It's the design phase. The first challenge is the photo of the new bridge for the opening pages. I've hit brick walls trying to get an original picture of the Harbour Bridge from the right height and angle – the only real possibility I can envisage is to do a private helicopter tour of the harbour and ask the pilot to hover long enough for me to get some shots, but that will cost a couple of hundred dollars and will have to wait until I get home to Sydney in July.
Cheaper but a compromise is a decent couple of shots from iStockphoto and Flickr, so I'll just have to see what shakes out.
Meanwhile I have a huge number of bids on Freelancer.com.au and Guru.com to do it. I could do it myself and it would be fun, but my expertise in recent versions of Photoshop is just patchy enough so I wouldn't trust myself to do the best job of it. It's more important that it looks realistic than I have a good time doing it.
I've also had a look at all the epublishing platforms, and they all seem easier to use than I suspected. The first thing is that if you're on Amazon you're almost everywhere – it has 80 percent of the market (in America, at least), so if I get it on the iBooks store and a handful of the other little ones (Smashwords, Kobo, etc) I figure I'll have almost every potential reader covered.
Other than that there hasn't been any more writing per se, I've just been reading and rereading the bonus material to look for any minor errors or improvements.
I've got a few blogs and articles online to read to brush up on publishing and marketing ebooks but to be honest it's just for any outside tips I don't know – I've been reading stuff about that for so long I feel like there's little I don't already know about the basics.
One thing that has struck me though, and that's how there's a really visible gulf between the quality of ebooks and hard copies. It's not universally the case, but very few ebooks look like the electronic version of high quality printed books – they look like books where the author hasn't been terribly interested in the design (or had access to decent design services) and the covers are all kind of amateur.
I hope the way I'm doing it – using a proper designer and putting as much effort into getting it right as I can – will do the trick. At the very least, I hope people see the cover and have a subconscious reaction that it must be a high quality book because it doesn't look the reams of ebooks with dodgy Microsoft Word covers.