While out hunting – or should I say beagling – for suitable pictures or artwork to use for my next Inspektor Beagle book cover, I noticed that many good things in life are beagle related.
Well, there’s Snoopy for a start, who fills my heart with joy, then there’s Gromit (the resonsible adult in Wallace & Gromit), who makes me feel less down-trodden, and there are all those wonderful beagles that keep us safe at airports where they sniff out drugs, explosives and all manner of nasty things. Beagles are clearly born to be heroes.
No wonder it was the first name that sprang to my mind when I began writing about the police force working in a small seaside town at the east coast of England in WWII.
Understaffed and without guns or petrol to fuel their cars, they still had to uphold the law, while Hitler & Co were popping up uninvited for a spot of daily air raids on the promenade and equally unwelcome visitors in U-Boots arrived from across the English Channel to complain about the lack of Blue Flag amenities at Kent’s beaches. And people today are complaining that Magaluf’s gone to the dogs!
A beagle, so learned authorities on the subject tell us, can find a single mouse let loose in a one acre field within 60 seconds – while most other dogs would give up and go home after 15 minutes, demanding a word with their psychiatrist on the subject of depression and feeling like a failure.
My Inspektor Beagle (NB: German spelling for inspector) also has a keen nose, not so much for mice, but for trouble and potential villains. His colleague Monty the policedog (basset) also has a keen appetite for crime solving and but prefers biscuits soaked in milk on the whole. Unfortunately, neither of these lovely hounds was any good at guiding this blind author-mouse through a mine field of technological failures, when she tried to upload their adventures into an ebook publishing template.
Just like a heroic beagle I persevered in sticking to my mission though. I sniffed out the right way to do it, for there is no proper explanation given on the site. I eventually uploaded my text into the Bookrix template and published my ebooks. Amidst lots of bilingual swearing and threats of launching my own air raids on software developers who design things without bearing the over 50’s techno phobe in mind!
Should any other writerly hound out there in the virtual WordPress world wish to follow in my paw prints, be sure to stay clear of the “if you have a finished book upload it here” button, for the darn thing doesn’t work and if it does upload your chapters, it muddles them up completely in the table of contents until you end up with two of everything.
Just use the “I want to write my book into this template manually” option and copy and paste each and every chapter, no matter how tedious this may seem, into the Bookrix editing template, which is directly linked to the table of contents.
After each copy and paste process, save your work at the bottom of the screen, then click on “new chapter” and repeat the process until your upload is done. Check each and every chapter of your book by clicking on the chapters in your table of contents on the left hand side – I discovered one chapter was missing, despite having saved my work.
After a day or so you will get a notification by email that your book has gone on sale. I’m still waiting for all the other links (eg Apple iBookstore, Kobo etc) to become available, so I can share them on this page. Here is the first crop of my virtual beagling for literary fame (or book sales, I’ll settle for one or the other) for Inspektor Beagle’s first outing as an ebook.
German speakers are welcome to moan about my spelling and grammatical errors. I’m determined to blame those on Microsoft’s inability to a) publish Microsoft 2010 with a German language dictionary included in their standard version and b) to publish a German language proofing tool that’s actually compatible with the 2010 version, as claimed on their site. Enough ranting. Back to positive beagle-beaming adventures on the ebook front:
It’s totally FREE to upload and publish your books via Bookrix; each work gets an ISBN number for which you don’t have to pay upfront. The best thing is that you get your own author profile site, which has its own blog and automatically displays all your books. I’m loving it and have just signed up to various groups within the Bookrix community so I can promote my books and get involved with readers and fellow authors. No, they don’t pay me to say any of this. Wished they did.
I just wanted to share a fairly positive experience from a techno phobe’s point of view. BTW, the site offers excellent stats on sales activity and, unlike Amazon, there are proper age group categories for authors who write for children and YA audiences, so readers can actually discover your books in the category they’d expect to find them in.
Best of all, you can upload your text in plain old WORD without the need to convert into another medium first. Bookrix does that for you free of charge and for all the different formats that distributors use, including Kindle/Amazon/Kobo/Google/Apple iBookstore/Libri/Thalia/Barnes & Noble/Beam and various other formats.
Bookrix also allows you a range of cover options and a large number of royalty free templates for artwork/photographs to use. I chose using my own cover pictures (option 2 on the Bookrix screen), but used their template to insert title and author name, which is great, because there are lots of colour & font options and your text will always appear perfectly positioned.
Bookbaby on the other hand I’ve yet to master and find totally user unfriendly. Twice now I’ve converted said Inspektor Beagle into an epub format and twice Bookbaby has thrown me out with some incomprehensible techno babble message. Potentially a ruse to get authors to pay for a service they get for free elsewhere. They are also demanding $20 per month for author websites and $19 for each and every ISBN. Which is why I beagled off to Bookrix instead.
Incidentally, I have deactivated my Facebook page, because somebody pretending to be me had set up a site under my name, using some of my details. Pee-off to you, whoever you are.
Accept no substitutes! This is me: the REAL writer of stories from the hearth.
(picture source Wikipedia, in public domain)