authors / book reviews

Say Hello to Lori and her Wonderful, “Trouble by Any Other Name” (What a title)

lori macLaughlinI’m excited to be hosting Lori MacLaughlin and her newest book, Trouble by Any Other Name (May 2016)–the sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble. This is the second in a planned series and by all accounts, a great addition to the story. Here’s a summary:

Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She’s yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn’t dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams? With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara’s sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she’d killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.

Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.

When I met new efriend Lori, I asked if she could give me some hints on self-publishing my upcoming novel, help me use her experience to avoid some of the pitfalls that might otherwise cause me plenty of problems. Here’s our conversation:

Thank you very much, Jacqui, for having me over!!

When I decided to self-publish my first book last year, I chose to start my own company and use IngramSpark, the self-publishing arm of the worldwide distributor Lightning Source, instead of CreateSpace for two reasons:

  1. I wanted my own imprint to be the publisher of record to make the book more my own.
  1. I wanted my books to be stocked on the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores, and store managers had told me they didn’t stock CreateSpace books.

I was happy with my decision, and everything went well until I reached the point where I needed to convert my MS-Word file to an epub file to upload to IngramSpark for the e-book. I had planned to use Calibre, the free conversion software available on the web, to do the conversion.

The problem I ran into was that according to Ingram’s instructions, the file had to be in an epub3 format, and Calibre would only convert to epub2. I scoured the internet looking for software that would convert to epub3 without costing me an arm and a leg. I found a convoluted system that eventually worked. I uploaded the epub3 file. It went through IngramSpark’s verification process and was accepted. I got the okay that it was good to go.

I publicized the release date of my first book on my blog and Facebook and to all my family and friends, so excited that my book was finally coming out.

On the big day I got up early and downloaded my e-book from Amazon so I’d have an official copy — and discovered that the formatting was all wrong and there were weird symbols like ampersands and such in place of apostrophes and quotation marks. I was mortified.

I called IngramSpark’s customer service as soon as they opened. They said it was Amazon’s problem. I called Amazon’s customer service. They said it was IngramSpark’s problem. I called IngramSpark back and during that “I need this fixed!” conversation discovered that even though their online instructions said otherwise, they would accept epub2 files. I used Calibre to do the conversion, which worked great, and uploaded the new file.

I posted on my blog about the problem and apologized to anyone who had bought the glitched book. Several hours later, the e-retailers picked up the new file. I downloaded another copy, which looked fine. Problem solved, and I felt like I could breathe again.

When I got ready to self-publish my second book this year, I was determined not to have a repeat of last year’s fiasco.

My solutions?

  1. I used Calibre right from the beginning to do the conversion to epub2.
  1. I set a release date for the book to go live, but didn’t publicize it to the world until I’d had a chance to download the e-book myself and look it over. My book officially released on May 16th, but I didn’t put the word out until May 23rd. The stress level was so much lower this time around because I knew that even if there was a problem with the book, I could fix it before any potential buyers were aware of it.

I will definitely be using this strategy with future releases. And I highly recommend Calibre conversion software. You can find it here:

Does anyone else have book release horror stories they’d like to share?

lori maclaughlin

What a story. I’m definitely taking Lori’s advice and delaying the ‘official’ pub date.

You can get this wonderful book in print or ebook at:

And, you can stay connected with Lori at:

About the Author

Lori traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She’s been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.

More Author Interviews:

Cover Reveal: Anna Simpson’s “White Light”

Announcing: T.B. Markinson’s A Clueless Woman

Michael’s Newest Release–Davidia’s Seed

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

45 thoughts on “Say Hello to Lori and her Wonderful, “Trouble by Any Other Name” (What a title)

  1. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I self-published my first book and they printed it in a 9 font. They did a great job on the cover and people picked up the book because of it. They set it down even faster when they saw the print size. First novels rarely do well, but this one didn’t stand a chance. I refused to pay to correct their mistake and they lost all of my future business. ~ Connie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jacqui, thank you for inviting Lori to share her publishing experiences. You asked the perfect questions.

    Lori, you’ve been through the grinder with this e-publishing project, and I thank you for generously sharing the pitfalls so we won’t fall in. Unfortunately you got shmooshed – we get to stay neat and pretty. 😀

    I wish you every success with your new book – sounds like an exciting story!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would have been mortified had that happened to me. I’ll probably obsess over these types of issues so much that I’ll never get my book published. Thanks for the story.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yikes! That sounds like it would have been a heart-stopping nightmare! I am really not a fan of Amazon’s rigid demand that everyone has to use their own content format (MOBI) when -everyone else- uses EPUB. Especially since MOBI has limited support and is not open source (not allowing an edit of just the MOBI format….) If there’s a problem in the MOBI you have to go right back to ePub. 😦 Boo.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Whooboy, yeah, that is frustrating Lori. I’m glad you got it figured out, though. I agree, Calibre is great! I typically install it on every computer I own. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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