Preparing for POD

Three posts back I wrote about my first attempt to prepare Jazz’s Asteroid for POD publishing through CreateSpace.

I used MS Word and followed the suggestions of Catherine, Caffeinated blog and A Step-By-Step Guide to formatting your Book’s Interior and compiled for Adobe PDF. I studied the results. And repeated when I found more errors in layout or editing.

There are many more documents on different areas of preparing for POD here.

I spent some time looking for any little errors, and found a few, before running one last PDF file. As soon as I figure out the Back Matter, it will be ready to upload, but I still need to extend the eBook cover to a full Front, Spine and Back cover for the POD version.

I learnt a lot by working through the text file and formatting for POD.

First, it is not hard, just time consuming. I looked for only one or two things at a time. Such as spacing at the start of every chapter heading, and before the first paragraph.

Or, checking that every indented paragraph had a blank line before the next paragraph. Yes, even setting the style to indented paragraphs did not automatically make sure there was a blank line between all the paragraphs.

Second, I will work out all the variables before I start the next story for POD. Why? Because it is easier to set up styles before I format the text. Such as, do I want to block the first paragraph of a chapter? Or centre or justify the page numbers in the story section. Same with title and author in the header.

Why would I block the first paragraph, when the rest of the chapter is indented? I found that most USA published books use block first paragraph and indent for the rest, but Europe published books mostly use indent for all paragraphs.

That question led me to learn the “rules” of publishing, so I am quite confident I can break those same rules for my books. Sort of the same as learning the “rules” of writing so that I can confidently break them. Things like, deliberately repeating words when setting “red herrings” because if people read something two to three times, they believe it.

Things like, if using double quotes for dialog, stick to it for both USA and Europe markets.

Third, decide on a font and stick to it. It is no good spending hours worrying that a font I like will find fault with USA readers, just pick one, and work with that. Or, pick one font for the chapter headings and one for the text.

Or, work through the layout without worrying about a font. I discovered that if I kept the file to three section breaks, Front Matter, Chapters and Back Matter, it was easy enough to select all of section two and experiment with font changes, noting the change to the page count.

After going through the process, I now know it will get easier each book I do because of less stressing and research and because I have a list of the steps I took and will follow them.

I also learnt the best way for me to complete the publishing process for both eBooks and POD is to do the cover and layout for POD first, before I format the HTML for eBooks. Why? Because I found more copyediting errors in the POD version than I did in the HTML version, when I was looking at the white space in each chapter in the pdf file.

In the future, I will write the story and edit as per HTRYN, then let it sit for a week or two before I undertake the POD layout. Any changes will then be captured when I select the text again out of section two of the POD version, to copy to the HTML file for the eBook version.

Then it is a matter of an hour or two to format for the eBook version and read through before uploading. Also, the eBook cover is just a copy of the front of the POD cover.

So, I am happy with what I have done, even if it is more in the publishing side then the writing side.

I am still working out the back matter. Not sure if I should add the first chapter of my mystery, or my first Galaxy Freight sample. I think it is better to stick to the one genre so am leaning towards a sample of Galaxy Freight.

I also wrote about 6K words for my sixth Galaxy Freight novelette this week. It is coming along nicely, especially the clues and red herrings, and yes, even one death.

Now the weather is back to normal for the middle of winter, a lovely warm 20 degrees Celsius and about eighty percent humidity, and my hands have thawed out, I can work on the Galaxy Freight covers again, and if I get time, also work on a cover for a friend.

All fun and games.

How has your last few weeks gone with your writing and publishing?


2 comments so far

  1. curiocat on

    So glad to hear you’ve thawed out, I was wishing some of our heat would go your way.

    You’ve really done a good job in teaching yourself how to publish. Thanks so much for sharing your hard earned knowledge.

    • D J Mills on

      I am learning by my mistakes as I plod along. And utilising good advice from other bloggers who travelled this path before me. 🙂

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