I spent a lot of time working on the formatting of my first book, Seasons of Imagination. I downloaded a template, but it did horrid things to the book. So I wrote down all of the settings that they used for formatting, like margin and gutter and such. Sticking those into my original document was better. Finally I had it.
But when I received the first copy, it was awful. So I redid it. And it was better. Good enough.
Or so I thought.
After I put out The Halley Branch, someone who had read all three in paperback noticed an issue. A big issue (I won’t tell you. Find it yourself ;) ). So when I started working on Embers, I made sure I fixed it first thing.
So Embers was put up with my fix and using all of the stats for my pretty good formatting. I ordered a proof, just to be sure.
Yuck. With the major mistake gone, all of the little ones suddenly rared their ugly heads. I fought with Word and made the formatting better. Some of the things I put in made no sense whatsoever, but it works. It looks good. I converted (through Word) to Acrobat. It still looked good. I posted and used the online viewer. It looks good. it looks far better than it did.
I am not going to get another proof since it is too late. I will order one the first day I publish it and see. But I’m not worried – the viewer looks perfect. I spent a lot of time with it to be sure.
OK, I know I should break down and order a subscription to Acrobat. Word is not made for formatting. I hate it. Acrobat is. I will just have to do the math to see if it is worth it. So far self-publishing has been a very expensive pastime. For now I will stick with Word, particularly since I think I have finally figured out the formatting. i will see when I receive a new copy of Embers!
The problem is, now I have to go back and fix all of the other books. That is going to be a lot of work – the major mistake I talked about was easy to fix when I started it out right from the get-go, but going back and fixing it will be extremely time consuming. Oh well, I do have to do it, don’t I? All of the books deserve a professional look and feel.
This post is more for other writers going through the same things than for readers. You don’t care, do you? You just want to read :) And as for Embers, come December 4th, you can!