Things To Learn, Decisions To Make

walking into computerPreviously on Betsy’s Blog…
Betsy meets with Harry, her Quest Guide, to discuss progress on her Quest.  She tells him she has finally finished the first draft of her book, but she doesn’t seem excited about it.  Turns out she’s scared because now this whole thing is getting real.  Harry talks her down off the ledge and they end up doing a happy dance around Betsy’s brain.It turns out Harry hasn’t been idle as he waited for Betsy and her Muse to finish writing – he’s come up with a whole lot of things Betsy will need to learn and other things she will need to consider.  What are they?  Let’s listen in and find out…. 

*Betsy collapses back down onto the sofa in Harry’s office in her brain* *Wheezes from exertion of happy dancing* Okay, I’m feeling much better now.  Thanks Harry!

*Harry settles onto coffee table* *Breathes normally*  No problem, babe.  You done good.  *He looks pained* Just tell me you’re typing the damned thing into Scrivener now.

I am.  *Betsy scrunches face apologetically* It took a little bit for me to get started, but I’m working on it now.

Just remember you aren’t really finished. *Harry waggles finger of paw at her*  I know if feels like you are because the first draft is written, but the book isn’t finished until it’s in the hands of the consumers.

*Betsy draws in breath*  I know.

Speaking of which, I have a few things we need to talk about.  *Harry jumps off coffee table* *scampers up tower of gerbil habitat* *grabs gPad* *scampers back down and jumps back up on coffee table*

Yeah?  *Betsy eyes gPad nervously*

Okay.  *Harry taps away on screen of gPad*  While you’ve been writing, I’ve been looking at the other things you’ll need to consider to bring this book to market.  Do you want me to give you a list?

Um, sure?  *Betsy sinks further into sofa*

Right.  I’ll make sure you have a printout later.  *Harry studies screen*  Some of this are things you need to learn.  Some items are things we’ll need to consider as we move forward.

What do I need to learn?

*Harry looks up from his notes*  Well, first of all, you’ll need to learn how to use Scrivener better so you can compile ebook files quickly and easily.  You’ll have to learn about formatting the file to make sure the files are formatted properly for the vendors. You’ll need to learn how to download files at the vendors.  And that brings up the first decision we need to make.  How do you want to distribute the book?

Well, I don’t know.  *Betsy frowns*  Based on everything I’ve heard, it’s best to go directly to the biggest markets like Amazon, Kobo, Nook and iBooks instead of using an aggregator like BookBaby.  But I do want to go to Smashwords too.

Um huh.  *Harry types*  I agree, but that means we’ll need to find out how to upload files on each of those vendors.  We’ll also have to figure out how to put vendor-specific buy links in the backmatter once you have more books uploaded.

Buy links…? Back matter….?

*Harry looks seriously over reading glasses he is suddenly wearing*  You’ll need to learn more about metadata and search engine optimization too, as well as Amazon categories.

*Betsy’s face takes on dazed expression* Metadata?  Search engine…?

Hmmm.  *Harry continues typing*  Now, regarding the cover.  You have a good base as far as I’m concerned.  Are you going to want to hire a professional cover designer?

*Betsy shakes head* *Tries to catch up with the conversation*  I know everyone says that you need to hire a professional cover designer, but I think the one I did is fine.

I agree.  *Harry nods*  I think you might want to look into a less common font, though.  And while you’re at it, you should look at making the font of your name on your website stand out a little more.

Are you kidding?  You want me to buy a FONT?  *Betsy stares at him*

Only for the book covers.  Now.  *Harry swipes to a new page*  I’m assuming you do want professional editing.

Yes, I think so.  *Betsy frowns*  I have beta readers lined up and they’ll provide some editing, but I think I should invest in a professional.

Good, good.  I agree.  *Harry types* I’ll do some research on that.  Now, let’s talk about launch strategy.

Launch… *Betsy stares at him*  Harry, the damn book isn’t even finished yet!

And well I know it.  *Harry sets gPad aside to look at Betsy intently*  I would like to propose that you finish at least three books before you release this one.

Three!  *Betsy gapes*  Harry, you know how long it took me to get this one this far finished!  I might be dead before I get two more done!

No.  *Harry rests his paws on Betsy’s clenched hands*  Because things are different now, remember?  You don’t have to be afraid anymore.  And you’ve got a goal, a Quest, and a schedule.

Ookayy… *Betsy sounds uncertain*

There are a lot of advantages to releasing three at once, or three fairly close together. *Harry’s paws tighten on Betsy’s hands*  You can start a funnel to drive readers to the next book in the series and there will be a next book for them to read.


You can have more than one book edited at the same time and maybe get a discount.

*Betsy brightens* I like discounts.

Maybe.  *Harry holds up a cautionary finger* We’ll have to see.


*Harry peers at her*  Okay, like you understand?  Or okay like you agree?

Okay, I agree.  I think.  But it sounds like I’ll have a lot to learn while I’m trying to write these next books.  I’m kind of nervous about that.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  *Harry sits back*  I won’t deny there’s a big learning curve.  But you knew that before we started.

*Betsy chews her lip*  I guess I did.

We’ll take things one step at a time.  First step is getting this book in Scrivener and finished.  *Harry picks up gPad* *Swipes to new page*  And you’ve already signed up for a Scrivener training course.  You’ll need to watch those videos soon, not old episodes of “The Big Bang Theory”.

Awww.  *Betsy pouts*

Deal with it.  *Harry reads his screen*  You’ve also signed up for  Use them to get some training in Photoshop and maybe some graphic design.  If you want to do your own covers, you’ll need to know more about that stuff.  Oh, and you should find images for the next few covers.  And you need a font.

I’m starting to hyperventilate.  *Betsy puts hand on her heaving bosom*

Relax, babe.  It will be fine.  *Harry absently pats Betsy’s leg*  There’s a lot to learn, but I’m with you all the way.

*Betsy gazes at Harry with big, liquid eyes*  Promise?



To be continued…



  1. You crack me up!

    And if you ever get to the point where you need help with beta reading or even want feedback on graphics (I dabble in it for a living), keep me in mind. I’d be glad to help you and Harry on your quest. 🙂

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.