So I’m on some kind of home straight with at least two novels. Beta work has been done, text amended to meet various concerns, proof reading done, by me and one of my ‘editors’, and now I have to format for self publishing. It’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions and we’re already in March.
The tedious bit is altering everything so that it has indented paragraphs (preferred for fiction) with no line spacing. Word happily indents previously unindented stuff but I can’t get it to remove all line spaces. Modern versions of Word won’t move between styles easily. The trouble is that for fanfic, especially for AO3, and for travel writing (currently for blogs but possibly for publication) I’m used to writing in block paragraphs. Same with any non-fictional writing I’ve ever done and that’s quite a lot. I tried training myself to use the other method and then had the reverse problem (fortunately on a short fanfic). From now on, I’ll remember to start off in the correct format but for stuff I’ve already written it’s a question of going through and manually altering it where necessary – which gives me yet another chance to spot typos but is boring in the extreme. And until I truly accepted the fact that I would need to do manual edits I was on the way to anger-management classes. Yes, I know there are ways of correcting the text in Word but they take as long as manual editing.
The frightening bit is the formatting for chapter headings and an index that will work for Smashwords and Amazon. Very technical and even one incorrect keystroke can throw the whole thing into disarray (at which point Smashwords/Amazon reject the book and you have to start again). Also, I was using an e-pub program to check, and a much published friend tells me that particular program has been ‘stealing’ work and breaching privacy so I’m going to have to think again. It was bad enough for my novellas; now I’m dealing with novels. Plus, the rules for Smashwords and Amazon aren’t quite the same so you have to do everything and check everything twice.
The other frightening bit is the covers (I design my own), the first ‘front’ pages with all the stuff like copyright info, dedications, etc. and the end pages with links to other works. Plus the afore mentioned index. Smashwords and Amazon keep changing the ‘rules’ so you can never relax. Covers have to work for e-books and also for advertising thumbnails so the sizing is crucial. It also annoys me that after all that hard work Amazon still makes the default first page on Kindle the first page of the story and you have to scroll back to see all the other stuff!!
I keep thinking of all I have to do and then going away and writing something else to cheer myself up. But I’ve chosen self publishing deliberately and must get my act together!! *g* I also need to re-read my own post of November 2012 – and I notice nobody leapt in to guide me through it all!