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Old 06-19-2011, 06:06 AM   #1
silviolorusso
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Self-publishing workflow

Hello,

I'm doing a research on how optimize the publishing workflow, from the writing, to various conversions and then to publishing.

I'd like to ask you to describe your workflow, specifing softwares, formats, publishing platforms, kind of license.

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
Harper Kingsley
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If I'm getting this right:

I use LibreOffice (used to use OpenOffice, and before that Microsoft Word.) So I write as .odt, then save a copy as .doc for Smashwords, or as .html for Amazon. I use Mobicreator to make a .prc so I can send it right to Amazon. I use Calibre to turn the .prc into an .epub so I can post on Goodreads.

I try to write 8400 words a day for 20 days, then spend 10 days editing a previous project.

I write out kind of an outline of what I'm working on--characters, what I expect to have happen, etc. For some stories I just go with the flow and write from that, for others I write out a chapter-by-chapter, sometimes scene-by-scene breakdown of what's going to take place.

So far I've been publishing on Amazon and Smashwords. I have a couple of projects I've sent off to traditional publishing companies, but it's going to be awhile before I hear back on those.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:26 PM   #3
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I write in word, save as a .doc... send to my editor who sends it back with corrections, and we go back and forth like that for a while, then I push to Amazon and Smashwords from the doc file.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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I use Scrivener for first and second drafts, export it as a word file, read it through with text to speech, and publish the doc. file to Amazon and Smashwords.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:02 AM   #5
silviolorusso
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Thank you everybody!

Quote:
I use Calibre to turn the .prc into an .epub so I can post on Goodreads.
Well actually I tried to upload an epub on Goodreads but it didn't accept it! Suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviolorusso View Post
Thank you everybody!
Well actually I tried to upload an epub on Goodreads but it didn't accept it! Suggestions?

Thanks
I do not upload to good reads, I just add the book by linking to the book on Amazon. Their site then goes and pulls all the information and links the two.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
Harper Kingsley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviolorusso View Post
Well actually I tried to upload an epub on Goodreads but it didn't accept it! Suggestions?
If you've got a properly formatted epub, you click on Add Ebook where your book is listed in your Author's Dashboard and just follow the prompts. Make sure you click to make it available for purchase/download at Goodreads, otherwise people can only read your sample at the site.

They will pay to your Paypal when you reach $50.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
Harper Kingsley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Young View Post
I use Scrivener for first and second drafts
How does Scrivener work? Is it just a word processing program?
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:54 PM   #9
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My wife's typical workflow looks like this:
- write story in LibreOffice
- basic spellcheck/edit
- send it to me for editing (grammar, punctuation, pacing, etc)
- rework based on my suggestions
- we both do another edit (and continue this step until she's satisfied with it)

From there, I handle all of the formatting.
- I take the .odt and use kate (text editor) to create an HTML file which I then convert to epub and mobi with Calibre.
- Then I go back to the source .odt and reformat it before exporting it as a PDF (again in LibreOffice)
- Then I take the source .odt, strip it of all formatting and save it as a .doc which I then format according to the Smashwords guide before submitting it to Smashwords. (So far I'm 2 for 2 and have never had her books denied from Premium Distribution on the first try)

Once I'm done with that I publish directly to Amazon and B&N.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harper Kingsley View Post
How does Scrivener work? Is it just a word processing program?
It's not really a word processing program. It's a tool to use when you're writing your drafts. You can organize your chapters, take notes on them, see the outline as post it notes, move things around, put research into separate folders, write side by side, and use a variety of templates.

You can download a trial version from:

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:08 AM   #11
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I'm a mix of Harper and Todd. First book was written in OpenOffice (LibreOffice didn't exist then, now I use it instead of OpenOffice) using Master Document.

Now I write in Scrivener until it's ready for conversion. Export it to odt and open it in LibreOffice for formatting.

After this there will be two tracks. One generates the pdf for CreateSpace. The other goes to Calibre for conversion to epub and mobi, possibly with a side trip into Sigil if I need to edit individual files in epub (embedding a font, adding jpegs, etc). At this stage I have to keep track of my ISBN's since at least in Sweden the requirement is that paper books have a separate ISBN from electronic books. No distinction between epub and mobi, however.

With two separate tracks, the big problem arises with revisions - somebody always finds a missed typo, or an incorrectly formatted chapter title creeps in for unexplained reasons. For revisions I don't go back to Scrivener. I start with the latest odt file, make all the changes necessary and then split it again into the pdf branch and the Calibre branch. It's a good idea to make a checklist the first time you go through the process to make sure nothing is missed.

As far as the creative process is concerned, the part done in Scrivener, I like to have a detailed synopsis, although only once did I do a chapter-by-chapter analysis, when I had a very formal structure to the book, alternating viewpoint between my two protagonists in alternate chapters. I also have very detailed character descriptions, using a template I modified from Elizabeth George's book 'Write Away'. I added extra questions and removed some less important ones. I also write a prehistory of at least my main characters, and I'm now beginning to make similarly detailed descriptions of locations, including drawing maps and building layouts.

Finally I make sure I have a very detailed timeline in LibreOffice Calc (==MS Excel). This allows me to make sure that the pace is not too fast - imagine, say, a woman giving birth in six months - or too slow - a twelve month pregnancy! In one case I used this to calculate the ages in years and months of the characters at each event. This was important, for several characters were in their teens, where a month or two can make a big difference - taking driving test, buying alcohol, etc.

All these working documents - and more - I can store in Scrivener, where I usually use a separate subdocument for each chapter, although if there is a crucial scene that I want to keep separate for some reason (eg writing it out of turn in order to document it), I have a subdocument for that, too, even if it isn't a full chapter when I write it. It will become one later.

In Scrivener you have different sections to your project. In one you have the book, with, as I say, chapters as subdocuments, and in another you have working papers, where I have access to all the things I've mentioned above. I can flip between these documents at will, and when I come back to the chapter I'm working on, I'm at the place I was at when I left it, of course.

Scrivener was originally a Mac product but now they've made a Windows version, and I believe it works under Wine on linux.

But don't listen to me. I'm a wannabe.

Last edited by James_Wilde; 06-22-2011 at 05:17 AM.
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