Formatting for publication

Over the past couple of days I’ve been busy formatting Surveyor for publication.  The goal is to have it available from as many sources as possible.  Of course, one can’t ignore the 800 pound gorilla that is Amazon, so my first efforts were directed at preparing Surveyor in CreateSpace and Kindle format.  I’ll also be publishing through IngramSpark for retailers and in EPub format for Nook, Kobo, and whatever other resellers I can.

It’s been a learning experience.

Because I decided to do it on my own, I went and purchased ten ISBNs (the 13 digit number that nobody except purchases and catalogers look at).  This was done through Bowker (the only place you can buy ISBNs in the US).

I use Scrivener for Windows for writing.  It’s a great program, but I wish it had some of the features that the Apple version has (’nuff said).

I’m still struggling with the Kindle version, as my Scrivener won’t include the Part and Chapter headings (very frustrating).  So, I’ve downloaded a couple of apps from Amazon that I hope will help (I’ll know shortly).

For CreateSpace, I was lucky enough to find a formatted template (probably from Amazon, but I don’t recall).

I produced a Word version of only the body of Surveyor first (I repeated this with the front and back matter), then copied and pasted that from the Word document into the CreateSpace template.  The output document had some quirks that I had to overcome. I initially sought some professional help on a freelance board, but the formatting/page layup was several hundred dollars (and I thought, I can do that myself, so I did!).

First was that paragraphs wouldn’t break to fit on two pages, so I had to physically insert the break (simple action of placing the cursor before the break point and tapping the Enter key).

Second, it took me a while to figure out that odd and even pages could have separate headers and footers.  Once I figured that out I was able to put the title on the even pages and my name on odd pages (fitting that it would be odd).  I started the pagination on page 2, and then went through the document ensuring that all Parts and Chapters started on odd numbered pages (so when you read it, they all are on the right hand page – one of those little formatting tips I learned on YouTube).

I was able to insert section breaks at the beginning of each Part and each Chapter to remove all headers and footers). I also added some shadow drawings to the beginning of each Part, and at the end of the book (from the cover art).

Once I got the body formatted, I then worked on the front matter and the back matter documents.  The front matter got pagination using lower case Roman numerals, and the back matter got nada (well, I did include an unedited first chapter of the sequel, Trekker).

Finally satisfied with all my formatting, I then created three PDFS (one for the front matter, one for the body, and one for the back matter).

I then went to PDFjoin.com and was able to merge the three PDFs into a single PDF and downloaded that.

The next step was to upload the PDF and the Cover Art PDF (by Patrick Turner in Vancouver, BC) into CreateSpace.  A quick review showed one issue – my shadow drawings did not have a 300 dpi resolution (they were 72 dpi).  Meh, small matter, and it’s okay if they’re a bit fuzzy.

CreateSpace then sent a PDF back suitable for Kindle.  Sorry, but I’ve got a different ISBN for the ebook version, so it’s pretty much useless.

Everything has been submitted to CreateSpace, so now it’s just a matter of waiting to hear back from them on how quickly Surveyor will be available.

I just created an EPub version (haven’t checked it yet) and will continue to struggle with the Kindle version.  Hope to have everything wrapped up today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s