Matcher Rules is now up on Smashwords.
The Smashwords process was straightforward. Okay, let me qualify that: if you have a familiarity with Microsoft Word, it was straightforward. I know several writers who for political or religious reasons will not compose in Word, and I do agree with them regarding monolithic software dictatorships and unnecessarily complicated software. But I had to use Word at work for years and it’s what I’m used to, which is a great advantage when you are composing directly onto the keyboard. You can think about the writing, not about the process.
So, using Word, the Smashwords ebook manual made a great deal of sense, particularly since I’m still on Word 2004, which is a de facto baseline standard. (And what I am going to do when forced to upgrade to OSX Lion, which requires a much later version of Word, I do not know.) I did use the ‘Nuclear Method’ where you strip the old formatting out via a text editor and reload the entire manuscript using pre-set Styles. I had tried to impose Styles on several earlier versions of the manuscript, but not very well, so I had the usual overlays and artifacts to get rid of.
I love the Smashwords manual. It’s clear, it’s funny, and it’s accurate. I ended up deleting some of my own old Styles for the corrected ones they recommend and I think it’s going to save me a great deal of time in the future. Frankly, it taught me how to do Styles, which nothing else had ever done. I taught myself Wordperfect many decades ago and then taught myself Word, but the primitive version back then didn’t have Styles.
I found Rhea Ewing via the women writers group Broad Universe and Rhea did the amazing and outstanding art for the cover. I love it. There’s my plot, right there. It scales up and down beautifully. When I looked at the Smashwords catalog, there were book covers in BROWN. They look like little square pieces of dirt as thumbnails — what were these authors thinking?
Since Smashwords ports the ebooks to many readers, no fancy type fonts are allowed, so I stayed with Times New Roman. My friend and former co-worker Linda Reynolds is doing the type layout and page design for the Lulu version but her expertise isn’t necessary for the ebook.
After all this, the manuscript plus cover made it through the Smashwords Autovetter on the first try. I was as proud as if my child had taken its first steps. Although the ebook is available directly from Smashwords it must pass a manual vetting process to be distributed to Amazon, Apple, etc. More on that as it happens.