I thought converting the PDF file I had that Hale Books Ldt used to print the hardcover version of A KILLER PAST would be easy. Simply convert the PDF document to a Word document, go through it and change the English use of single quotes for dialogue to our American way of using double quote marks (and switch the double quotes they use for anything quoted within a quote to single quotes), change how they punctuate time, and maybe play a little with the formatting since chapters in the hardcover version don’t always start on a new page.
Oops, I forgot the file they sent me was formatted to be printed using landscape, full screen reading (a left and a right page). And I didn’t realize they had separated parts of the book into sections (section breaks), or had column breaks. I didn’t realize a find and replace wouldn’t change everything, that it might just change what was in that section.
Since starting this last week, progress has been slow. I have had the opportunity to get to know MS Word much better, and to study what each task bar and drop-down menu provides. I finally managed to get all of the section and column breaks removed, and the file is now in Portrait orientation. I think I’ve removed all of the footers and headers, but I’m not completely sure about that. (I’ll see as I work my way through the file.)
I had to place a copy of the hardcover book by my computer, because every so often I’ll find two paragraphs that seem like they should be one. (And they usually are. Why they ended up split in this Word document, I don’t know.) I’m also finding extra spaces between words. Oh, not all the time, just here and there. I suppose that might have been for spacing on the printed page. And words will be split.
At first I thought I could do a find and replace with the quote marks, but I forgot contractions and apostrophes have the single quote, so if I did the find and replace, I’d have to go through the entire ms looking for those words that should have the single quote. And what would I do about the quotes within quotes. I’d have to do those by hand, too. As it is, making the changes line by line, I’m catching lots of little “errors” and I’m re-familiarizing myself with the story. I do like Mary Harrington. I think many readers who haven’t been able to purchase the hardcover version of A KILLER PAST because of the high price (and don’t like reading e-books) will like having the paperback available. So, please excuse me, I need to get back to my page by page, line by line editing.
Oh, and A KILLER PAST isn’t the only book I’ve had problems with. This week my 1993 Silhouette Romance, LYON’S PRIDE, went live as an e-book. It’s now available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, many others and through libraries. I’ll also be a guest at the Write Way Café on July 26th (tomorrow). If you have time, stop by and you can read about the problems I had getting that book out as an e-book.