Adventures in Self-Publishing: Seeing the Final Result

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Above: the MS Word document I’ve been carving away at for the last two months. Below: the final result in EPUB format on my Nook.  Lon Dubh the blackbird approves.

Two things that are Totally True when an author sees the galley/ARC/final result of their book:

–A mixture of elation and pride.  More often than not this is a project that has taken far too long for our liking, but still the author has a bit of a squee when they see it all bound in paper or in final ebook form.  Look at that!  I made a thing!  A professional thing!  A thing others will (hopefully) enjoy!

–The turnaround time from the above excitement to worry and mortification when typos and other mistakes reveal themselves when you’re checking out how pretty it all is:  +/- two hours.

 

Most of this weekend was spent working on the formatting of A Division of Souls, which was easier than I’d expected it to be.  Come to find out, most of it entailed highlighting blocks of text and adjusting a lot of Settings, which I do all the time anyway.  Saturday afternoon I cleaned up the end matter (glossary, acknowledgements, etc) and other easy bits.

Sunday was spent doing a lot of Style changing — primarily my old habit of hitting Tab at the start of every paragraph to a permanent 0.3″ paragraph start instead.  Ctrl+A was my best friend through most of this.

Creating a table of contents was shockingly easy.  Just a bit of bookmarking and hyperlinking, et voila!  I’m done.

There was also a good half hour of dithering about line spacing…single, 1.15, or 1.5?  Single looked too crowded to me, and though I liked 1.15 myself, A. (who reads more ebooks than I do) felt otherwise.  So 1.5 it was.

So by late afternoon, I was ready.  It was time.

Uploaded the file to the Meatgrinder at Smashwords (their quite apt name for the software that checks for errors and also translates it into multiple formats).  Waited for the scanning and the translating.  Waited for the email letting me know if there were any errors.

At 6:52pm PT, I got the email; no errors, everything was groovy, and it was now on its way to being available at all fine ebook retailers.  I’ve also added a ‘Buy Stuff’ tab up at the top of this blog to make it all official and stuff.

So yeah.  I can now finally say I’m a pro.  Go me!

 

Oh, and the typos and mistakes?  Thankfully just a few:
–Apparently epub doesn’t like accentuation marks in the glossary, so I’ll have to use caps instead.
–An event I’d decided to rename, that got missed a total of three times.  A bit of Find/Replace did the job.
–A few places where the carriage returns didn’t take.  Easy enough to clean up.

Yo ho ho, it’s a writer’s life for me. 🙂

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