Monday, August 26, 2013

Vintage Monday: The Book

I have a few of these types of photos in my collection—man and women, dressed formally, sitting in the garden with a book, looking serious. People in those days tended to present a solemn expression for the camera and all pictures were deliberate and posed, yet these still have a certain candid quality that make them more attractive to me than studio shots.

On a book related note, I spent the whole weekend formatting Dead in the Desert for ebook and print, and the process left me tired and irritable. Despite all my previous experience I made several mistakes that I had to go back and correct.

Formatting for print was the biggest headache. Fortunately, Createspace now accepts .doc and .docx documents for uploads, not just PDF. On Macs when you save a word doc with section breaks into PDF it creates separated files for each section. Bloody annoying. You have to find some software to stitch the parts back together. Alternately, you can replace the section breaks with page breaks, but that messes with the headers and footers—the main benefit of section that you can have different header and footer in each. So you can have page numbers start on page one of chapter one, instead of the title.

Not having to make PDF, simplifies things a little, but Word, being the Spawn of Satan, is still a pain in the ass to work with. For example, your layout will be flipped. Print books start on a right page but a Word document always start on the left. So when setting document margins inside is the outside and vice versa. The same principle applies if you're doing something fancy like putting page numbers, your name, and title at the edge instead of the middle of the page. You most likely to want them to align with the outer edges, and that means that in your word doc they need to look like they are inside.

Anyway, I uploaded the whole damn thing to CreateSpace and they wrote back that my cover is less than 200 dpi resolution, and might look blurry in print. No, it's frakking not. It is 300 dpi. But of course, they said the same damn thing about Dead in L.A.'s cover and it look fine.

Minding your p's and q's has a whole new meaning when it comes to digital publishing.

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