Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Best Laid Schemes of Mice and Men!

'The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men..' may well have come from Robert Burns, Scots poem, The Mouse,  penned back in 1785 yet despite 285 years since this master piece saw the light of day, these words have been rattling around my head.

My best laid plan to launch my Christmas short story on 6th December has gone a little awry, nothing drastic, but there is a slight change to the date of availability. "Why?" You might ask.  The simple answer is that I want this publication to be free; a little festive gift to all readers from me. It's my way of saying thanks to you fabby people who have bought copies of my books. I also hope it will introduce new readers to my writing.

Smashwords allow you to set your publication to free. Perfect! But having never used Smashwords, I rapidly found out that you must format your book to their exacting standard before you can add you work to their site. To help with this, Smashwords provide a guide on how to achieve the desired result. I immediately downloaded a copy of the guide, but my initial excitement swiftly turned to dismay as I read through the pages of instructions. Not to be daunted, I sat back and carefully and slowly went through each step preparing my MSS. I had to redo several sections and it took me longer than was suggested. Next time it will be much faster as I understand what they need.

With my MSS formatted, I turned to the next stage which was to upload my short story. Smashwords also allows you to pre-book your publication date. I was onto a winner! Or was I?

My winning euphoria lasted no more than a few seconds as once I'd added the price of my short story, 0.00 a box appeared pointing out that you could not pre-book publication date with a free book! I had two choices, add a price and stick with 6th December or publish now free. Of course I could come back on 6th December and publish, but what if I did not do everything correctly and it took days to sort out? I weighed up all these little things and decided to play safe. I published my short story for free on Smashwords. But…..!

Yes, there is always a but! And that but is because I also want my short story on Amazon Kindle to be free too. At this point I realised I was asking a lot. Kindle do not allow you to publish your book for free! It can eventually be free, but that is another story.  Not to be put off, I wrote to Amazon and asked for their help with this Kindle book. They swiftly responded and were helpful suggesting I upload my book and set a price. I then had to inform them where it was available cheaper. I have done this. I await to hear from them as to whether readers will be able to download from Amazon free.

It's been a steep learning curve to offer a publication for free, but I am now prepared for the next time.

So what happens to my publication date? Well, there isn't one in the sense I had originally planned because my short story, Next Christmas Will Be Different, is available. I will be doing promotions and appearing on some fantastic Blogs over the coming weeks. So partying will be a long one instead!

If you are interested in downloading a free copy of Next Christmas Will Be Different, here is the blurb…

When the O’Reilly family gather for the festive season it is a time for catching up, eating too much and making promises, but can the promises be kept?

This short story includes a bonus of five chapters from each of my four published books.

And here is the link to Smashwords for your free download…. Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by, have a fab week and see you soon.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

What a learning curve for you, Pauline! Hope it all works out well in the end. Look forward to reading it!

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Rosemary, Phew it certainly was! I'm now ready for the next one! I hope you will enjoy my short story. Thank you as always for stopping by and your wonderful support. x