If you’ve seen changes here, it’s because the Smashwords merger pushed me into making the changes. In my day job, I was part of a massive project now more than 20 years ago that involved migrating an aging COBOL system into modern technology.

Converting data like this is a messy process, rife with errors. People are inconsistent in how they type in the data.

I started out indie publishing with Smashwords as the aggregator, then switched to Draft to Digital. Smashwords user interface has always been not easy to use. Also, at the time, the only tools to build ebooks were for Mac (that’s no longer true). I had to do it via Word and that was time-consuming. Even With templates, I still got it wrong!

The merger is making me do a review of my inventory and make some changes to simplify things for me.

  1. Flash fiction: I pulled down all these stories and retired them. Not all vendors take flash fiction. I discovered this when I switched to D2D and the story was rejected by all the vendors. These weren’t going to convert at all.
  2. Genreless fiction: I also took down genreless fiction. I think every writer lands here, thinking they’re writing a literary story. Instead, the story is actually missing a genre. Very challenging doing blurbs, since some of the marketing words come from the genre. Covers? Even worse.
  3. Weak genre fiction: I took down weak genre stories. These were right around the same time as the genreless. They were hard to write blurbs for, come up with keywords, and even find cover images.
  4. Collections: I dropped the early collections of stories. I took a class on building a collection and learned a lot from it. So much so that fixing the collections to that standard would have taken more time than building new ones.

A surprising result is that I felt a weight lift off me that I hadn’t known was there. Those handful of stories were the first ones I always tackled in a refresh because I couldn’t nail down the marketing. Suddenly the review felt a lot more manageable with those four changes.

Meanwhile, here’s the cover for Dice Ford Book 2 (not the final, since I realized I don’t have Book 2 on it). Might play around a little more with the branding banner. No date on when this is going to come out. My editor is not available until mid-June, though it could be earlier.