Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Publishing Woes # 3

OMG! is an accurate exclamation. Especially when it comes to the (alien) world of self publishing. Last week, I sat at my desk, all shiny and new and ready to create, post, publish. Last week, you would have seen me sitting at my desk with my head in my hands sobbing uncontrollably... Not really ...However a few choice expletives left my mouth.

Publish on Createspace they said. It'll be fun they said. Createspace is a great tool for self publishing, once the user figures out how to use it. So there are instructions. Great instructions. Until you get to creating the cover.
A word from the wise - If you haven't used Createspace cover creator before, give yourself at least three days.

Now, I had a cover. A very tasty morsel of artwork by the very talented Tamra Westberry. But I had to add a back. You see, I didn't realize I had to sell hard copies as well. I had no intention of selling hard copies...Anyway, I'm lucky I have very basic Photoshop skills. Very basic, let me tell you.

So, my first attempt, I used the dimensions and tried to calculate it myself. I Googled. I calculated. I expletive-d. A LOT. I left it for a while. I had other pressing engagements - like coffee and chocolate cake. I returned revitalized - and made the cover to what I thought the dimensions should be. Then I waited. Twenty-four hours I waited for the email to tell me that my files needed reviewing. Not just my cover file, but my internal file as well. OMG!

 I fixed the internal file. Remember to use your "show formatting" and get rid of all those nasty returns. Instead of returning between chapters, insert a page break.
Nearly every self publishing tool requires page breaks instead of returns. (INSERT - PAGE BREAK). It makes a very clean manuscript.

Well, after more coffee...and a bit more...I actually READ the cover instructions on Createspace. Yes, I know, my husband fell over, too. The instructions told me to upload the template onto Photoshop - because the dimensions I'd been trying to calculate were from that template. I know...Don't say it...I've always been one to make life so much more difficult for myself. OMG!

I upload the template and slide everything into place. Gee it looked pretty. So, so pretty. I was happy so I sent the cover to Createspace. Twenty four hours later I got another email. My cover file needs reviewing but my internal files are good. OMG! What had I done wrong this time? Some vital information had bled into the red section (which was actually orange but who's splitting hairs?). I
thought "OK. I'll just use the cover I created yesterday." However, I'd flattened all the layers and not saved the original. Anyone with Photoshop experience will be laughing at me. Once you save a flattened image in Photoshop, you can't unflatten. So I had to start again.

Third time was a charm. By now I knew the template and I understood what Createspace asked of me. In the end the task wasn't quite as difficult as I made it out to be. I did it, but it took me three days, and a lot of over thought.

Moral of the story - Read instructions!


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