A belated Merry Christmas to all my readers and a slightly premature Happy New Year. Throw in a Happy Birthday for Yours Truly (it was on Boxing Day) and that is the festive season more or less wrapped up.
Our sons, Michael and Paul have been visiting over Christmas, so I haven't had much time to devote to writing. Michael lives and works in London, Paul in Hastings, both of which are hundreds of miles from here. Helen and I saw Paul off from the railway station this morning. Michael goes back tomorrow, whereupon life will return to normal and I can get back on with 'An Angel Vanished' properly.
I haven't neglected it altogether, though. 'Vanished' now tips the scales at nearly 11,000 words, which will be somewhere in the region of a tenth of its eventual length, so there is still plenty to do. Nevertheless, it is a solid start and I am pleased with it so far.
All my published titles have now been updated so that their Look Insides feature the opening paragraphs flush, as they should. Thus, literary housekeeping is now up to date and it is time to get on with the process of creating text.
Just as I thought I had all the presentation issues sorted, another one reared its ugly head. No doing of mine, this one. The fault lies entirely with Amazon. If you go on their website to browse Kindle ebooks, you will find a link on the thumbnail, called 'Look Inside' that you can click on. This opens up the beginning of the book so that a prospective customer can read it.
All very well, except that the 'Look Inside' is not a facsimile of how the book will appear on a Kindle or Kindle App. It is an Html view, which means that the lines are much longer and that page breaks are ignored. The text runs continuously, with gaps between chapters. It also doesn't show dropped capitals. They just appear as normal capitals.
Nothing anybody can do about that. It is the way it is. There is, however, one little detail that can be put right, if you know what you are doing. It is normal practice, when formatting a book, to have the opening paragraph of a chapter begin flush to the left margin, but to indent the first lines of all the subsequent paragraphs. The 'Look Inside' ignores this and indents the opening paragraph as well, which just looks wrong. Thanks to the discovery of a fellow writer, called William Thompson, however, I now know how to correct this. Instead of setting the opening paragraph to an indent of 0.00cm (or 'None'), set it to 0.02cm. The difference is negligible (one fifth of a millimetre) but it circumnavigates the bug in 'Look Inside' so that the opening line registers correctly. You only need to do it for the first three chapters because that is all that shows in the 'Look Inside'. A downloaded book registers correctly regardless. Thanks to William for that.
Therefore, the last couple of weeks have been devoted to upgrading all of my 'Look Insides' so that they now appear as professional as I can make them. Finally, I can give my attention to 'An Angel Vanished' again.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.