Friday, January 15, 2016

January 2016: Author to Author: The Dreaded Revised Edition

Author to Author: The Dreaded Revised Edition

Isn't this the digital age?

I'm working hard on the upcoming Cherish Desire Singles: "His Toy Chest (The Complete Seven Part Series) featuring Angel" and along the way I have the usual list of minor edits and corrections to the previously published stories. I know. I know. It's self-inflicted pain. This is the digital age though, when we can recognize a misplaced word, a dangling plot thread, or an annoying redundancy, and just fix it. Right?


Maybe not so much. I don't know how other authors really deal with revisions, but it's a challenge for Cherish Desire. We have a standard revision edition notation in each book - [alpha][alpha] - where the first letter is the publishing year of revision and the second increments by quarter or by major format change.


In 2016 there's a big push underway that goes all the way back to August 2015 to revise all AA, BA through BC, and some CA titles to DA or higher. I bring up August 2015 because our first pass revising AA titles in July 2015 ran into technical glitches at Amazon. So we backed off and prepared for the hard push to DC editions.


On the surface, this should be a straightforward exercise. This is much harder work than it sounds though, and mostly it's for internal consistency. Plus making the covers look nicer and the descriptions match Amazon's latest formating. Still it shouldn't be so hard to just assemble the revised parts of the ebook and publish the revision.


It's the little things that matter so much

Some of you may not know much about how Cherish Desire books are formatted. Honestly, you should be able to open a book, see the table of contents, and click on the story you want to read. I try to keep it that simple.


What you skip by in the front material is a title page that has the Amazon ASIN ID, the KIN Kobo ID, and the Smashwords ISBN. In order to get those identifiers and put them in the book, the book must be published to all three retailers and then updated. WHY??? I'm going to look at how pre-release enables seeing the identifiers before go live day, but it's a nuisance.


The next book section is what I kindly refer to as "Things for sneak previews." With some Very Dirty Stories titles, the sneak previews on Amazon and Smashwords allowed readers to read the entire first story. I'd rather people get a taste but not eat an entire scoop of ice cream without paying. We have plenty of free titles after all.


The front material includes good content! Information about Ladies of Cherish Desire appearing in the book, related Cherish Desire Singles titles, and more provide some context and branding. These paragraphs tend to be pretty static, but revisions do happen. A change to a single lady's background story hits every book she appears or is referenced in. That means hunting down all those titles and marking them for revision. Head desk jackhammer.


After the last story in each title, there are catalog segments by Cherish Desire Lady to outline the additional sexy adventures of the main characters. This back material is probably the most neglected part of each book, but it's there for readers who are trying to get their bearings within short stories that might reference a number of secondary characters or past events. While the catalog is stable, new Cherish Desire titles are being added throughout the year. So the embedded catalog has its own versioning, and new book releases would trigger an update throughout any number of books if that was a priority.


But wait... there's more! Based on feedback from readers, we also include links to referenced characters in the header for each story so they don't need to flip back to the front material for the Ladies of Cherish Desire links. This isn't hard to maintain, but it's got to be added in story by story.


With the Dx series of revisions, there's also a link at the end of each story. This link goes to the next story in the series or an appropriate story linked to the one the reader just finished. This was another reader request, but when the catalog gets updated these next story links become inaccurate. They also must be generated story by story.


So here's the challenge for 2016, and I'm definitely open to suggestions: Make this process clean and fast to enable quick turn around every time a change is made which impacts multiple titles.


Ideas? Is it just me that is working so hard to revise existing content for the best reader experience? Am I making a mistake thinking that since we produce a digital product that it doesn't have to be print and forget like paper editions?


Thank you for your support.

Cherish Desire Erotica

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