KDP – The Cover Pt II

Last post I uploaded the front cover to the KDP creator. I had blundered in that the DPI or dots per inch setting was at a default of 72, rather than the required 300. Changing the DPI to 300, re-exporting to PDF and then uploading resulted in the following:

KDP2.PNG

Check through the list on the right. The markup within the table of contents was removed, without affecting the table, so that’s fine. Also, it asks you double check the Author, ISBN and Title. Good idea. Do that. Character for character.

Hey, there’s even a 3D view:

KDP3.PNG

Woohoo! Looks pretty good. The automatic whatsit that Amazon has going stopped complaining about the size of the PDF since it now closely matched the dimensions of the book itself.

You can look through the pages, and I would strongly encourage you to. Why? Because the PDF you uploaded will not be what gets used. Observe:

KDP4.PNG

If you look closely, the border closer to the spine is greater than the border against the edge. I used a 1cm border in the PDF, Amazon has automatically added in an extra padding on the spine. This is a good thing, since it will mean the words aren’t squished into the paper-fold.

I can’t guarantee it, but after playing with it for a bit (doing a few uploads to get it ‘just right’), I think that the engine is smart enough to recognise page changes and update the table of contents accordingly. Even so, check that each chapter in the TOC matches the actual page for the Chapter. It’s a small task that will save you having to apologise to your readers for a dodgy TOC.

Once I was happy with it, I hit the ‘Approve’ button. Click

Ahh.

So life is grand, right? I’ve uploaded the manuscript, I’ve uploaded the front cover as a PDF, it’s looking pretty much how I want it, all I need to do now is order a proof.

What’s a Proof?

Electronic eBooks are cool because, hey, what you see is what you get. You can pop your ePub or PDF or mobi file onto your favourite reader and have a look-see to make sure it’s all fine and dandy like cotton candy. Of course, different readers with different dimensions will display things differently, but you can rest easily knowing that the software does a best effort to make stuff look and read properly.

Not so with printed books. Paper ain’t that advanced.

And while PDFs are fantastic for viewing something as a bunch of pages, the conversion to a hardcopy means extra padding on the inside of each page, a few extra pages added for the actual printing house and physical constraints applied because of the thickness of paper, the stock used, etc.

In other words, once you’ve done all the work uploading your masterpiece, you need to order a proof to make sure that it – it being the actual book what gets pumped out by the presses and will land into the laps of your audience – looks and feels and even smells like you want it.

Yes, smells. There actually is a difference in smells between books. I’m not sure if it’s the cover or the paper or a combination or just something in the manufacturing process, but there certainly is a smell associated with a new book.

Lulu strongly encourages ordering a proof. They will not allow you to use Global Reach without you having ordered and actually looked at a copy of your book. For this, they will let you order it at cost price.

I personally make a habit of buying at least two so I can keep one and give one away as a present.

What about Amazon? No. You cannot purchase a proof, even though you own the book.

Say what?

Let me clarify: There is no facility for ordering a proof at cost price. You will pay the full price of your book.

But… but I made the damn thing!

I know, I know. Believe me, I know. It’s yours. You did it. You made it. Why do you have to sell it to yourself?

It turns out Create Space, by itself, does allow author copies. And while Amazon uses Create Space to manage your hardcopies, it does not allow you to purchase author copies.

So what happens if you wanted to print off, say, 1,000 copies and distribute them yourself in a vanity-publishing style venture? You’re up for either ordering the 1,000 copies at full price or temporarily discounting the book to cost, ordering, then raising the price back up. Either way, it’s ugly.

This is a two-sided story. Personally I believe that author copies should be allowed, and encouraged, and even enforced like Lulu does. I can see, though, that purchasing your own book at full price does affect the ranking of the book, and rightly so. A purchase is a purchase, regardless of who made the original purchase.

And before you ask, no, I’m not an expert on how Amazon does the rankings. I’m sure it’s time based and it’s also categorically based – that is, you have different rankings for different categories – but as for how the numbers get calcumalated, I can only say that more sales -> better rank.

Also, depending on the royalty rate, you’ll get some of the money you spent back. Icky, I know, but maybe it’s Amazon’s way of avoiding rank-diddling by someone with a hefty cashroll. Eh. Dunno.

So, after all of that, I picked up my credit card, and ordered my own book. You won’t believe what happened next!

Nah, you prolly will.

Mini Jeztyr Logo

Lulu – Page Numbering & Chapters

If you have a table of contents, one of requirements is that the numbers of the chapters must match perfectly. However, there isn’t much point having a table of contents with page numbers if you don’t have page numbers.

Introducing: Page Numbers

This has got to be the fiddliest part of the whole exercise. Why? Because it involves headers and magical fields. There may be many ways to skin a cat, but this is how I do it. If you’ve got a better / easier / alternate way, feel free to let me know. Anything that makes life easier, right?

I put my page numbers in the header, top-left for left-hand pages and top-right for right-hand pages. You can put your page numbers at the bottom, in the footer, with pretty much the same process.

First, show the view as ‘Print Layout’. This will give you a clear idea of what is a left page, and what is a right. You should see, for example, that your first page, your Title page, is a right hand page.

Select “Insert -> Header -> Default”

InsertHeader.png

This will put a magical header at the top of every ‘default’ page. Because the Title page is a ‘First Page’, it doesn’t get this, which is a good thing because your Title Page must only have the title, the subtitle and author (no page numbers).

Numbering should start from your Copyright and ISBN page, and be consistent all the way through.

Get on with it…

Alright! Sheesh, I’m laying down the what and why and stuff. OK, so when you add your header, go to the page settings in ‘Format -> Page…’:

PageSettings.png

In the dialog. You’ll note that you can also adjust your headers and footer from here. You can also uncheck ‘same header left and right’.

SameContentHeader.png

Why? Because you won’t be having the same header left and right, that’s why.

Hit OK, close the dialog and, at the top of every page, you’ll have a grey rectangle. This is your header. If there’s a big, gangly space underneath, you can adjust the header size and spacing from the page formatting dialog. At this point, if you want ONLY your page number, then ignore the next bit about tables and skip down to the next bit.

Click inside the header, and insert a table 3 columns x 1 row. You may need to format the table to remove borders. Right click -> Table Properties -> Border – and set to blank border.

Now, click in the middle cell, and go to the menu “Insert -> Field -> Other”, or hit Ctrl + F2, and select the Chapter Name from the list. This will insert the current chapter for each page. Then click ‘centre align’ to make the chapter label centred. Do this for the right header as well.

Page Numbers, finally

Now click on the left header’s left cell (or just the left header if you aren’t using a table) and make sure it’s left aligned.

Go to “Insert” -> Field and choose the “Page Number” from here.

PageNumebr.png

Boom. All left pages are now numbered!

On the right header, click the right-most cell, and right align it. Insert the page number there and, boom! all right pages are numbered!

ChapterAndPage.png

It’s as easy as that. Now, because you’ve introduced a header, this can push out the contents of your pages, so the Table of Contents you created previously will no longer match. Right click on it and press ‘Update’ to realign the TOC with the pages.

If you want, you can stick your page numbers up the top, and your chapter title down the bottom, or both at the bottom. (Almost) Anything goes. Just be sure to align left page numbers to the left, and right page numbers to the right.

At this point, check that your Title page has no page numbering, that your TOC is correctly picking up the chapters and their respective pages. If it’s all good, you’re nearly there!Mini Jeztyr Logo