“How hard can it be?” (Famous last words…)

So there was this item for GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) this year. It was something along the lines of, ‘A housecat happily sporting a mustache.’ Unless specified, these items are meant to be actual photos, no Photoshop or filters allowed. Well, when I saw this item, I thought, ‘No problem.’ I mean, I already have a cat, and a fake, stick-on mustache. (Who doesn’t?)

First, I showed the fake mustache to Xena to see how she would react to it. There was lots of sniffing involved. I trimmed it down to the right size for her and (briefly) tried sticking it below her nose.

Yeah. She wasn’t a fan of that. At all. (“You want to put something right under the place where I breathe? Hard pass.”)

So then I thought, ‘What if I put the mustache on a stick and hold it a short distance in front of her nose while I take the picture?’ I went off and made a mustache on a stick deal, believing my problem was solved.

…Turns out when you put something furry on a stick and show it to your cat, they immediately become convinced it must be a toy. Now Xena wasn’t recoiling from the mustache, she was attacking it and trying to eat it. *sigh*

Long story short, what I thought would only take a few minutes involved another round of pleading, cajoling, and distracting with catnip before I finally got the money shot. (And yes, I was laughing pretty much the whole time.)

(MUSTACHE SIDE-NOTE: My dad has always had a mustache or mustache/beard combo. Always. When I was about 2 years old, he decided to shave it off for some reason. I spent pretty much the entire day balling my eyes out and begging him to put it back on, lol. Scarred for life.)

Anyway, my whole point here is that pretty much everything involved in the publishing game usually seems to end up taking more time or steps than you anticipate. This week, I’ve been working on getting the final edits for Cornered done, and getting all my titles ready for upload with the new covers, blurbs, etc.

My plan for the whole author changeover from Kat Irwin to Jacquelyn Smith for the original Kira Brightwell titles was to list both authors on those books. (The covers will have ‘Jacquelyn Smith writing as Kat Irwin’ on them.) I don’t want to lose any readers who originally discovered that series under Kat Irwin, and I want them to link those first few books to the newer ones that are written solely under my own name.

I thought plopping a second name on them would be fairly simple. I know there’s a place for multiple authors to be added on Amazon and Draft2Digital, who distributes to a lot of the non-Amazon ebook retailers. So I was surprised when I couldn’t find a spot for this on Smashwords (the distributor I’ve used for all my previous titles, before trying out D2D). Instead, they have an ’email the support team’ option for this, which seems pretty clunky for both the authors and them.

I haven’t been using D2D for long, but I’ve been really impressed by them so far. Their website is much more streamlined than Smashwords (which still looks and functions like an early-2000’s website), and they seem to distribute very quickly. I uploaded a new title to them yesterday, and started seeing links for places like Apple and Kobo only a few hours later. To be fair, Smashwords might distribute just as quickly, but they don’t communicate those retailer links back to their authors, so I have to go hunting for them manually instead. Meanwhile, D2D updates a list of retailer links for me automatically as they are generated, and they even email me with updates. Pretty cool.

Now I don’t want to cut Smashwords out of the equation. They distribute to a few more places than D2D, and they also run some pretty cool site-wide promotions that are good for readers, like their annual Summer Sale. My bottom line is also to have my books available in as many markets as possible. (My books have been purchased in 30+ countries so far, which is mind-boggling to me. I actually started a scratch map as a fun way to keep track.)

So now, my plan is to reissue the original Kira Brightwell titles completely as Jacquelyn Smith on Smashwords (only for those retailers that D2D doesn’t reach) and have them listed as both Jacquelyn Smith/Kat Irwin on D2D and Amazon. Meanwhile, my original Kat Irwin books will still kick around with the old covers through Smashwords as well, to make sure I don’t lose anyone along the way.

This means you might see two different versions of the same book on some of the non-Amazon sites for the first few Kira Brightwell titles: one under Kat Irwin, and another under Jacquelyn Smith. They will essentially be the same book, but the Jacquelyn Smith versions will have updated formatting and end matter (About the Author, Other Books By, etc.). This isn’t my ideal scenario, but in a way, I’m happy to shift more distribution through D2D, since I’m liking it there so far.

Of course, all this means what I thought would only take a certain amount of time to get my titles updated is now going to take a bit longer. There are both ISBN and account logistics to sort out, along with making sure I manage to keep everything straight in my files… The adventure continues!

And I guess if it were easy, I probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much.

…Like my mustache photo of Xena.

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Posted by Jacquelyn

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