Well it's been a week since The Awakening was released. One thing I notice about the difference between releasing a game as opposed to a book is that with a game I would be inundated with feedback by this stage. Alas apart from one customer review I have heard very little. Thankfully the book is selling and being borrowed via Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. But the relative silence is a bit unnerving. I am keen to get your feedback even if you're not enamoured with my writing.
One of the characters in Retribution - book 4 of Warner's World - is Bernie Wong. He's the senior political adviser to the Defence Minister at the Federation Supreme Council in Washington DC. I really enjoyed creating and then developing this character. It reminded me of my days as a senior policy officer in our Department of Defence when I would have regular dealings with the senior advisors in the Defence Minister's office. He's not modelled on any specific individual but I like to think he's cast in the mould.
Anyway last month I decided to take a break from writing Resilience - book 6 of Warner's World - and so I started writing a new book called Bernie's Crusade. It's not in the main stream of the other Warner's World books but it's set within the framework albeit six years before The Awakening.
It starts ten days after the new government has been sworn in. The newly elected cabinet has a full agenda and a pent up passion to prosecute it. High up on its list is to reign in the military which under the previous government exercised a growing amount of autonomy especially over activities in the newer systems of the Far Reaches. They campaigned hard on this issue and believe they have a mandate. But the joint chiefs are not inclined to give up their freedom to act.
Add to this mix the rising independence movement within the Far Reaches. It has grown frustrated with the political processes and is now determined to achieve its objectives through whatever means it can. As usual the Federation Fleet officers on the line become the meat in the sandwich. One of these is Lieutenant Commander Chelsea Baxter who commands the corvette Daring. She has been charged with enforcing the Fleet imposed 'control orders' that call for her to inspect all ships coming into the colonised moon, Josker.
For her its a simple matter of doing her duty. But this simple perspective cannot stand up to the competing interests that are about to erupt in a flashpoint that will become the Baxter Incident. Her life is about to change dramatically as she is caught within a moral vice. And it is Bernie Wong who will be tightening the screws at one end.
I've written just over forty pages now and I'm enjoying it immensely.
Today I finished the final edits and formatting of the The Awakening, Book 1 of Warner's World. I uploaded it to Amazon and have brought the release date forward to Friday 11 September. That's only ten days away. :)
For those of you interested in self publishing on Amazon I thought I'd share with you the process I have gone through. I attended Steven Lewis's great course called "Publish your ebook like a professional". I strongly recommend the online course which included two live chat sessions. See here for details:
In the course Steven recommended formatting your Kindle version directly in html rather than using a conversion utility. Steven's reasoning is that the inbuilt conversion utility in MS Word produce a lot of verbose html code which is largely redundant. And other often end up with a version that is not exactly what you want in terms of the look and feel of the product.
But I found that Kovid Goyal's Calibre ebook management software was certainly good enough for what I required. Check it out here: http://calibre-ebook.com/. I started with a MS Word docx file that was formatted using Word styles. In Calibre I added my Word file, converted it to mobi format, which is suitable for Kindle and then installed it onto my Kindle device to test it. It was pretty seamless and hassle free, with one exception.
My Chapter heading used a prefix based on a Number List. This threw out the formatting on the Kindle because I did not realise that the Number List style included an indent. I got rid of this and then it worked like a charm.
Later I uploaded the mobi file to Amazon and used its online Previewer app to review how the book looked on all the supported devices. It was then I realised that I needed a little bit more space after each paragraph. That was a trivial change. All done and dusted now.
I recommend you read the "Building Your Book for Kindle" which has some good advice on formatting. Then make sure you setup your Word styles accordingly. Keep it simple stupid (KISS) is the best approach.
It's been an interesting learning exercise. I can't wait now for the book to be released. Only ten more sleeps.
Dave O'Connor is an award winning designer of computer war games, a consultant to the military in the simulation space, an expert in artificial intelligence and now author of the Warner's World series of sci-fi books. He is probably best known as President of Panther Games and designer of the Command Ops computer wargame series. He lives in Canberra, Australia, with his wife Joy. He has two adult children.
Warp Drive Publishing
is a division of
Panther Games Pty Ltd
ACN 66 008 609 541
We are located in Canberra, Australia.