Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Too Graphic


Hot on the heels of Crossroad Blues, I was ready for more action. I was ready to get graphic.

Graphic novels, I mean. Of course. :)

Leather Tales was my first graphic novel. Also the first thing I ever wrote and finished. Oddly enough, also my biggest seller by a wide margin. Since it's been out of print for something like eight years, it seemed a natural choice for my first graphic e-book.

Smashwords is pretty clear on their guidelines: they want Word .docs, nothing else. A graphic novel in Word is 132 *individual*, page-sized pictures with not a single word of text between them. My laptop displayed the file fine, but the slightly older desktop at work tended to skip every fourth or fifth page. The pages were still there if I backed up and looked for them again, but not if I was just moving forward normally... I had no idea if I'd be publishing a graphic novel or a train wreck.

Then it turns out that Smashwords won't accept a .doc over 5mb. Leather Tales is six times that size, so that's on hold for the moment. I'll either have to reduce the file size of each page *or* serialize the novel by splitting it into parts. At the moment, I'm not sure which...

Amazon, on the other hand, had no problem with my file size, or with working from a much more sane PDF. They did sit on the project for most of a week while they worked out that I did in fact own the rights to publish my book. (Leather Tales originally appeared in print in 2000, under a two-year license to a company that has long since sunk beneath the waves.) They also put a delivery charge on the book that would have reduced my royalty to something like thirty cents.

So my graphic novel isn't $2.99. I had to charge $4.99 to get my two bucks out of it. But hey, five bucks is the cost of a Starbucks, or a mug of tap beer. And I guarantee Leather Tales will entertain you longer... :)

Check it out!

9 comments:

Sidney said...

Hey, cool! Great cover.

Steve Malley said...

Thanks. I always did like that one, way the figures in the snow are both real threats from the story and ghosts from Kara's past...

Charles Gramlich said...

cool. I'll definitely check it out. I didn't really think of doing it this way but it makes perfect sense.

Erik Donald France said...

Cool, man -- you are definitely on a roll ~~ 23 skidoo! p.s. I also dig the cover . . .

Lana Gramlich said...

Cool on the Kindlizing. Good luck with this recent endeavor!

Chris Rhatigan said...

Odd that there are such limiting restrictions on graphic novels. But this seems like a really cool project--love the cover art--and I will definitely check it out.

cs harris said...

Nothing is ever simple, is it?

I've been thinking about trying to put up some of my out-of-print books; I wonder if they'd give me a hassle, too?

AvDeeBee said...

You've got me neck-deep in your work. Once I'm done with Crossroad Blues, I'll start in with this one. Keep 'em coming; I'm loving the Malley Blitzkrieg.

Steve Malley said...

Charles, Erik, Lana, thanks! :D

Chris, you actually run into similar problems printing graphic novels traditionally: a page of art uses a LOT more ink (or computer memory) than a page of type, and one ends up being charged accordingly...

Candy, Amazon weren't really too bad. They sat on the book for a couple of days after I replied to their email-- I imagine double-checking that my publisher had in fact folded years ago...

And Avery, I'm glad I've got you hooked. There'll be plenty more to come!