Saturday, February 16, 2013

Words 2: Tags, Labels, Keywords and Search Terms

Thommo Green Tracking

Dogs are great at finding their way with their superior (to humans) sense of smell and hearing. 
They might almost have been model for the 'spider bots' -- merely bits of programming, I understand -- crawling through the web to find the things required.

Everything typed into the google box is a search term. The spider bots take it and try to match it as closely as possible to whatever presents itself.

On this site, IE blogger/blogspot, searchable terms are called labels. Whatever label I set for this blogpost will appear at the bottom, check them out. ('Thommo' will be one of them, making it easy for his owners to find his guest appearance on this blog.)

In the HTML programming behind the scenes, that you can access by clicking on View on the browser menu bar above, and running down the pop-out menu to View Source, click on that to see the code necessary to bring this article up on your screen. Searchable terms are called 'keywords'. Smashwords uses 'Tags' for the same thing. 

Tags are the final component I need to marshal to be able to publish my story, The Harrowing. The second-to-final thing, the book cover, is however the hold-up.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gathering the Necessities ...

... to publish on

I imagine much the same process as for other platforms.

Rita de Heer by C McNeill

1) Author bio and photo - see my About Me page. I'm particularly happy about this photo. A friend helped me after I took about 103 half and quarter shots the long-arm way. IE attempting to photograph yourself by holding the camera facing inward at the end of your arm.

2) The ISDN number - which I need if I want Smashwords to distribute my book to such publishers as Apple. When I googled "buy ISDN" an agency in Australia came up. I'm extrapolating that there will be agencies everywhere --Turkey, Russia, Indonesia -- wherever you live.

3) The "back cover" blurb for The Harrowing, as follows:

The Harrowing is a science fiction/fantasy meld, a tender love story from Seven Seas, a water planet. Most of the Nan are winged and roost on tall stone pillars rising from their sea. Only the brood-fathers return to the sea, there to raise the young.

Crash-landing, the aliens must gain a foothold. Their solution is Darwinian – the strongest beings will overcome the rest. When Fane, the greatest of the nanguy, fails to trap the invader, can Leery, nanny-guy and brood-father save all their people?

4) The "book cover" isn't quite ready yet, only because I'm being stubborn about using my purpose-made scissors-and-actual-paste collage as a background image. 

5) The formatted file of the story and its appendages -- title page, table of contents, author bio, where to contact author, sample of next read is sitting in a special folder on my desktop and also on a memory stick as well as still attached to the un-trashed email from the formatting service. 


Dire warnings came in the accompanying email. Even just opening the file to see what it now looks like can cause the format to be "corrupted" or changed, and I believe it. My experience of that same magical process is with a photo editing program, Preview for Mac. A photo file might read as being 6 MB in size.

I open it, click on the resizing tool. The submenu comes up and is usually resizing the photo while I'm watching, without having had further instructions. Very frustrating. 

So. Therefore. I'm leaving my primary copy of the format uncorrupted and pristine for its date with the Smashwords' Meat Grinder.

Yes, they really call their in-house multiple-format software their Meat Grinder! That in itself is rather confronting. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dithering my way towards Smashwords

After a trying time, trying to inspire myself to finally get published, but getting ground down by the requirements and specifications of the goliath, I recalled an inspirational talk by Mark Coker.

Way back in history, at my local Writers Centre in Byron Bay. It was a seminar on epublishing when Smashwords was still new and hadn't taken off yet. The first year of its operations, I believe.


This is it. I'm going with the david.

And not only that, I'm done with trying to format for publication. Though Mark gives a fabulous description of the hows and whats in in his Smashwords Style Guide my word processor is not up to it, and I'm tired of the time-wasting while I fight it.

Instead I sent for Mark's List.

And am getting my formatting done by John Low and team at

They have a good troubleshooting site at where to get answers about anything at all to do with the publishing process.