Monday, 15 June 2015

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure

 “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!