I'm not talking about the overall publishing experience, of course :), I'm talking about the whole loading of books into Amazon and Smashwords. It's rather exhausting.
Today I managed to upload totally the wrong book file on Smashwords and then had to rush around like a mad thing to make sure no one had a chance to download it. Thank heavens it wasn't Amazon or I'd have been shafted. Once you hit submit on Amazon there is nothing you can do until it's been reviewed and published, not even delete or unpublish it, which is really moronic.
Smashwords is better than Amazon. It's faster, easier, less intimidating and you can edit if you've ballsed it up. However, it does have a few hiccups.
- Today it told me the book had finished converting on one page and that it was still converting on my dashboard so I couldn't do anything with it.
- When that sorted itself out I unpublished it to fix it, then archived it just in case (yes I was being paranoid).
- Then when I wanted to put it back on my dashboard, I clicked the link, it vanished from archived books and failed to reappear on my dashboard.
- Luckily I had the email so I could go directly to the book page, at which point I did and downloaded the ePub to check it.
- Then I edited the book details.
- Then I clicked publish, which (thank heavens) made it appear on the dashboard again, however, apparently not yet published.
- So I clicked publish again and all seemed to be well, except it wouldn't let me assign an ISBN.
- That turned out to be a time delay I think and it eventually let me, after which I ran away from the site before I threw something through the screen.
Amazon was pretty straight forward after all that, but of course now the book is stuck in limbo until they deign to put it live. The images also seem to upload in a different time frame to the book now, which is just bizarre. Last time my books popped up without cover images for twenty four hours, which was annoying.
Of course Amazon also only let you do any posh formatting in the product description (by posh I mean bold or italic) from Author Central. If you've ever wondered why some book descriptions have extra formatting and some don't, that's why. Once an author has claimed their book in author central (US) they can edit the description and it will override what was put in in KDP bookshelf. I find this totally ridiculous, but, there you go. Why not allow bold and italic tags in the KDP form as well or give the authors the same little edit options as in author central? It would save so much time.
Smashwords also let you change the cover really quickly, which is great since I had a new cover for the other book in the series now that it has a friend :).
In case you're wondering, I will be doing a separate post for the new book once Amazon had loaded it properly.