Monitoring My Goals

I had a moment of clarity while testing Calibre E-book Management and Mobipocket Creator.

First, the word document I used did not work in Calibre. I kept getting error messages about no body text. So I tried Mobipocket and it worked first go.

While I was trying to figure out why Calibre did not work, I asked myself the same question I have asked for the past thirty years as I worked towards my major life goal of retiring to a comfortable living standard on my savings well before retirement age.

I asked why was I trying to get the two programs to work? Why was I not writing? Or laying on my bed reading a good story? Was looking at Calibre and Mobipocket leading towards my goals or away from them?

Then I thought about my current goals. I want to get better at writing good stories that I can read over and over again, just like authors whose books I collect and read over and over again.

I have my stories on Smashwords and they are rolled out to almost all the other ebook distributors. Well, all except Amazon and Xinxii.

I already have some word docs altered to HTML ready to put on Amazon but still need to do the three novels. In the meantime, I am hoping that Smashwords and Amazon work out problems to upload the books using Smashwords free ISBNs. If Smashwords get the uploads working it will save me from the bother of the HTML files and organising my own ISBNs.

If I decide to upload to Xinxii then I could just copy the ePub and PDF files from Smashwords and use them. For that matter, I could do the same with the HTML files, but creating the HTML file myself allows me to locate any errors before I upload it.

The answer was that I do not need to change my word docs into other formatted files such as ePub, PDF, or whatever.

So, why was I looking at Calibre and Mobipocket?

The honest answer was that I was wasting time that could be used to plan and write more stories to put on Smashwords.

The benefits of more stories uploaded before Xmas was to make my stories available for the surge in reader spending for their Xmas gifts of new ebook readers.

The benefits of changing the word docs to ePub or PDF were not apparent to me so I stopped playing around with the software programs.

I had a quick look at Sigil, which is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor, designed to edit ePub files. However, I already have better WYSIWYG HTML programs that I could use on my ebooks, but don’t because I prefer the simple notepad text program that comes with Microsoft operating system.

So, what about you? Have you suddenly found you are heading in a direction at odds with your large goals?

Or, do you pay attention to everything you do, and question if it is heading towards your goals before you undertake any activity, especially activities that take a lot of time and effort?

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4 comments so far

  1. curiocat on

    You know I think I have the opposite problem you do. I stay too focused on one area. I just want to keep it simple and focus on the writing although I know I need to start working on learning some of the techie stuff for future self pub.

    It’s kind of worrisome for someone who is comtemplating self publishing to be so tech challenged. I know everyone loves their gadgets but I have never understood how some of them make writing easier. I’ve tried a few but they ended up frustrating me more than anything else.

    In my mind some of the gadgets just make writing harder, not easier. Unless it’s something to do with self publishing I don’t read about or use it. Even then I just skim over it.

    I don’t think I’m wrong to focus on the writing but expanding my learning to include the technical aspects a little is not going to kill me. At least I don’t think it will. Lol.

    • D J Mills on

      Just learn about each tool needed for publishing when you need it. Or you will get so distracted that the writing stops.
      I have the needed steps printed out, and every time I finish a story, I work through the steps to clean up the text, create the cover, write the metadata, upload to Smashwords and then check the different formatted files. That way I know I have not missed a step along the way. 🙂

  2. J.A. Marlow on

    I don’t use Word unless I absolutely have to (I write in Scrivener), so I have the opposite problem. Yet, it’s similar.

    All my files are HTML which are easily converted into Epub and Mobi at a click of a button. Then, after those are done (I can do a novel in less than an hour) comes the slog through Word for Smashwords. I get too many sales through Smashwords not to do it, but I’m really hoping the rumor of them allowing direct Epub uploads sometimes next year comes true. We’ll see if it does.

    I intend to learn to use Scrivener to create an Epub here soon and test the quality. If it works well, then I might have one less step to the process.

    In the meantime, I am always asking how I can make things easier. The big one is the use of templates for anything that is almost the same each time, such as the front and back matter. That helps a LOT.

    • D J Mills on

      Now I have Scrivener for Windows I can see the possibilities of using all HTTS forms inside Scrivener, for Chars, stages, sets, etc. However, I am working in Word and Excel and copying across to Scrivener, until I get comfortable with Scrivener.

      As for the rumour of ePub uploads to Smashwords, I hope they do follow through on that because we control the layout instead of the grinder program. 🙂


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