I’m looking for a new title for Sugar Shack. Two other books are for sale on Kindle right now with that title. I want my own original title. Even if its a song title;-) Right now it’s Embellishments (one of the characters sews embellished clothing) but that title just doesn’t pop for me.

Since “the Kindle novel” is about two sisters, I’ve come up with a few around that idea: A Sister Thing and My Pesky Mean Sister. Pesky Sister sounds too YA. A Sister Thing is just okay. I need help! Or at least I need to think about it some more.

Remember Blue Heaven? Book before Luke’s #1 Rule? Saw a book called Blue Heaven, it’s a murder mystery set in a town full of retired cops. Get it? Ahhh. What can you do? I will be really, really pissed if someone takes Luke’s #1 Rule. I really like that title. I really liked Sugar Shack, too. I could go way back and call it Sugar Shack Queen, but I don’t want to disappoint the gay brothers.

I have enlisted my daughters-in-law for help on the cover. They both have lots of art/photography experience and one is willing to be a model.  Mike’s doing his thing teaching me the HTML ropes. Please feel free, if you have a title idea, to email or leave in comments.

Learning Curve

What I learned from yesterday’s fiasco: Stress gives me a migraine. (I already knew that.) Sometimes it is best to drop a problem, watch a movie then get a good night’s sleep. (Knew that too.) Woke up feeling optimistic about fixing every issue with the Kindle upload, and without the urgent need to start working on it right away.

Here’s why: I started revising The Paris Notebook yesterday when I thought Sugar Shack had been added to Kindle with no problem. I finished half the book’s revisions my editor requested. I stopped at a point where I knew I had to add some pages, some depth, to my story. I figured I’d do that in the morning. I knew exactly what I needed to add and how to integrate it.

So, instead of jumping into the anxiety producing Kindle issue, I wrote a new scene, in longhand, in my notebook. It’s been a really long time since I generated a new scene for a story. It felt really good to do that, like I had reconnected to the reason I write.

After I finished that scene I decided to mix up my day, get some chores done early, and I’m probably going to read the rest of The Paris Notebook and edit as I go before I tackle the Kindle project again.

I know enough html to fix the paragraph indent problem. I can change the font in Word and add the cover image to the Word document. Really, that’s all I think I have to do. Well, that and preview.

Whatta Mess

I admit I’m not so skilled with html and so forth but I believed if I just took things slowly and went through all the steps in the process, nothing could go wrong uploading Sugar Shack to Kindle. Plus I could preview the book before publishing it. Except somehow I wasn’t able to preview it.  My first error probably occurred before then. Maybe when I converted the file to a web based filter? Choosing the wrong font? Missing extra spaces before tabs? Not including the cover image in the web file?

All of the above and then some, as I found out when I turned on my Kindle, typed in “sugar shack” and saw, among a few other novels titled Sugar Shack, my own book listed for sale. The one I had oh so carefully uploaded just a few hours earlier. I was a little put off by those other books with the same title. I should have checked that first. Except Sugar Shack really is the perfect title for my book. (And I’m not the only author who thinks so!)

But I was pretty excited to see it there anyway and quickly bought a copy. That’s when the real woe began. First I noticed there was no cover image. Then I saw that the spacing was a little off. Then the type looked funny. Too light with commas that were almost indecipherable from the periods. And I use a lot of commas. The worst though was all of those double tabbed paragraphs. My book looked horrible and would not, I am convinced, be a good Kindle reading experience.

I sat and stewed for a few minutes. I turned on the news and tried to focus on yet another story about the heat. I want to know what happened in Norway! I already know it’s hot outside in Michigan. I clicked off the news and went back to Kindle to see if I could unpublish my book. After a bit of clicking around, suddenly a page appeared with the words “unpublish this book.” I clicked it immediately. Then I kept checking to see if the title would disappear from my page. (I already have a book on Kindle, formatted by someone with much more skill at these things than myself).

It didn’t go away instantaneously, so I poured a glass of wine. Then I wrote this. Now I’m checking my Kindle again to see if Sugar Shack by Cynthia Harrison is still for sale. Hang on a sec. Crap. It’s still on there. I’m sure the unpublish function will kick in soon. Meanwhile, I’ve got a nice cold glass of chardonnay waiting. This too shall pass. And the incident in Norway today helps me keep my little mess in perspective.

Sugar Shack on Kindle. Almost.

Yesterday I finished my edits on Sugar Shack and today I did the manuscript formatting and other little things. I wanted to Preview my novel before it got published but somehow I was not able to do that. It is now “in process” which takes about 24 hours. I didn’t preview YWYS either and that came out okay, but this time I had to save the book as a Filtered Web Page and it did not look good on my screen. So I wanted to preview. We’ll see. Worst comes to worst I’ll have to figure out how to take it down and put it back up again.

I’m glad it’s done (fingers crossed) and now I am going to get straight to those Paris Notebook revisions. I’ll put up a link to the book when it goes “live.”