Wednesday 1 September 2010

The Impending End of The First Tale part 1

Commander Liss Hunt, Vertigo
City Resistance

On Saturday 20th February, 2010, I posted the first instalment of my very first web serial, The First Tale. I had no idea where it was going to go, or that a name I chose entirely off the top of my head was going to give birth to a concept of nine independent serials, linked only by their setting. My fictional Vertigo City will appear in a different incarnation in each tale, with the first version being a strange steampunk mix of Victorian London and a slightly 'fantasy' sprawling mass.

The serial will end on Tuesday, with the publication of the thirtieth instalment, and while I'm quite sad about it, I'm also excited about the prospect of starting The Second Tale, which is more of a noirish, 40s sort of affair about a jaded superhero. Anyway, about twenty instalments into The First Tale, I decided I wanted to collect the instalments together, give them a polish, and release them as an e-book - I wrote a post about it back in July. The original plan was to release a text-only version via Smashwords, and a fancy version including graphic elements via Scribd. This plan has now changed.

You see, Jamie Debree posted a link on Twitter to Lynn Viehl's Paperback Writer blog, and the content of Lynn's post got me thinking. Having read about their shoddy interpretation of their own guidelines, I don't really want to use Scribd now, and many other sites become incredibly confusing if you want to sell a PDF e-book that ISN'T for the Kindle. I was also worried that having two different versions of the same e-book for sale with different retailers might get confusing. So, I have come up with a solution.

Instead of having the choice between a regular e-book and a PDF with graphic bits, I'm now just going to have the one Smashwords version. However, there will be a link within the book to a page on my website, and from there you will be able to download a free PDF of the graphic sections that would have originally been included in the version intended for Scribd! (With me so far?) This includes a newspaper article on the Meat Beast, a society magazine piece on the Living Dead of Vertigo City, a Weimar profile on Liss, a hand-drawn map of the city, and a few other bits and pieces, all packaged up as Caleb's scrapbook. You don't need to see this stuff, but I'm hoping it'll give a greater insight into backstory for The First Tale, and hopefully it'll add a little to your enjoyment of the serial.

Are you all excited yet?!


Laura Eno said...

Congrats! Be sure to post the link when you put it up on SmashWords!

Monica Marier said...

Heck yes, I'm excited! Good on you, and best of luck!

Walt said...

I have no experience with self-publishing so excuse my question if it sounds dumb, but why can't you include the images within the eBook? I have a Nook (ePub format) which displays covers and other images without issue. I've heard that Smashwords generates your eBook from a .doc file, couldn't the images be placed within the doc file for conversion, much like a cover?

The Kindle can handle PDF files (although I think they charge for conversion), wouldn't it display the images much the same way my Nook does? (I'm thinking the PDF would be generated from that same .doc file uploaded to Smashwords)

I guess what it comes down to is if I get the artwork with the purchase of your book, I'd like them bundled together and not separate on my eReader.

If combining the artowrk and writing isn't possible, it isn't a deal breaker, I'll still buy your eBook ;)

Jen said...

Yes, I am excited! And I think you've come up with a pretty graceful solution to the graphics issues.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Laura - Will do!

Monica - Thank you!

Walt - The problem is, the images are just within the text, as it's an entire PDF of fake newspaper clippings etc. No e-book reading device as yet displays graphics the same way Adobe Reader does. You can put graphics in a .doc to generate an e-book but because people can change text size etc. on their devices, there's no guarantee they'll display properly, and I'd rather not include them at all than have them come out badly.

Jen - It was the only way I could think of to do it!

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