One of the novels that Ace reverted to me a while back was Spindoc, the first of an SF duology starring Venture Silk. I put the second novel, The Forever Drug, up as an ebook, and it has sold pretty well so far, but I didn't offer Spindoc because, somehow in the process of going hither and yon -- this back in the day when I stored each chapter of a novel as a separate file -- I managed to lose the first six chapters.
Nowhere to be found.
Why did I not make it one file? Because when I first started working on a computer, the storage space was such that you couldn't do that and back it up. Floppy disks didn't hold very much, and even if you could put a book-sized file on your system, it was too big to work with -- the machine would grind and grind just opening and storing it. You young folk don't recall when the OS of a computer came on a floppy disk, and a megabyte was considered a lot. First hard drive I got was a ten-meg thing the size of a shoebox and I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven -- ten megs? Shoot, I'd never fill that up!
How I lost them? Dunno. I expect that once the book came out, I was less than diligent about the files, figuring at the time that I'd never need the electronic version again.
Who knew what the world was going to do with ebooks a mere fifteen years later?
Um. Anyway, being too lazy to sit down and retype the first six chapters, I figured that was that. My scanner didn't seem to be working, and OCR has always been such a pain to play with, so end of story, right?
Well. Maybe not.
As it turned out, I got the scanner working. OCR -- that's optical character reading -- has improved some, and if I am willing to take apart a copy of the novel and carefully scan the pages, I can come up with files that are probably 95-98% accurate. Some of the words get garbled, and some show up as funny characters, but since I'd read the thing again anyway as I format it for epublication, that's not that much more work to fix that. Thirty-three pages into the scanner, probably an hour or so to scan and export them to a PDF I can port over to my word processor. Add in the other thirty-four chapter files that I do have, clean it all up and format it, I expect we are talking about one day's work, maybe even a long afternoon.
So, I figured, I'd bite the bullet. All things going well, in the not-too-distant future, I'll be able to put Silk's first adventure up, for the teeming tens of fans who might be interested in reading it.
Stay tuned to this station ...