Week 38 or thereabouts: Books are Hard.

How hard can it be to write three e-books and then make a paperback? Well. . .

There is an order of operations which you won’t see until you’ve done it completely wrong.

Let’s face it, we wouldn’t be indie authors if we had patience.

It is the rush to “get ‘er done” which bites us in the ass every time. My single biggest mistake on this book was giving myself a rush deadline to save a few bucks using an Ingram May discount code which ended up being extended to the end of June anyway.

  • Changing your mind about the book’s size messes so many things up it’s almost like starting over. Shorter books may need to be resized if you want to have a printed spine. Learn about minimum page counts before beginning.
  • Page breaks and changing fonts before you have completed editing and inserted headers and footers will mess things up.
  • Not paying close attention to right and left pagination will mess things up.
  • Numbering pages before you have completed editing and inserted headers will mess things up.
  • Adding a space below the header before you have completed editing and fixing orphan words will mess things up.
  • Fixing orphan words before you have completed editing and inserted headers and footers will mess things up.
  • Not checking your progress in PDF will mess you up. Mysterious extra blank pages showed up which were not in the .doc file. As word processors become “smarter”, they seem to be attempting to interpret what we are trying to do and they don’t always get it right.
  • Thinking the “two up” PDF that worked in 2016 is current in 2020 got me good.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Make a copy of your file to “experiment” with each new change; otherwise you will compound your boo boos.

It always starts out innocently enough. You decide to scan the document for weird spaces, but you find a comma that should have been a period which makes you read a bit causing you to rewrite a sentence. . . Before you know it, you are working on page numbers and comparing them to the table of contents.

FOCUS on one task; complete it and hit save before doing anything else.

Make notes about other issues you notice and return to them when you are done.

Can I do it all?

I am close on this one, however I did not have the ability to finish the cover in InDesign which is required to produce a PDF for IngramSpark so I outsourced the finalizing of this conversion—taking a fifty dollar hit that I am okay with.

Final thoughts:

The upside to producing a quality physical book is you will be able to see errors not caught in your e-books. Each of mine had some, mostly forgivable, issues in their early releases. I will now update them with the latest edits because I don’t want to contribute to people shouting about the low quality of indie books.

Just how did I have a day where I hit commas instead of periods? Don’t ask me, I have no idea.

I’m thinking early June unless the galley proof comes to me with upside down pages.

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