Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The House is Quiet

Holidays are over. No guests left. Most days Mary Ann is in and out on her own projects. I think today I've got a little cabin fever.

Progress is being made on Roswell or Bust. I've just put together the third proof copy. Yes, I am learning this process the hard way. I rushed the first proofs using the artist's preliminary sketch for a cover, but when I had a copy in hand, I realized I could do a better job of formatting the text -- plus I needed some more proofs to send off to the pre-publication reviewers. So I put together a second batch of proof copies with a horrible error added. During the formatting stage, I had deleted most scene breaks. Major wince.

So for the past couple of days I have re-entered all the scene breaks and fixed the text. Then, during the conversion process of DOC file to PDF, the page count dropped. It seems the on-line converter I've been using is probably based on a Windows Word model and I've been using Mac Word. There is just enough difference in the products that the automatic repagination comes out differently. This makes a big difference when preparing the PDF files for a print-on-demand engine, because all books have to have page counts evenly divisible by 4.

So, back to the edit stage to make sure that no chapters end close to the end of a page. That solved, I prepared the text of the book. Now to the cover.

My first attempts at putting together books had used the cover wizard on the Lulu site. However, there are considerable limits in what you can do there. I wanted more. So the real cover has been carefully built up in Photoshop, layer on layer. I was just about to upload the flattened, PDF version of the cover when I noticed a misspelled word! Yuck.

So back to Photoshop. Luckily I had saved all layers and all component images so fixing the text was actually easy. I put it all together and uploaded it. So proof version 3 is in process. And I know it won't be the last.

I'm in the process of converting from Lulu as my printer to Lightningsource. I can make books at a much better price-point that way. However, it's easier to make all these proof copies using Lulu. The price per unit is higher, but there isn't the initial upload charge that Lightningsource has. So, once all the final changes are in and I add the last finishing touch, I'll upload everything to Lightingsource and produce the last proof copy there.

Unfortunately that still leaves me a small set of proof copies with no scene breaks. But that's the whole purpose of proofs, isn't it? Find those nasty mistakes and squash them before turning on the production run.

By the way, any blogger who does book reviews who wants a copy, let me know. I'll even mark the scene breaks for you.

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