Checklists are awesome. Whenever I’m working on a project, I make a checklist. I take the time to fill it out, put down all the things to do. Bigger tasks get broken into smaller tasks, with their own box of course, and I get a sense of accomplishment ticking them off.
It’s not only the feeling of progression that helps me along – it’s a genuine reminder of exactly what needs to be done. If I’m interrupted at any stage, which is more often than I’d like to admit, then I can revert back to my list and find out where I was at. I’ve tried relying on my memory. Doesn’t work. I struggle to remember what I did yesterday let alone what I was doing last week.
Considering book-work is in terms of months and even years, checklists are crucial.
The problem with them is that they only work if they are followed. You can see where this is going. When I published my last title, Portsmouth Avenue Ghost, I got everything done, on time, and was pretty chuffed with the end result. Only thing is, it wasn’t the end.
First draught – check. Second – check. Third, Run Through and Final? Check. Cover – check. All the way to publishing it to Kindle and Google and Smashwords. Gravy.
What did I miss, then? The rotten hard-copy, of course! Sheesh!
I’ll head over to Lulu and get cracking on this now. If all goes smoothly, it should be up in a couple of weeks. It will mean that Tedrick gets put on ice for a few days, poor guy, but if I don’t do it now, fast-forward to November and watch me pull my hair out.
Nah. I don’t need to be more like Homer.
We’ve been converting our digital eBook to hardcopy. From the get go, there have been changes, mostly around the front matter and the formatting. We’ve added a copyright page, a table of contents, added numbering, and it’s looking good.
Not a lot. You’re close to the end. But something is nagging at you, right? It can’t be that easy, can it?
It can. But, you’re right, something is nagging.
At this point, you’ll want to export your document to PDF. This is what’s used at Lulu to make the content. Groovy. Click on “File -> Export as PDF…” and you’ll get a dialog.
See that little check box marked “PDF/A-1a”? Make sure it’s checked. Lulu’s engine will not appreciate it if it’s not checked. Then hit the Export button.
Almost. Keep it cool. Because, even though you’ve exported it, you still need to check off all the things that need checking. This isn’t an exhaustive list, Lulu can give you details about the finer points, but here you go:
- Title page has the title, subtitle (if applicable), series (if applicable) and author(s), all with correct spelling (raises hand – guilty).
- For a series, be sure you’ve used the same format for numbers: If your other books are in roman numerals, continue that way.
- Copyright page, correct year, correct author.
- ISBN filled out on the copyright page – and it’s correct to the one you claimed for your print book (not recycled).
- Table of Contents looks correct, font is fine.
- Dedication, Foreword and/or Preface on separate pages.
- Each Chapter title in the same face / case / size.
- Chapter pages match up exactly with the table of contents.
- Page numbers are left on the left page and right on the right page.
- The Chapter banner for a page actually corresponds to the Chapter.
- Blank pages can arise after reformatting, that aren’t evident before hand.
- Afterword on a separate page.
- All images are displaying correctly.
- Margins, line spacing, header and footer are correct throughout.
If you need to make changes, go right ahead, but, and I’ll put this in bold and in caps and surround with asterisks and even put an exclamation mark at the end:
** UPDATE YOUR TABLE OF CONTENTS BEFORE ANY EXPORT! **
If you’re happy, put it as a file under ‘Final’ or ‘To Upload’, mark its date and send it to your Lulu project.