The checklist from Hell…

I am on the brink of self-publishing…

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Here are some things I never knew before:

No program on the planet will stay at 300 dots per inch when I set it there.They must all revert back to 72 dpi when the hour strikes!

Margins, headers and footers will all stand up, stretch and shuffle aimlessly around my document as soon as my back is turned. They are like a band of Settings Zombies whose source of nourishment consists of the screams of Outrage and tufts of hair I hurl at them when I return.

Indents will shift in by one tenth of an inch through means I cannot fathom. Oh, but not all of them. Just every fourth or fifth. Just enough to make the Ctl +A function decide it doesn’t have to shift them back when I ask nicely.

The Bad News is Smashwords may take up to a week to show anything on their site. I will keep everyone updated as to when they list HUNTSMAN.

Here’s the Good news…I am still on track. The Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook formats should be up on Tuesday!!

When my brain finally won’t work on the formatting anymore, I have been working on a couple of video clips. One wil be ready on Monday night. Sort of a Launch Day Eve bit of entertainment. And the other will go live on July 3rd at Noon.

They will both be available on the Michael R. Wilson’s Fiction Facebook page.//

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Back Cover Synopsis for HUNTSMAN: Book One of the Hunted Mage Trilogy

~AD 1011 Ancient Finland ~

Once upon a time…Words held more Power and dragons roamed the world.

For Eyulf, the youngest son of a minor lord, the opportunity to train with a Rune-Singer Mage was the chance of a lifetime. He is content…until he discovers a volume of Lost Words, powerful Runes forgotten through the ages. As he tampers with Magic he cannot control, things go wrong quickly.

Jaakko, a simple huntsman, returns to his home late one night to find his village destroyed by a creature out of legend. Obsessed with the monster and his desire for revenge, he spends fruitless years hunting the beast before he realizes that it toys with him and he lacks the Power to destroy it.

When Avitus, an officer aboard a Byzantine ship of war, learns that his captain’s orders are to sell their ship and abandon the crew in the far North, he finds himself a penniless outlander. When he finds work as Steward to a future king he feels all will be well…until a crippled Mage comes to court.

Aila, spurned by Eyulf in his quest for Power, has quite happily made a new life for herself without him. When he returns, and tries to claim her once more as his betrothed, her fear of the potent magic he wields keeps her from confiding in the few people she feels she can trust.

One by one, they are drawn into the Mage’s treachery.

The Hunted Mage Trilogy incorporates a blend of History, Fantasy and Ancient Finnish folklore.

Cover Art for HUNTSMAN

E-Cover Art

I have been mucking about with Photoscape to build cover art.

It is mind-numbing work! (That is not Photoscape’s fault, by the by. Definitely mine!)

Working on two covers. One for e-book and the other for paperback format.

Last revisions continue apace, but moral is low, then high, then low again.

Seriously, never knew I would become bi-polar through the process.

Brain hurts!

Please…give me some feedback!

Time crunch! In more ways than one!!

So…having decided to E-publish my novel HUNTSMAN: Book One of The Hunted Mage Trilogy by the end of the month I have begun to scurry frantically about in the pages of my story.

My timeline maaay have been a bit optimistic, but I will persevere.

On my to-do list:

1) Write a Prologue that my wife and I both feel is what my magic system needs before my Mage shows up in chapter two. (He also needs a bit more character development before things all go desperately awry later…but no spoilers!)

2) Add some character description. Alert beta-readers have pointed out that I leave too much to your individual ImaginoTransferenceDevices. (Thanks to Jasper Fforde and the Jurisfiction Team) In short, I haven’t described my characters enough. I am great with scenery, tho.

3) I am finding bits that do not match up in my story timeline and have to go back in and make sure winter stays where I put it instead of disappearing for the next chapter…that’s my first time crunch!

4) Format my work according to Smashwords, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble guidelines. (And, as a bonus project…learn to hyperlink my chapters to a table of contents.

I can’t help but think of one of my favorite little scenes from ‘The Princess Bride’:

Prince Humperdinck: [sincerely] Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.
Count Rugen: Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.

Don’t think I’ll be sleeping much between now and July 3…but I think it’s worth it!

Once more into the breach!! Advice on Cover Art?

I  have decided to do it! No more waffling.

I am formatting the First book of my fantasy trilogy now for e-book through Smashwords, Amazon and B&N.   Soon after that I will have a manuscript set-up for Createspace to sell by paperback!

My thanks to Catherine, Caffeinated for a month of self-pub advice on her blog and Steve Umstead for answering all of my pesky Twitter direct messages! You have both given me the nudge I needed. (I shall most likely contact you both in a last minute panic!)

The Hunted Mage Trilogy is 2/3 complete. Well…Book 2 needs some detail work but I like how it has come out so far.

Some Characters from Book the First:

  • Eyulf, a Mage’s apprentice, destroys his family home using forbidden magic and is maimed and disfigured in the resulting maelstrom. His obsession with Power grows as he seeks a way to restore his shattered body. An argument with his wife-to-be, Aila, ends in violence and their separation, and he grows increasingly ruthless in his search for stronger spells.
  • Jaakko, a simple huntsman, returns to his village late one night to find his home destroyed by a monstrous creature. With his family dead, he spends a fruitless decade hunting the beast before begging help from powerful Mage. Tricked into using magic he does not understand, Jaakko finds himself bonded to the monster he has vowed to kill.
  • Avitus’, an officer aboard a Byzantine ship of war, learns that his captain’s orders are to sell their ship and abandon the crew in the far North. Now a penniless outlander, he finds work as Steward to a future king. When a crippled Mage comes to court bearing gifts, Avitus starts to see alarming changes in his King.
  • Aila, later the wife of King Wyman, is terrified by Eyulf’s appearance in her husband’s court and grows alarmed by her husband’s loss of initiative as the mage’s influence grows stronger. She searches for ways to undermine him and finally flees the castle to protect herself from Eyulf’s renewed attentions.

I love how far this story has progressed.

My question for any of you who have self-pubbed: Cover art! Can you give me some advice on where to find some free art work to use on an e-cover?