I’m always getting after my husband, who buys something and then tries to make it work without reading the instructions. And I’m always telling new writers to go to the agent’s or publisher’s web site and read the guidelines before formatting or submitting any work.
Well, now I’m the one at fault. Last week I proudly announced the trade paperback edition of The Crows would soon be available. I thought it would be. I’d made what I thought were the necessary changes in my ms (which I had uploaded to Kindle for an e-book), had uploaded the file to CreateSpace, had a cover created, and filled out all the other necessary parts (description, price, tags, etc.). I’d ordered a proof and awaited my first view of the final product.
Well, the proof arrived, and it wasn’t what I’d expected.
Now, CreateSpace had sent a notification that my margins didn’t fit the 6×9 size I’d selected so they’d had to modify the font size, but I really didn’t think that would be a big deal…until I saw my proof. If you use a magnifying glass, the font size isn’t too bad. (Actually, I’ve purchased paperbacks with the same font size, but I hate reading them. It’s very tiring on the eyes.)
It was then that I went back to the CreateSpace site and ACTUALLY READ the guidelines for formatting a 6×9 book. And guess what? I hadn’t formatted my ms correctly.
Last week I spent two days working with the formatting. Most of the slowdown was due to two things. The first problem was WORD. (I do not get along well with that program). I couldn’t figure out how to get the header and footer to come out the way I wanted. I finally went back to CreateSpace and used their template for formatting a 6×9 book.
I thought that would solve all my problems (header, footer, and numbering were all coming out right), but every time I uploaded the file, a quick check showed my text was bleeding over my margins. I uploaded three files, each time thinking I’d corrected the problem, only to discover the same problem was there. I was ready to scream, so I left the computer and watched TV for some time. And then, after my husband had gone to bed, and just as I was thinking I’d call it a day, I realized what was wrong.
In using CreateSpace’s template, I had added a page. What that did was change which side of the book became my first page. Instead of starting on the right side, chapter one started on the left side. That changed the gutter size through out the book. All I had to do was add one blank page before chapter one and the next preview showed everything fell into place.
I’ve ordered another proof. Cross your fingers (I have mine crossed). I think everything will come out right. I’ll know when I see it.
Tune in next week, but meanwhile, if you’re going to self-publish or publish an e-book, I strongly suggest you read the guidelines.