“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” George E Woodberry
So following on from last week’s post I have decided that paying someone to format your manuscript could be well worth it. Having uploaded my manuscript to Createspace, I was told that automatic print checks could not be run on my file. It immediately sent alarm bells ringing! In the end – after speaking to a writing buddy – who I am sure is getting sick of my questions – I realised that if I used Scrivener to compile to word and then saved it as a pdf, the file was accepted no problem! Phew- well there was a slight problem with the pdf size but I think Createspace will accept it if I say the layout is okay.
Anyway, I used the Createspace interior reviewer and was pretty happy with what I saw, but then I showed H and he said – I don’t like the fact the paragraphs on the pages end at various lengths. Hmmm, he had a point. Clearly whatever template I had used was getting rid of Orphans and Widows – but hanging paragraphs as well. Personally, I don’t like the varying page lengths. I removed the function and have decided to tinker manually. Now, the ms I'm working with is a fully edited version and I don’t really want to start playing around with paragraph sizes but as someone pointed out on a Createspace forum – someone may give you a bad review for it- not necessarily because they are a widow/orphan pedant – but because having widows and orphans can make reading difficult and therefore subconsciously someone may not like the book.
So, tonight I am going to have a look at house styles. What books have I read and liked - and do they have widows and orphans? Then I am going to start the arduous task of formatting - which will change the size of the book, which will change the pages numbers and therefore the books spine and the front cover!!!! Who knew self-publishing could be so difficult. There is merit in having e-books only. But on the other hand if I master it now, it will be a doddle in future, or so I keep telling myself! Bring on publication date - I’ve got to get there at some point, right?
The following day: So I looked at the traditionally published book I am using as guidance for my formatting and in particular my widows and orphans issue(Alexander McCall Smith’s The Limpopo academy of Private Detection) and what I have discovered is that widows are acceptable! (When they are more than one line – say a line and a half). Personally for me I rather have widows than uneven ends to pages. Orphans too are acceptable (again a line and a half - maybe the length doesn't make it an orphan?!), although I don’t have any of those and runts are definitely a non-no. A runt is the last word of a paragraph on the next page. So I’ve been through my manuscript and made sure it complies – my eyes hurt!!! Then I uploaded my new Pdf from a different computer and the page size was fine, but guess what? The fonts are not embedded – Createspace did this for me on the upload - but what I have gathered is that if the font is not embedded then the font hasn’t travelled exactly as it should. I have two options: 1) Continue with the ms as is, checking for any changes in font or 2) use the pdf with the embedded font but the different page size – again an item that Createspace has corrected! Which is the lesser of two evils? And how beady are my eyes? They are tired - I can tell you that much. So, a bit more messing around, methinks, before I can give the final page numbers to the Cover Designer!