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Formatting Matters

I have been doing a lot of reformatting lately. Adding in better back matter, adding in a little notice about the news letter and a offer of a free book. Little things here and there that take forever, but they go a long way to making a book look professional.

It’s amazing how much my ideas of a “finished” book have changed over the last two years. Even my covers have improved dramatically. But none so much as my print books.

IMAG1817When I first printed the original print editions of my various books I did okay, got the right page size and put the beginning chapter on the right side of the book. I even added a page of reviews so anyone picking it up might see that I had at least some accreditation. They looked good.

When I got to “Witch’s Sacrifice” I did everything the same way, or so I thought, and ordered the proof. The text was itty bitty and could barely be read. I adjusted, sent a new one and found that I forgot to add the front matter. Tried again, upped the font size and added the front matter. Adjusted the table of contents since that always changes when you adjust the font. This version was readable, but I still wasn’t quite happy with it.

It turns out I was using the wrong sized pages when creating the print files for “Witch’s Sacrifice.” That meant when it was shrunk down by Create Space the font shrank with it. When it printed the text ended up being off in every way, as did the page numbers, maps, and everything else.

I didn’t bother changing it after the last time. The text wasn’t too small, so it didn’t look horrible, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted either, but I knew that I’d have to get to it eventually along with all the other little things. Last week I finally took a few days to start reformatting.

IMAG1820It is amazing how big a difference it is just to have everything the correct size. It’s about a one hundred page difference. After adjusting the size of the page and putting in the correct size text made the book feel more substantial, like a real novel.

I got the new and improved version of “Witch’s Sacrifice” today, and it’s beautiful. It’s everything I wanted it to be, and now I know how to format the other two.

BTW!

“Witch’s Stand”, the final book in the series, will be going to the editor next week! I will also be getting the cover done at the end of the month. That means I will finally have a finished trilogy! SQWEEEEEEE!

There is one more story in the Witch’s Trilogy, and that’s a short story about Salvia, the little mother, and how she learns that she is a witch. I haven’t decided if I will be giving this away for perma-free, or just sharing this with my newsletter (though my newsletter will get it long before anyone else does.) However, once that is done I will be putting out a combo pack that has all four stories in it. I will hopefully have the other print books out as well, and might also get a print book of all four together depending on how long it ends up being.

But right now we’re getting ready for RadCon. If you’re there let me know, I’d love to meet you.

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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Wide Release

wpid-wp-1427063101748.jpegThis is the first time that I’ve actually put a book up on ALL the platforms.

Paperback on createspace, kindle, Koboitunes, B&N, then Draft2Digital also had Inktera and Scribd.

Is it useful? I’m not sure yet. I’ve never had a book on most of these sites. I still haven’t figured out how to post a book to google books. At the very least maybe someone will notice it and pick it up now and then. I’ve had books up on Smashwords and Kobo before, but really the only place I’ve sold many books is Amazon so…I figure it isn’t a bad thing to have them all out there.

Draft2Digital was surprisingly easy to set up and use. I know people have said it was, and after trying to get through the meat grinder over at Smashwords I just didn’t believe them. It was incredibly easy though and everything just went through without a hitch.

So…the book is out, the book is beautiful, and I can’t wait to get my own copy (of the final version) in the mail to stick on my shelf. It even has a map of the world so people can follow along in the journey!

This experience has been all about learning. With the short stories I already have out it was a lot simpler. They are often just one story, no need for chapters, maps, or major formatting. The trick with short stories is about telling a cohesive and compelling story in few words. With long format, like this novel, it’s about immersing the reader in the world, and sticking with that immersion for quite a while. Formatting consistency helps with that. Going from one chapter to the next and seeing the same images and typography. Making sure you don’t accidentally have a type change on the next page.

There is just so much to do. So many little things that can go wrong. And one little thing isn’t too bad, but thousands of them is TERRIBLE and will cause you to fail. So you have to carefully go through everything over and over again until you fix all those little things. Like the name that was spelled wrong even after three edits and my own proof reading. Or the time I formatted it with the wrong page size. Or trying to get the map to lay in the book JUST RIGHT. All those little things and more.

This means that I have to finish the next two books. I’m just glad they are already mostly done, lol, because this process takes a while.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in On Writing

 

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