Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bullet Bitten

Took a bit longer to get the Smashwords edition of Spindoc converted from the old files than I figured.

The scanning part was faster -- thirty seconds a page -- and the artifacts and mis-read words in the first six chapters took a couple hours. But the other files, stored in an extinct version of AppleWorks, came across with more errors than I expected. These showed up as the little apple symbol, odd control characters where I'd used italics or other formatting, a couple of the keys like the ! and 1 swapped with each other, plus some odd spacing that needed global searches to eliminate. I pretty much had to re-read the whole thing as I went.

Still and all, I was able to get a pass done in one working day and a couple hours of the next, so, not bad. 

For a book I wrote in 1993, it held up pretty well, content-wise.

I was tempted to rewrite as I went -- but I held off. (I dunno if I'm a better writer now than I was then, but I would cast things a bit differently, and tone down the sex a bit, from NC-17 to R. Sometimes less is more.)

If I saw a typo, I fixed it, and there were a couple spots where something I thought I'd stuck in italics in the novel weren't, so I did that, but otherwise, I left it alone. It was a book of its time, and while progress went faster in some areas than I figured, I let it stand.

I'll make one more pass and then run it through the convertor for Smashwords and put it up. There will be a link over in the right hand column, as usual. 

Another day, another backlist novel sent into the electronic void ...


Ian Sadler said...

Good work Steve,

Off topic, but this might appeal to you

venture220 said...

All this talk about SpinDoc has lead me to pull it off the shelf and give it a re-read. Always favored that book!

Steve Perry said...

Gorgeous gig bags, Ian. Really nice work on 'em.

I'm pretty much a hardshell case man myself -- I bang things around, and a gig bag doesn't offer enough protection. The ideal cases are the spun carbon fiber jobs -- lightweight, look cool, and you can run a truck over them and they'll keep your guitar safe. They also cost a couple car payments, so unless I start traveling with my guitar and getting paid a lot to do it, I won't be getting one of those, either ...

Justin said...

Steve: How does it feel dusting off these old wares and bringing them back to market?

Feel a proud parent, or someone who's trying to clean house?

Must be kind of weird to try to make a few bucks off something you did 17 years ago.

But I guess authors rarely get a Greatest Hits album.

I bought Spindoc a few months back at a Half Price Books. Once I get my nose out of my own book, it's pretty high on my to-read list.

Steve Perry said...

Justin --

Actually, it feels pretty good. MIght be a few people who get something out of it, and they can't do that if it's out-of-print or on a shelf at my house.

I spoke to this when I put the second of these up, a while back:

I think I'm better now than I was, but in retrospect, I wasn't so bad then ...

Justin said...

Being creative is such a weird profession. There's no way to quantify if you really are better than you were or not, because what you output is so different. Because of that, it's subjective.

Skills may feel sharper, but all that matters is the quality of the project.

Compare that to someone who does the same thing every day. You can get better at changing motor oil, gutting fish, or solving multiplication problems. It's pretty simple to determine.

But which of my video-game stories was the best? It's subjective. Even if there's a consensus, that doesn't necessarily mean it was the best written.

Mick said...

I read all your old books at least once a year. My copy of Spindoc (that I bought new back in 96)is looking a bit dog eared. So I, for one, am glad of these digital upgrades. I can buy them again in a more permanent format.

Kris said...

I got a bit selfish. When these books started going out of print, I started buying them up, whenever I saw them (people tended to steal my copies). I think that I have four copies of Spindoc alone. I guess that, with ebooks becoming the norm, I can let go of that particular obsession.