Tag Archives: writing

Ken Lehnig’s Audio Tutorial On Song Structure.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I’m still working on the new site.

  Ken Lehnig’s tutorial on Song Structure

There have been many workshops on songwriting. On this tutorial I talk about songwriting in general and then in my usual style get eventually to a real study on songwriting specifically on song structure. I use recordings of my own songs to illustrate the points I’m sharing. I trust this will be informative or at least entertaining. I would be pleased if it’s both.

Where to buy Ken’s Books

Where to buy Ken’s Music

Ken hosts Songwriter Insights Podcast

Join me on Facebook

Ken on Twitter

kenlehnigportrait23.23jpg

What’s a Blog?

Naked poetry

I have come to realize that a writer has a real quandary in that when one is working on one project so many other plot ideas pop into your head. Yikes – how to stay focused.

After having a chat with one of my brilliant nephews It became clear that although I am computer literate I’m still a dinosaur at website optimization. I have to admit that I can build magazine style websites , but I didn’t wrap my head around the idea of a blog site – which is why this site looks the way it does. To be truthful in the beginning I learned to build sites as a means to promote my work. In 2013 what that amounts to is a quick run through my pages. The reader may find some of interest and maybe the others would produce nothing but a yawn.

My nephew asked me, after looking at my site, “What interests you? What are you an expert in?”

I looked at him like he was nuts. “Writing, songwriting, art, poetry…like the site clearly demonstrates. His response astonished me, “Yeah I get you do that stuff but why would a person come back to your site…once they have made one visit?” I honestly didn’t know the answer, and I sat with my brain squirming like an ell out of water.  He told me he liked everything on my site – and asked why I don’t blog about it. “Engage readers in your process, your back story, ask for opinions and create a community of like minded people with a running conversation – a blog!” I honestly thought that was what I was doing. He looked at me and said you are posting cool articles – articles that do give the reader a little of the writer – perfectly suited for a magazine.

There are some amazing Blogs out there that started with a simple interest and turned into something amazing.  I suppose that a successful blog is a blog that eventually  sells something, but is that necessarily true?  I will admit that I want you to buy my e-books – selling myself as an author sis tough for me, and I’m sure many authors out there. What I love is to write about anything that interests me, if you are interested in what I’m interested in then it makes sense you would buy my books.

I have been trying to wrap myself around that concept for a few months now – so I haven’t posted much. The thing is there is so much to talk about in writing, poetry, music, and art that I should be able to write something often – so the site will change as I get this blogging thing down.

If any of you have found or find yourself in this situation let me know your thoughts. If you have a successful Blog site – how about sharing as to how it came about? So I will write about what interests me in the context of writing, music, poetry  and art and see where it takes us.

Next time: My take on Ghost Hunting shows.

Here’s an interesting list of successful blogs:

The 100 Best, Most Interesting Blogs and Websites of 2013

Other sites by Ken Lehnig:

http://songwritersdmarketplace.com

http://sandiegoacoustic.com

e-books by Ken Lehnig:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/keninkslinger

 

E-book published – What now!!!

I just sat down to do another internet search of the best way to market your book. I think I have become an expert in the how to part but not in the actual selling of my books. I now know from all the experts at selling books, the things I need to do. The tough part for me is the marketing – I am a writer and writing is my love and passion not the selling of what I write. If I did everything I read that I am supposed to do I would never write another book. I would be too busy doing all that selling and promoting stuff. I'm sure there are more like me out there and I would love to hear from you about your success' and failures. I have 5 e-books published and I'm writing a 6th. So it seems that it is about time to 'ugh' pay more attention to the marketing side. But DAMN – really? I have a stack of rejection letters and I know not a single one I sent was read. Now I can be logical and say that I know the  Publishing business is changing – into what? I answered myself and went to Smashwords.com and learned to edit and format my own books – and that was hugely difficult and rewarding – I would recommend it to any determined, patient, and disciplined writer – all others don't even try, you will collapse in exhaustion and chronic deflated ego.

There again, having surpassing that hurtle you have to know how to market your own work..

I have read that Publishers are looking at Smashword.com writers now to go mainstream (read paper books), so do I just wait for the magic e-mail from Penquin or Random House. Is it proper etiquette to send an e-mail pointing to your e-books – or that somehow unforgivable shameless promoting? I am told that there are more e-books being sold than paper books. Really? Now make no mistake I love my fans for buying my work – and If you aren't a fan of my writing you really should be. I promise you will like it. Okay! Enough of that.
I guess what we writers do is write, and write, and write;and be pleased that we have the readers we have (God bless ye literate all!) and by sheer will and perseverance write on!

The Relationship Between Songwriting and Poetry

 

   I am a writer, poet , and songwriter and having practiced these arts most of my life I have gotten a few insights as to what works in each. It is my hope that if the reader is a songwriter what i have written will be of help – if you are not perhaps you may gain a finer appreciation of songwriting and what is good in a song.

This piece was first published in Lit.org 'Majestic'.

  I have had several conversations this week with poets and songwriters about the relationship between poetry and lyric writing. Poets expounded that the art of poetry has a deeper and more defining aspect, while lyric writing is common and shallow. Lyric writers say that the abstract and esoteric nature of poetry is inaccessible, while lyric writing accesses a universal meaning and need, whether it is an aria, or a version of Louie Louie. After listening to, and speaking many well considered, and erudite notions, I put aside my too often eristic tendencies and retired to my chair, in front of my computer, to ponder all that has been offered with such earnestness and passion. I even went so far as to Google the issue, an act leaving me more confused, past my own time worn and well considered opinions – as well as any nonsensical notions I have picked up along the way.

There is no doubt, to me, that music, or the human appreciation for music, is in some way hardwired in us, at the least it is an appreciation developed early in human history. But then so is ‘language’, and the use of language, as a means to tell a story, or convey an abstract concept, the latter, in human prehistory, often the purlieu of the early religious and well suited in those ethereal explorations. The combining of word, and music, is an ancient endeavor, and a natural one. The powerful feeling and sensations that can be invoked with the marrying of music and lyric is, in the truest sense, magical. One can wonder why there is contention at all between the two art forms.

As I have addressed in previous articles, we know that Greek recitations often included music, or rhythmic accompaniment. Music evolved into a very sophisticated form when more and more instruments were invented – out of necessity, so that a common written form would allow for combined performance. That notation system, we enjoy today, gives our voices acknowledgment as the first, and primary, instrument.

Is it in us, as humans, to be creative, hard-wired as I stated? If it is, any number of creative barkings, and thump-drummings, can and will occur. And they most certainly have. Every creative act of humans has the potential for developing into finer and finer manifestations. The barkings of early humans is now speech – a thing that can be refined as gold in ore, or as rough and rude as with primordial attempts. Music can be the hitting of a stick on a hollow tree stump, or the bowed brilliance of a Stradivarius by a Masters hand.

What am I getting at? You may ask.

I am getting at the fact that all art is progression, an a cumulative expression of the human psyche. So when we sit down to write, whether poetry or lyrics, do we do it with no knowledge of what came before? Do we defend our ‘Art’ with venomous rage, and refuse any critique?  Or do we learn a little of what has already been done, from others, and in our own exploration, and see how our work fits into the human artistic tapestry? New things do come into the world and are worthy of attention; usually those things own a kinship with what has come before, and stand on the shoulders of other artistic craftsman. Am I saying that any ‘unique’ interpreter should throw out what they have done?  No I am not – but take the time to see if, and how, that work fits in the artistic matrix. That ‘matrix’ is what is built into us all. We look at new things through that filter, and make the decision to ‘like’ or’ not like’ based upon those preset conceptions. The true Artist is one that knows, whether through study and trial, or by some directed self-awareness, the ‘matrix’ – and knows how to create something different, and new, that will find a place within the existing fabric. This is the reason art created with feces is just something made from feces – Journal writing is, and will remain, Journal writing, no matter the passionate and honest intentions of the creator.

There you have it, the rantings of a near lunatic, sitting at Tea (coffee), on ‘Art’. I will of course offer an example of how this bit of scribbling has practical merit. Poetry has forms, and one should learn those forms. Songwriting has forms , and one should learn the forms.

Why? The brand new stream of consciousness Spoken Word poet asks. Because, my fearless friend, it will make your work better.  More people will respond favorably to your performances, and when you write it down it will be read as you, as the writer, intends.

Why? The brand new songwriters ask, as they pluck happily on a guitar, or tickle the ivories, over the song that, to them, sounds exactly like a Lady GaGa song, and will surly make them rich, as soon as they share it with the first music pro they meet. Because, if you know song structure, and form, you will have an arsenal of tools to be able to write quality lyrics to the next hundred songs, where one might turn out be that hit.

I have spent a great deal of time on poetry as of late – so – let’s spend some time with the songwriters.

I have talked about the ‘verse/verse/chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus’ song structure. This is kinda the norm, these days, for contemporary songs, but it isn’t the only way. I’m going to go around the barn, once again, and suggest some songwriting methods that you probably won’t find anywhere else. Lyric writing ‘is’ poetry! In the sense that it stands on it’s own until music is added. So let’s look at some Poetic Forms that are relevant to lyric writing. Here are four familiar poetic forms that work well for songwriting structure and if creatively tweaked a bit can produce some interesting results.

1. Ballads: These were often written as Broadsheets, were most always ‘tales’ and often written by poets and  sung to existing melodies throughout England and Ireland. Northern and west European ballads were most often written in quatrains (four-line stanzas) of alternating lines of  iambic, tetrameter, and iambic trimeter. Usually, only the second and fourth line of a quatrain are rhymed.

Here is an example of  one ‘o me own:

The black steed rode ahead the storm
His rider clothed in dread
He carried dire thoughts in his mind
Behind, the angry dead

Can you hear the storm there wailing?
It calls out every name
The black rider is there leading
He is delivering the blame

2. Couplet–  usually consists of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter.

Here is one ‘o my blues song that uses this form aa bb cc. the meter is skewed in the last couplet to accommodate the refrain:

I ain’t had no luck
Drive a pick up truck

My mood ain’t sunny
I ain’t got no money

I’ll do any thing in this big wide world Sue
To get me up close to you

3. Sonnets: This form usually is written in a 14 lines with an ababcdcdefefgg rhyme with 10 syllables per line in iambic pentameter. For this song we can break them into 4 stanzas aabb ccdd eeff and a chorus of two lines gg. I have bent the rules making this 13 syllables per line –  so that it sings well.

(He was)
Early disappointing but a hero in his mind
Traveled in dark places staying with the thieving kind
Wild storms broke the sun deadly shadows across the moon
Holds up the well of heal then sleeps off the drink till noon

It was sadly wrought the gentry two were badly met
They held their purses hard – John Penny’s gun did the rest
Grim bell resonates  – John Penny for the gibbet soon
Gold and copper counts, John Penny in a dreary room

A crossed mate played the Judas- gave up his hide and seek
Jon Penny slipped the noose and preyed further on the weak
Like a rider on the wind with hell hounds on his heels
Fiercely snapping crying vengeance no judge to make a deal

Highwaymen are lonely and most then are surely doomed
Jon Penny riding like a shadow across the moon

4. Free Verse: This form uses both rhyme and cadence/meter where the poet has the freedom to create a feeling or mood. This is the foundation and legitimacy for Spoken Word, although that legitimacy comes from past poets, who knew and understood other poetic form, before venturing into free verse.

Anyway, whether poetry, or songwriting take the time to learn the forms – It don’t hurt to know!

Here is a song lyric that uses free verse in its structure.

She the kind of girl who’s true and formed
Free versed and cursed
With a quirky grace

She the kind of girl with much inside
Weird dark and light
On an angels face

She’s a temptress
And a circus clown
Back flips and lips
Not afraid to fall

Lost gypsy’s dream
I’ve lost my will
Dreams come true

T.S. Eliot wrote, “No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.”

Every poetic form gives the songwriter a platform a foundation to write upon. I hope that I have shown that by knowing poetic form you can tweak it and make your songwriting stronger and maybe just a little easier.

Ken Lehnig(c)2012 version All Rights Reserved

If you like dark, weird, and decidedly off poetry, and short stories you will love –

Ken's Newest Book. 'SOZZEL the JONGLEUR 3 STRANGE REFLECTIONS'

 

Writer’s Computers Do Crash

 

The computer screen lit up and my rebuilt computer whirred into life. The poor beast, overworked and laden, gave up the ghost two weeks ago. It’s little brother, my trusty laptop, did not hold up the task of taking its place. It too coughed – hicupped – and sadly died. I sat in my black leather chair, in my office, and began to weep. The realization that I had been cut off from the world, severed most cruelly from ghostly relationships, tended so carefully across the ether. No more was I connected to my vaguely artistic works peppered hither and thither on the ethereal strands of the world wide web. I was overcome with a deep dread – I had been slowly cyberized, over the years, by trying to master these devices. How was I connected to the world? Not by handshakes and hugs, but by directed bytes, e-mails, and URL addresses.

I steeled myself up, pressing down the fearful flutters in my stomach. I was going to be strong. I would take my devices – for that is all they are – down to a computer shop where would sit a maven, an expert, who will take my broken wings and once again make them to fly. Soon all would be well. The magical diagnosis was performed and the worst was revealed. They were both old and worn, just like me. The rush of empathy nearly overwhelmed me. Then that which must be asked – was asked, “What do you want to do with them?” I was shocked dumbfounded. ‘Had he no heart?’ I thought. These have been my partners, my companions in arms. We have taken every battle with stout hearts and drives. We have, together, written over a million words. They sat there patiently while I sweat and ached to nudge some morsel from an unresponsive muse. They assisted me in writing all those query letters and felt, I’m sure, sympathy when the rejection letters and emails came rolling in. Do I just cast them in the garbage heap? They deserve more.

Then the brilliant and blessed A+ certified genius said, “Why don’t we drop a new, larger, hard drive and double up your RAM. Then you just reload your operating system and your software and your good to go – won’t cost you near as much as new computer. Your laptop just needs a couple of larger sticks – more memory. Easy! Buit you will lose your data when we re-format.”

"I have everything backed up on a remoter hard drive." Says I.

The light of heaven opened up and I heard the  Muse’ singing in a combined chorus of Alleluia. My friends could be resurrected. I could see the clouds breaking and all those past writers, who struggled with mere pen and paper, all were giving me a ‘thumbs up’. So generous are those previous others, who made their way without spell-checker and the Internet. We computer literate writers, of today, give a nod to those who loved their fine quill and expensive inks, who toiled away pounding the mechanical keys of an old Remington, tossing mistyped pages of incoherent thoughts into the trash.

“So, what do you want to do?”

I blinked as the vision passed and looked, watery eyed, at the techno maven. “Fix it! My food man, my techno savior, boost the power – boost the memory – get me up and on line as soon as you are able. We have work to do”

“Come and get them at five!”

The shakes began. “Five? That would be six hours.”

“Yeah! About that.”

“What will I do?”

“There’s a Mc Donald’s across the street. They have chairs and a big screen TV. Have one or two of those iced-coffees – they are good. I’ll have two or three every day.”

“I turned, thanked him, and found my way to the place he suggested. The iced-coffee was pretty good, as were the four cheeseburgers and three supersized fries. I watched Fox News and was brought up to date on the state of the delusional and evil Democratic Party, all of Obama’s failures, and how the Republican’s have and have always had the answers, thinking that it was good but found it odd that the Good Old Party neglects to enlighten we public, especially when they are in power. Since I was the only McPatron I was allowed to switch to CNN and learned that Republicans are also delusional and evil, and Democrats have and had always had the answers – that being that it is all the fault of the previous administration. I said 'amen' aloud, somewhat sarcastically, having heard it all through the last 10 adminisrations I have enjoyed, wondering how anything ever gets done. I turned on a soccer match and watched just as confused but spellbound by the constant movement and the astonishing enthusiastic screams of 'GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAL!' when the ball got by the fellow gaurding the netted goal. After a bit when I realized that getting that ball in the net was a tiring, exhausting, and nye impossible thing to do – I soon was singing 'Gooaaal' as well, just pleased to see some result come from all the running around and the handless skill it took to play this game.

I stopped watching and pulled out a real writing pad and started this article, wrote the bones of a song or two, a couple of poems, and some sketches of a McCustomer or two. Five o’clock slowly came, my mind no wiser in the political arena, a bit more appreciative of the most popular game in the world, and I, fast food badly fed, and caffeine charged  found my way back to the shop, trying to think of the last time I had taken that much time just sitting with my thoughts and allowing a creative steam to just flow. I made a promise to do it more often. I thanked the techno- wizard, took my now healed and recovered electronic patients home, spent the rest of the night, TV off, loading programs, connecting modems, setting up e-mail accounts, and having a wonderful time.

Even though life has its ups and downs – it’s all still pretty good. Isn’t it?

Ken Lehnig(c)2010 all rights reserved.

 

The Ramblings Of A Vagabond Poet

On Writing Songs and Poetry

Here I am rambling again, walking down a dusty road, with musty bits and clever things floating in my much too crowded head. Crickets are cricketing and birds are birding and all is well in the world. All of those annoying emotional chinks and tragedies are all in the past and now I can reflect, changing memories into myth with the use of elaborate word choices and perfected lies. It is a world where I am the hero in the story and the bad is forever vanquished. Every couple hundred steps I stop and sit down on a convenient rock, next to a verdant field, and play a few lines from the lyrics in my head. My old guitar seems to already know the chords and magically places my fingers perfectly -and I, with my beautiful Bocelli vocal chords conte par tiro-ing up into the too-blue Tuscan sky.

Oh man! Wouldn’t that be the ideal way to do what it is we do? What if writing prose, poetry, and lyrics was just as easy as waiting for Br’er Rabbit to pop out da blackberry patch and add a few dippity-do-das to a near perfect song, finishing it for posterity? Or maybe some little cute singing bluebirds, or sing-sewing mice, could help with the perfect Disneyfying ‘o dat last stanza. Oh well. It dippity-do-not work dat way wit me. Getting it down on paper or computer screen is a slightly more mysterious, lonelier, rougher, and grittier process for me.

When I was a younger man, and the need for creative out letting was a near mental disorder in me, I would go to seminars and read all the books on how to write poetry, lyrics, and prose. It was all, so very, helpful, as far as the nuts and bolts were concerned, but every exercise failed me in the end.

Let me give you some examples of techniques I have tried over the years:

!. Have a journal by your bed and when you think of something, as you tip over into dreamland, wake up, get up, and write down that brilliant thing. When I read them in the morning I thought most of it was incomprehensible and I didn’t write the context for the thoughts. Even attempting to be more descriptive made it even worse. This technique was terminated. My scratchings started to take on the tone of a true schizophrenic and sleep deprivation made social interaction almost impossible.

2. Keep a pad in your car and jot down those snippets that come as you drive. I once noted a toothpaste billboard and the light bulb went on. The brilliant song hook was ‘I only see her smile’ – it never became a song, because I rear-ended a late model primer gray Volvo, just as I finished the unintelligible word ‘smile’.

3. Warning: This next technique should never be used – unless you are Edger Allen Poe, Hemmingway, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, or Hunter S Thompson. I have to admit that in my earlier years I may have used this technique, on rare occasion, to no real benefit. It was the worst stuff I have ever penned. I keep it still, to remind me of my foolish ways. The use of any mind altering substance (Yes, that was what I was alluding to.) is said to assist in the creative process – but in truth what sounded good last night, when you wrote it -, probably was not all that impressive in the morning. A wise friend of mine once told me ‘The problem with any mind altering drug induced insight is that you can’t be responsible for that insight in the morning.’ Since this does not apply to any of my readers, or any of the folks I know, I wonder why I even bothered to list it. (Warning:  If you are drinking Absinthe, thinking you will somehow be Oscar Wilde  – stop it, you won’t write any better, the green fairy will just have you feeling like crap in the morning.)

4. Try riffing. A technique where you just let your mind go and see what comes out. Actually this isn’t a bad thing, but what comes is usually garbage and it can go terribly wrong. I had a gig at Tehachapi Prison years ago. My brother and I were supposed to do three songs. Then the producer said that we had a half hour to fill up, because the other act hadn’t shown up. In those days I did suffer stage fright and I retreated pretty far into my head. My brother whispered for me to calm down and to just make up a blues song. I didn’t have any other material ready, so that was all there was to do. The song was a big hit – ‘melted some faces’ as the saying is today. I even ended the song with an impromptu comic monologue.  We were the hit of the evening, just after the first Stripper to be allowed to perform in a state prison. (She was, indeed, more memorable than me.) Okay, so what was the disaster? When I got down off the stage I couldn’t remember a single word I had sang – or said. (Either did the inmates; the Stripper was simply more ‘poetic’.) If you use this technique please record it, something may be useable.

5. Flip through a dictionary or a thesaurus. This never worked, for me, but my vocabulary improved for when, and if, I did actually write any poems, stories, or lyrics.

6. Use Creative Subliminal tapes. These NEVER worked for me, but I did use them right after the failed ‘Journal by the bed’ technique – the tape put me, immediately, into a deep sleep and I would awaken refreshed and ready to arrange flowers and pick out fabrics. (A warning: Since you can’t hear any words on these tape/CDs make absolutely sure that you know what’s on them. To this day my color-palette  sense is just sensational.)

 

And finally ‘The Rambling Vagabond Poets Seminar’: Be prepared to write – be a writer. Tell yourself a hundred times before you go to sleep that you are a successful writer. Put signs all over your house that read, ‘I am a great writer.’ Prepare a place in your house that is perfect for a writer. Buy the perfect computer for you. Buy the best Dictionary (‘Reader’s Digest Complete Wordfinder’ is mine.), Have yellow pads and pens available – sometimes it’s important to be tactile. The words sometimes feel different when you write them down. Purchase a separate recording device and read aloud and record what you write – play it back and be critical. Print out your good work and put it in a notebook. Having your work in print, on a page, is much different than having it on a screen, and a lot more real. Post your work on writing forums (Lit.org is a good one.) and let others read it, and trust in yourself to comment on other writers work – they are right where you are, and a little nod of encouragement and helpful tips will go a long way. Read other writers, but don’t emulate their style (Unless its just for fun.) Find your own voice and style. Always believe that with every word you write you are getting better and better. And for me and all of you: Pin your rejection slips on the wall in front of you, with pride, and know it as a sign that you are getting closer and closer to being that terrific writer that you have always imagined you would be. (I’m on number 14 on my first novel. The 14 rejection form letters are pinned to a vintage LOONEY TUNES © poster, on the wall in front of my desk. (Bugs reminds me to relax, smile, and breathe.) And, to let you know that I am not, in any way, deterred. My second novel is just a few hundred words from being complete.

Keep writing!

Let me know of any other crazy things you all have done to nudge the muse and I’ll mention them in future articles.

Ken Lehnig(c)2011 2012

On Smashwords

I just finished three days of arduous work . I published a book on Smashwords.com. I have been seeing a lot of e-book publishers popping up and I wondered on what program was being used to upload the manuscript. I found the site and began the journey. The first thing I noticed is that they wanted a perfectly edited manuscript. ‘What!’ What writer ever has a perfect manuscript. We are artists. We allow the mind to roam free, to find the little treasures we write. I was deflated and almost gave up. But I decided to move ahead. I edited my book three times – sadly finding errors every time. I now appreciate the skill, the stamina, the dedication, and the tenacity it takes to be an editor. Once I had finished I sent it out to be properly edited.

The next step was to read the horribly long and eye twisting ‘help and guidelines’. Dear God I thought I had already done all this. I finished reading the guidelines and collapsed head down on my desk, from the sheer horror of undertaking the next step. But I rose from the pit and went to work. Now I know that there are a lot of writers out there that use ‘Word’ and I would imagine, like me, feel pretty damn smug and boast proficiency on that insidious program. Well, there is more to learn. It was mindboggeling to me at all the functions available to the editor on ‘Word’, which I must now master Okay, you already knew, it was only me stuck back in the 20th century who didn’t. I do now, and I am sure I am a better man for it.

I did it. Everything was perfect, in fact, probably the only thing I have ever written that was technically that well done. Dear Lord, what have I put people through ,when I say “Could you edit my book?’  For the record – ‘I am truly Sorry!’

I uploaded my now near perfect book (I am sure there are still typos in there, please forgive them for the blood and sweat I have given.) and it worked across a number of formats. (Kindle and other devices) But not for APPLE, oh no, there was a standard out there for e-books. I sat and stared in dismay. I read up on the requirments and realized that it was ‘good’. Apple had set a standard at the same level as printed work. I was pleased, if a little daunted. I slogged forward and submitted my manuscript into a site that checked for compliance. I got back the page of errors and set about trying my best to even understand the techno script I was reading.

I stayed with it, line for line. Research and fix, research and fix. Finally it came down to a Giff. image that I had never put in my book. nevertheless the code was in there somewhere. Two hours later, starving for lack of sleep, nourishment,and coffee, I threw my hands in the air and deleted every image,  re-inserted jpegs, and resubmitted. The manuscript passed.

The good folks at Smashwords don’t pull any punches. They tell you that it will be an arduous and terrible process. They call the program ‘Meatgrinder’ for good reason.

I would actually suggest all you writers out there to not do this yourself, some of us are computer savey enough and have a masochistic streak that compels us to jump off cliffs and walk on fire. (But never drink bad coffee) Nearly twenty five hours went into learning the program and the process. I feel as if I have graduated from some invisible school. My advice is write your creative heart out then find a good e-book publisher, or pay me,  or others like me, that have decided to give up a substantial chunk of their life to learn the process, to help you through the process. In any event keep writing!

Ken

OH Yeah! Buy my book!

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/95619#longdescr