every writer wants to design their own covers but I do. I like the process and it feels like a part of the whole project to me. I am lucky, I can draw and manipulate digital images. For Eugenica I have created a whole graphical feel for the book that extends beyond the written word itself. I find this both rewarding and inspiring. It gives more depth to the world that I have created. Unfortunately the cover creator is even less friendly than the manuscript format program.
Part of the problem is that even though you upload your manuscript first and the program works out how big your book is going to be very little information is given to you about the overall dimensions in the online cover creator. It is all trial and error again. There are some templates that you can use if you wish but, once again, I just like to do things my own way. I know, I am probably making a rod for my own back. In fact I know that I am. That is just me, however, I am obsessed with being involved in so much of my own work.
The silver lining is, however, that all of that work is about to see the light of day. The book will be published, readers can purchase it in 2 formats, and I am going to get a short break from eugenics, just so that I can go back to 1066 and finish off the Sorrow Song Trilogy with an account of the Battle of Hastings!