Thursday 5 October 2023: “Have you written anything?”

Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

Him: “Who’s the musician in the house?”
Me: “That’s my husband.”
Him: “What do you do?”
Me: “I’m a writer.”
Him: “Really? Have you written anything?”
Me: “What do you do?”
Him: “I’m a building inspector.”
Me: “Really? Have you inspected any buildings?”
Him: [nervous laughter]
Me: [Smiles sweetly]

And that, folks, is how my day started yesterday. Honestly, you’d think after almost 40 years in the business I’d be used to it by now. Note, though, that he didn’t ask if my husband plays any music…

Anyway, building inspection over at warp speed, I arrived at my desk. Relatively early considering I was awaiting the caller. I’m glad he was early, I’m glad he was quick. I’m also glad that there was another person educated.

The working day started with a continuation of the book work, transferring the details to the Trello board and preparing for uploading to ALCS, PLR and Legal Deposit. By the time the day ended, this task was finally finished.

I was pre-approved for another book to review, so I went to collect that. I sent it to Kindle then downloaded the epub file, converted it, and sent it to Google Play Books. If you don’t read these books within so many days, they disappear from Adobe Digital Editions. So I’m backing them up as they come in. And I updated my Trello board.

As I was in Trello for much of the day, I re-colour-coded the book production schedule board and re-categorised it. The colours flow in the right order now, and the board is more streamlined.

I had a quick scan of Facebook and got sucked down a tutorial rabbit hole. It was how Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn uses Scrivener for all of her books. I thought I pretty much knew how to use Scrivener, but figured it would be interesting to see how she uses it. And guess what? I still learned something knew. Even though she uses Mac and I use Windows, there was an additional target thing on there I didn’t know about.

This tutorial pointed me towards how she uses Vellum, and I think Vellum looks really nice. But of course Vellum is only for Mac and only ever will be, apparently. So I went on a hunt for a Windows equivalent and came up with Atticus, which looks like it does everything Scrivener does as well as quite a few bits that Vellum does but Scrivener doesn’t. It’s also about $50 cheaper than the top Vellum package. (Apx. £42.)

So I had a look at that, but didn’t make any rash decisions. It’s still £125-ish to buy and I might be able to do a lot of what Atticus does on Affinity Publisher. Then I went in search of a book cover creator I bought a couple of years ago with birthday money, BookCoverly, which I thought was unnecessarily complicated. It was the same time I discovered Canva and it was so much easier on there.

I can make book covers in Affinity Publisher too. But I can use BookCoverly to give me the guides without having to go into Lulu or KDP. I’m hoping to learn how to do most of this in Affinity so I can make my covers and flyers from scratch without having to go via Canva. The money I save on the pro version could then be used to pay for some decent image licenses, i.e. images that fewer people are also using.

Saying that, I collected a load of images from Shutterstock as part of a free trial and I’m seeing several of those popping up on the covers of large print versions of books.

Anyway, I spent far too long on all of that and didn’t get around to writing my submission for this month’s 12 Stories in 12 Months, despite the outline being already there on Scrivener. That’s the second one I’ve missed, so I think I’m going to just start again when the new year begins in January. This time I’ll be more disciplined, I’ll write something completely fresh, hopefully sell some of them, but definitely produce a collection at the end of it all.

Today I must do client work. (“What do you do?” I’m a book editor. “Really? And have you edited any books?” Not recently…)


Actually, when I told the poet about yesterday morning’s conversation, he said what I should have said was this… (“Really? Have you written anything?”) “Oh, no… I don’t bother with any of that. I just like to say I’m a writer for the fun of it.”

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