Is hard copy still alive & kicking?

I’m pretty sure the book in its physical, dead-tree form is not going away, at least until we quit paper entirely. But I do like holding a book in my hands for reading. That love, instilled in childhood, will probably be the first thing to go as children grow up reading on electronic devices. Keep your children reading real books! Objects of affection that last and last. (What was your favorite book from childhood? I have a falling-apart copy of The Night Before Christmas in Texas That Is, given to us by my Texas grandparents. It’s still pretty funny to see Santa in cowboy boots.)

That said, digital seems to the wave of the future. But like me, people still like real books. I just formatted my mystery Nordic Nights to be printed on demand (one at a time, less waste)  by Amazon’s Createspace. I’ve done about four or five books so far for them so not a new experience…. or so you would think! Every time I format a book I have to re-learn certain aspects of Microsoft Word (which as much as I hate it is the only word processor that has all the bells and whistles I need.) Section breaks are the main bugaboo, and headers, and pagination, and do-you-start-every-chapter-on-the-right-or just flow? After about a week of hair-pulling I got it right. And the reason I know is there is a new gadget at Createspace that lets you actually look at your uploaded text. It’s called Interior Reviewer and after you upload your file (pdf/x please) you can turn the pages, get called out for your mistakes, and re-do it if necessary. It appears there is still some actual person doing final review but this new feature lets you fix the major things. I can see reviewing interior text formatting errors would be a major hassle for Amazon (it’s a major hassle for me and I only have to do one book at a time.)

The templates you download from Createspace make interior formatting much simpler. But beware adding new pages (to make certain text on the right or left usually.) I found out the new pages weren’t sized properly, going in at 8.5 x 11, instead of the document page setup size. That wreaked havoc with pdf/x, making it break down each size into a separate file. Such joy, to get the NO ISSUES report from the Interior Reviewer. Ring the merry bells! And I thought designing the cover would be a bitch.

Oh, it’s the little things this holiday season…. cheers!

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Author: Lise McClendon

writer, filmmaker, blogger, publisher, snow lover, sun worshiper, woman.

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