The Bumpy Road to ‘A Dash of Flash’

A Dash of Flash Banner 0806 2It seems ages since I was active on my blog, but I’m now looking forward to having a little more time for writing and reading posts. It’s been a funny year for me so far, though I know the problems are all of my own making. We’ve been away a lot for a start, and I’ve been writing two books at the same time – probably not the best idea I’ve ever had. I should have finished off the third book of my trilogy before taking on anything new.

But at last my flash fiction book is finished, edited and published on Amazon. Happy me! (This nice, happy-looking young lady is evidently not me – the picture just shows how I feel. πŸ™‚ )


I thought that having so many stories already on my blog, the book would take little time to do. WRONG. I soon realised I also needed new/unread stories in the book, so I started to write some. Β I also decided to make the book a decent length – at least novella size* – so I ended up writing quite a lot of new stories. A good half dozen are almost Β 1,000 words (the generally accepted upper word limit for ‘flash’.) Several are over 500, and some of the stories from my blog have either been tweaked a little and/or lengthened. The book finally ended up at almost 23,000 words. (*Novellas are usually between 18,000 to 30,000 words.

The editing of A Dash of Flash was finished over seven weeks ago, but the person I initially sent the book to for formatting and converting to epub and mobi files kept me waiting for weeks. And even then it wasn’t done properly! Eventually I was sent a word document (supposedly formatted) with assurances that most of his clients used word documents to upload onto Amazon. Having only uploaded mobi files for my Viking books, I was sceptical, but accepted this ‘professional’s’ advice.

A Dash of Flash (Small)

I uploaded this file onto Amazon at 9 pm last Saturday. It looked good on the previewer, so I was happy.Β It generally takes anything up to 12 hours before books go ‘live’ and I’d thought that by morning I’d be able to check the book by downloading my own copy and if anything was wrong with it, I could quickly unpublish…

Imagine how I felt when I saw that indents were all over the place for a start. To make matters worse, the book had come live on Amazon before midnight (UK time) and someone on the .com site had already bought a copy!

I was mortified!

Confused (from Pixabay)

Naturally I immediately unpublished. If the person unlucky enough to have got that dodgy copy is reading this, please email me and I’ll send you a mobi or epub file of the properly formatted version – with my sincere apologies.

I immediately sent the book to the person who’d formatted my other two books, and kicked myself for going elsewhere this time. Alan CooperΒ has made an excellent job of formatting and converting all three of my books now, and he’ll certainly be doing the next one.

If anyone would like to read A Dash of Flash, it’s available onΒ Amazon US,Β Amazon UK and Amazon AU.Β It is on KDP Select, but I haven’t got around to ordering my first 5 free days just yet.

Needless to say, I’d love to know what people think, and honest reviews would be more than gratefully received. Publishing a book of ‘flash’ is new territory for me – although many of the stories have historical settings.

This is how all authors feel about receiving reviews:


48 thoughts on “The Bumpy Road to ‘A Dash of Flash’

    1. Thank you! The plan now is to have time to read people’s posts. I’ve been very negligent for most of this year. (Sharp wrist tapping needed here. πŸ™‚ )

      1. Blogging takes a lot of time, and I love doing it. I really enjoy reading people’s posts and sharing their world for a little while. Unfortunately, for most of this year, I’ve let things slip, simply because I’ve been writing my books. It’s hard to strike a happy balance sometimes. Thanks for the nice, understanding comment.

    1. That’s wonderful, Michael, thank you! I’d really appreciate honest feedback. I don’t expect all the stories to appeal to everyone, because there’s quite a mix. (I can’t write sci-fi to save my life, so I haven’t gone in that direction!) It will be interesting to find out which stories did or didn’t appeal. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi, Ineke. Yes, I made a big mistake trying someone new. I was really horrified that someone had bought such a badly formatted copy, too. I’m just glad the book’s finished and I can devote much more time to my trilogy. πŸ™‚ Thank you for wanting to buy it! I’ll probably make it free for a while soon. πŸ™‚

      1. I bought it already! Can’t wait to start reading. I know that feeling- I am my own for-matter and can’t say it is as I really want it. Sooner or later I’ll let someone do the formatting and also publishing for me. Looks as if the ones you are using are very good
        Hope you have a lovely weekend. I am helping my son with his production line this weekend. We hardly can keep up to fill the orders. Lots of love to you.:)

      2. Wow, thanks so much, Ineke! I just hope you bought the book today and not last week when the awful one was published for a few hours. I wish I could do my own formatting because it would save me a lot of money! Lol I wouldn’t know how to convert the word doc to a mobi file- especially with the images in there.
        It sounds as though your son’s business is really booming! So many orders! Well done to him – and you, as well, for all the work you’ve put into the business. Lots of love to you, too! ❀

      3. I bought the book yesterday after seeing it on your blog. I think it is the new one. Yes, those images is also one of the things I do not know how to use in an eBook. My goal is to do more photo essays. I am a better photographer than a writer. Still studying the information on how to create photo essays.

      4. Your photos are definitely good, Ineke, so that sounds like a great idea. I’m no photographer, so I’ll really enjoy seeing any photo essays you publish.

      5. It will happen one day in the future. After September I won’t have a boarder anymore. I hope to start exploring the essays after that. I’m Going to house sit on a small holding during Dec holidays- Going to be my best time to start the real thing.

    1. Yes, Alan made a really good job of my other two books, and it was foolish of me to try elsewhere. He’s very ‘on the ball’ and wastes no time, either. If you buy the book, Irina, I hope you like most of the stories – and I’d be very pleased to hear what you think. Thank you so much for wanting to have a look, anyway! πŸ™‚

      1. I’m glad you liked that story, Irina, because I really enjoyed writing it. It was one of those stories I wanted to write more about, but I had to keep it under 1,000 words. I’m a real ‘softie’ when it comes to fairy stories. πŸ™‚ Thank you for letting me know you liked it. I really appreciate that.

    1. Thank you, Jack! πŸ™‚ I was on the verge of giving up the idea of ever getting this book published. I’m just happy it’s eventually all done. πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you again, Jack. πŸ™‚ I’m just still horrified that someone out there got a really badly formatted version. I wish I knew who it was, so I could apologise. I hope the new version is better. The copy bought for myself looks OK, but I haven’t been through it with a fine tooth comb.”Young One’ – who me? Haha. I wish…

  1. Hi Jack. Any feedback from you would be wonderful, whatever it is. (By that I mean, even if I have to don my suit of armour to read it!). You’re the expert at short story writing and publishing, so I’ll take what you say to heart. Thank you for even thinking of feedback. I really appreciate it. πŸ™‚

  2. Congratulations on getting through this whole laborious sounding process! And thanks for blogging about it so that we can learn from your experiences — or at least, commiserate if we end up having similar problems.

    Now I hope you can relax a bit and revel in it – how exciting that you have a new book up! And after, you can go back to “only” working on one book. Gee, practically a vacation! ((wink wink))

    1. Thank you, Joy. My new book is a flash fiction collection, so it isn’t a great epic. But I enjoyed writing some new stories to add to some of those from my blog. The formatting turned out to be a nightmare and I’m just relieved to eventually have it published. I don’t intend to do much promotion for this one as I’ll be having too much fun on my ‘vacation’! Lol.

  3. Millie, You’ve been so busy! But this is great news and very encouraging for the rest of us. Your rather harrowing publishing fiasco is a lesson for all of us and I’ve taken note. I’ll be getting my own copy, but I can’t promise when I’ll do the review as things are busy around here as I soldier on with my mystery among other projects. But I will do a review! Congratulations and have a lovely week. πŸ’ Clare

    1. Thanks Clare, that’s really nice of you. The book is only in eBook form at the moment, but I’ll be having print copies made through CreateSpace soon. As for writing reviews… I know exactly what you mean. I have several to write up at the moment. I just didn’t have time until my ‘flash’ book was all sorted.
      I’m looking forward to reading your books once they’re published on Amazon or wherever you decide to put them. Have a lovely week, too. I’ll pop over to your blog in the next day or two. I’m playing ‘catch up’ at the moment.

      1. Thanks, Clare. I’d guessed you were still battling with your mystery book. You’ll get there in the end. (That’s something I have to keep telling myself!) As for catching up, I’ve missed a lot of posts from most people, so I know I’ll never catch up. I’ll try to read at least a couple from everyone. Talk again soon. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, we do live and learn. But I should have trusted my instincts on this one, and not be persuaded to upload a word document – something I’d never done before. I’ve always used mobi files in the past. Thanks for the congrats! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Lynne, and I’m sorry for this late reply. I’m more relieved that proud to have eventually got my flash fiction book onto Amazon. Although I enjoyed writing all the extra stories to go into it, I really should have been spending that time finishing Book 3 of my trilogy. ‘A Dash of Flash’ is just a little ‘extra’, which I thought would be a quick thing to do because I’d already written a lot of stories on the challenges. But, by the time I’d tweaked and lengthened and written several new stories, time had ticked by.:)

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