Yesterday I spent from 07:00 to about 8PM formatting ‘COAST: An Act Of Burial’ for the printed version.
First was the cover… oh wait, you can’t do that! You have to calculate the number of pages first. So, despite having the cover pretty much ready to go, I had to then go and format the text. I used good old MS Word 97, which I really like, but which can be a bit idiosyncratic at times. Does its own thing, you know? And I absolutely hate the newer “software for dummies” versions. Anyway, it was fairly easy to calculate the number of pages… three hundred and twenty six. This, of course, affects the cover design by determining the width of the spine. So, the spine width is 0.734152 inches. Wow, we’re working at a resolution of a millionth of an inch here! I like that kind of precision.
So after a few mishaps with the awful provided PDF template and resorting to my typical methodology of creating my own (which was more accurate and would have saved me tons of time had I done it in the first place), the cover was right. Okay, let’s submit that. Oh wait, you can’t do that! You have to submit the text first. Went back to Word, made sure everything was okay, corrected the mistake (sorry, ebook version readers), farted about for at least an hour sizing the text and getting all the headings right (the idiosyncrasies of Word having already been noted above) and submitted it, which took about 2 minutes for the upload and at least another ten for the processing. And then… ARRGH!
Like a silly bugger I had forgotten to insert page numbers! What’s the point of having a table of contents without page numbers?! Having beaten myself up a bit for this glaring omission, I added the page numbers and faithfully submitted the document again. Now all the formatting is out! So I go back to Word, fix it, format it, upload it, switch on the television whilst I wait for the processing (oh, it’s mostly adverts. Wait, this is Canada), run the Interior Reviewer application (a VERY handy little gadget, I might add) and once again find that the formatting is out… so it’s back to Word…
This process continued all day and some of the evening. I went back and forth between Word and the Interior Reviewer more than twenty times. Finally, shortly after Wife Team Six returned from assassinating a few drinkies, I had a version with which I was relatively happy. I submitted it, it worked and I moved to the next stage of the process. YES!
So let me offer this little pearl of wisdom to any budding author out there: REMEMBER YOUR PAGE NUMBERS! And that is all for now.
Roger and out, X.