The Quality of the Merchandise

Forgot to mention yesterday about the quality of the print of the books that arrived.

I’ll start with Tedrick. I got Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef and Tedrick Gritswell Makes Waves delivered so I can give a final check to the quality of the print. I have to say, I’m impressed. The stock used was a cream paper, nice and easy on the eyeballs, with a good sized font and proper looking margins.

I’m always concerned with the gutter, to make sure that when the book is opened, the words don’t get lost somewhere down in the spine. The guidelines of the KDP template help out there a lot and they point out, quite clearly, if words are going to be squished in the gutter.

The margins, too, are spacious and roomy, enough for fingers to hold without getting in the way. Where the print falls down, in my opinion, is on the cover. I’ve noticed a distinct difference with the brightness of the colours on the monitor versus those on print. The books seem to have their colours muted somewhat, like the ‘volume got turned down’.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the same image, it’s not altered at all, but the realisation into the physical world leaves a little something back in the digital world. I’m sure there’s a term for this.

The Adaptation book is a whopper. It’s printed on white paper with 9.5 point font, 0.5 points below the recommended minimum. That was the absolute largest I could use without blowing the pages out past the maximum of 800. I also used a custom font that squished the words up a fraction more. Each chapter title also uses a custom font to match the title cover.

This was a bit annoying because it means embedding the font into the final PDF. If I didn’t do that, the font would default to something else, and I’d gain an extra few pages and push past the limit. Embedded the font ain’t so bad – it makes the PDF larger, of course, but that makes it longer upload.

The cover came out better than I expected. The charcoal of the carbon-fibre comes up good against the cyan and orange. The back holds a likeness of yours truly in a little circle. The print quality is nice and the matt cover has a definite feel to it.

The only thing that annoys me is the slim margins and small font size. I would have preferred to go to, say, a thousand pages with a thicker margin and 11 point font but, unfortunately, the Laws of Physics only extend so far.

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

What’s got 2 eyes, 7 legs…?

And is set to splash its way all across your e-reader? Tedrick!

That’s right, everyone’s favourite octopus detective is due for release tomorrow, 1st of June!

TedrickGritswellMicro

OMG! I’ll be holding my own little celebration, but I can’t celebrate for too long, no sir. There are too many things to do. I’m still getting AMS to play ball, and then there’s the hardcopy to finalise, and distributions. Man, it almost makes me wish I had multiple limbs! Sorry, Ted, I know you’re still smarting about your missing arm.

You can find Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef at the Amazon store here, for the price of a cup of coffee. And once I’ve passed the required number of days, I’ll publish to Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Google Play. Or you can download the mobi or pdf and import that into your reader – I’ve heard that works.

Thanks for sticking with me on this ride. I’ll continue with the hardcopy KDP journey in a day or two, once I’ve shaken off the darkwater hangover.Mini Jeztyr Logo

KDP – The Cover

In the previous post, I spoke about how to get the cover to play ball. By downloading the template you will save yourself a lot of trouble, but how does one use it?

GIMP

I like GIMP. A lot. I know there are other graphics programs that do a lot of stuff easily but GIMP has just been my go-to and probably always will be. Hats off to the developers.

Anyway, to use the template, open it in GIMP.

GimpTemplate.png

You’ll notice on the right hand side there’s the “Layers” pane. I added my front, spine and rear layers underneath. By adjusting the transparency of the top-most layer (the template) I can see how I fit in the guidelines at any time:

GimpTemplateTrans.JPG

To turn off the top layer altogether, when I’m working on things directly, click the eyeball next to the layer. Also use this for when you’re exporting your final image.

Note the rear: I’ve kept the blurb clear of the barcode area because KDP, like Lulu, will automatically stick a barcode on that spot. Can you change it? No. Why not? Because it’s a standard spot and there’s really no reason to have it customisable. It’s like software engineering, really. Yes, it probably could be customisable, and we could put a whole lot of man-hours to getting the darn thing to be on the other side, or rotated, or put on the top, or the spine. We could do that, yes. Or – OR – we could not, and recognise that it’s not really an issue and state very simply that that’s where the barcode goes and apply the developers to better, more important tasks.

Sorry. One of the most annoying phrases as an engineer I hear is, “Can we make it customisable?” Rant over. Moving right along. Where was I?

Ah, yes, the template. So you’ll see, straight away, that the eBook cover is not going to work. It doesn’t have a spine. It doesn’t have a rear. You’ll need to knock those up. I used a picture of Eel Grove for the rear, because it’s a dark image and sits well against the light blurb.

For the spine, I whipped up an underwater theme, graduating from the light to waves to the dark reef-bed. The text had to be rotated to run down the spine, and I added a slight drop-shadow to help with the contrast.

When it was all done and I was chuffed with how it looked, I exported it. KDP wants it as a PDF. Gimpy can do this, no sweat, but the resulting PDF file is 17 MB. For you spring chickens, that ain’t such a thing, but I remember the time when our harddrive was 40MB all up, and the speed of a modem of 1200 bps.

Anyhow, I uploaded it to KDP and sat back.

Boom!

Oh. Poop. What have I done? The preview window on the KDP form looks… terrible. It’s like it’s.. it’s… it’s the tiniest bit on the bottom of the spine.

OhNo.jpg

That’s what it looked like.

What has gone wrong? I’ll tell you. There’s a thing called DPI, or Dots Per Inch. Don’t worry too much about the details, but when I saved the image to PDF, it saved the data in a rather stretched format.

Back to Gimpy-boy (Yes, I call it Gimpy-boy):

Resolution.PNG

Open up the Print Resolution dialog and the mystery is revealed. See that width / height? That’s because, translating pixels to ‘dots’ on a page means that I’ve made my picture stupidly large. Aha!

I adjusted the X and Y resolution from 72 DPI to 300 DPI and the width and height went to 9.25″ x 12.88″.

ResolutionFix.PNG

But the book is only 6 x 9, right? Yes, true, but we’re working off the template and we need to include trim and all of that. Anyway, 9.25″ is hella closer than 38″! Phew!

OK, so export to PDF again, re-upload and cross all digits and tentacles…Mini Jeztyr Logo

KDP – The Juicy Bits

In the previous post I told you how I decided to try out KDP’s Create Space for the paperback version of Tedrick Gritswell.

In this episode, I’ll walk you through the uploading of the manuscript because it needs some examination, then start on the cover.

The Manuscript

Once I had the physical output determined:

Format.png

I formatted my table of contents and added in the ISBN as per Lulu’s instructions – it’s a simple enough template to follow, and I’m not about to deviate. Then I uploaded it.

Well, wasn’t that fun? I will argue that Lulu’s uploading mechanism is much cleaner and easier – you feel ‘safe’ as you go along. I will also argue that Amazon’s engine is quite advanced and did a lot of processing to make sure that my manuscript fit into its guidelines.

We can see some different approaches here: To be approved for GlobalReach, the onus is on you to make sure your book is in the right format, has the right dimensions, has the right ISBN and author and copyright, has the right pagination and table of contents. There are good resources of how to go about that, including my previous posts, so it’s not such a bad thing. It also means that you, as the publisher, are responsible for getting it right and they make sure you purchase a proof for you to check over before you can set your book free to the world.

KDP, on the other hand, takes a different approach. You upload your manuscript and it gets processed by a bunch of verifiers and validators, custom engines that grab your PDF by their dog-eared corners and shake them about, making sure its up to standard. Not that you’ll see what’s going on, but it does give prompts.

When mine came out the other end, there were many errors that were picked up, including the size of the document. The cool thing was, the engine did its best to modify my manuscript to conform to the required dimensions because, yup, I’d forgotten to set the dimensions of my page before exporting to PDF!

Why does this matter? Because by changing the size, I change the layout and flow, and the pages will, as a result, not be the same. And it seemed to get that. I’d like to try it again just to be sure, but I’m pretty sure it actually updated the page numbers and the table of contents for me. So a big tick here for Amazon on that front.

It makes sense, if you think about it. If they had to manually review all of the manuscripts coming up for quality and design issues, it would take about a day before someone hit the ‘F-It’ key and got a programmer to knock up an engine to weed out the most obvious issues before they reached a human. Nice.

Where it falls a little flat, though, is when I revised my manuscript, changed the dimensions to 6″ by 9″ and re-exported. The Auto-whatsit decided to over compensate and the inside margins of the book were too big. It took many iterations of trial and error to get it ‘just right’, which I did in the end. I think.

And that’s the other killer – currently KDP doesn’t offer the ability to purchase a proof at publishing prices. Lulu insists upon ordering one to make sure the end product is exactly what it needs to be, but there is no such facility on KDP. So I had to order my proofs as a normal purchase.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, the cover.

The Cover

Similar to Lulu, KDP gives you the option to DIY or to use their templates. I’ve found the templates fairly straight forward, but this time around I wanted to try the DIY approach.

To do this you can download a PDF or PNG with the dimensions of the front, spine and rear cover. Depending on the size of your book, you’ll get a different file, but the idea is that you have the width and height, along with a spine whose size depends on the number of pages and the paper weight. Mine looks like this (PDF): 6x9_Cream_270

As you can see, it’s broken into parts. You’ve got the front cover on the right, the rear on the left – which includes space for the ISBN barcode – and the spine itself.Print area.PNG

Do you have to make your own barcode or include it as part of the rear-image? No, not at all. It will be auto-generated when you upload it. More on that later.

The important thing to notice here is the whole loosey-goosey nature of the cover. You have red areas, black dotted lines and broad white areas. Why not just a rectangle? Because books are imprecise. The stock is not the same from place to place. They are produced on whopping great big machines with whirling parts and clampy bits and things that go brrrrrrp! and each of those processes has tolerances.

When ordering proofs of my other books, I’ve noticed that, depending on where they are printed, the colour, cut, folding and finish is different. As such, you will need to allow for the guidelines they’ve given you. Yes, there is a good chance that anything in the red-zone before the black line will be visible, but don’t count on it. If it’s important, keep it in the white zone.

Also worth noting: If you’re a stickler for having things dead-centre, then prepare to pull your hair out. That buffer and trim at the right means that you will need to compensate your centreline on the front cover to be a squigion to the left. The same rule applies for the vertical direction. Don’t assume that you can grab your eBook version and slap it on the top.

Be prepared to fiddle, is all I’m saying. After you upload, examine the finished product carefully because it won’t be exactly as you had it.

Is that all? No, not really. There’s a fair bit more to go, actually. More in the next post.

Mini Jeztyr Logo

Hardcopy with KDP

In the interest of comparison with Lulu, I’m going to be documenting my experience with Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space for making the hardcopy version of my book.

The ISBN

Thankfully, Amazon supplies ISBNs. If you’re curious about how the whole ISBN thing works, have a read. I’m not about to go forking out big bucks for a number, so I’ll get a free one, thank you very much.

ISBN.png

Tick the box and away you go. The ISBN is issues and it’s supposed to go… where? Good question. Thankfully, my experience with Lulu shows that it needs to be on the second page, after the title page, of your book, under the copyright notice.

For more information on ISBN, copyright and table of contents, check out this post.

CopyrightISBN.png

I’m going to stick to this format, because it works. Speaking of format…

The Format

KDP doesn’t give you a visual guide for how the book will turn out. I guess it doesn’t really need to

The options chosen by default sound reasonable enough, but if you’re interested, like I was, in the other options, you can hover over the blue text and get hints. For the trim size, which is very important to get right, I needed to know what the book would look like in the end. Following the link in the hover-over, you get a table like this:

FormatDim.png

 

Whoa. Ok. Cool. You know what? Let’s just stick with 6″ x 9″ for now, yeah? If that’s the most popular, then why buck the trend?

Along with the dimensions, there’s also the paper type (cream, white) and the ink type (black, colour). I think I’ll go cream and black, please. One sugar. Ta.

Now, while we’re on the topic of formatting, I need to get the ebook manuscript and tidy it up, because, like Lulu, the upload to KDP recommends PDF. Makes sense. So, in OpenOffice, I need to set the page size and the margins:

PageFormat.png

Note the width and height are the same as those specified by KDP? Important point, that. I’ve also set the margin at 2cm to give a comfortable reading experience.

After this, I need to add in page numbers and chapters. I won’t reiterate that, since you can see how I did that here.

Finally, it needs to be exported to PDF.

So far, we’re in similar waters, so that’s helpful. Upload to the KDP and let it do its thing.Upload.png

Next comes the bit with the cover. Ooh, now with this, we can only upload a print-ready PDF. Lulu’s cover creator makes it pretty easy to do front, rear and spine, this might be a little more involved.

Stay tuned. I’ll fill you in on the next post.

Mini Jeztyr Logo

 

 

Lulu – Uploading!

Hey! You’re on the home stretch! You’ve got everything in place, now you need to upload your bits and pieces. At this stage, you should have:

  1. A Lulu account set up
  2. A Project in Lulu for your book.
  3. Your converted manuscript in PDF
  4. An ISBN, blurb and other necessities and
  5. Your front and back covers

It’s not so bad when you look at it like that. Enough beating around the bush.

Upload Your Manuscript

If you haven’t made a project, that’s OK, do that now. Log into Lulu and click ‘New Paperback’ from your author page.

New Project.png

Put in your title – be very careful about the spelling – your name and hit Save & Continue. If you want to set it up for private viewing first, get it all sorted and then push it out, hit the Make Available only to Me. Clicking this option will skip the ISBN bit. If you decide to go public, you can add it in later.

If you click on Sell on Lulu, Amazon & Barnes and Noble, you’ll get to the ISBN page.

ISBN.PNG

It’s pretty straightforward. If you’ve got your own, use your own (But you cannot re-use an eBook ISBN, or a different format), or get a free one from Lulu, or don’t bother at all.

Once you’ve sorted that, copy down your ISBN and put it into your manuscript on the copyright page. Then export to PDF. On the next page, you’ll upload:

UploadManuscript.PNG

Hit Browse… choose your PDF or Doc. I prefer PDF, because it’s pretty much WYSIWYG. Don’t forget to click the ‘Upload’ button, or it won’t upload. You can upload as many parts of the book as you need, and these will appear in the bottom panel. If you do revisions, you’ll need to delete the old revision from here and replace it with the new revision.

Anyhow, once that’s done, click next: Lulu will convert your documents into a print ready PDF which you can view on the next screen

Conversion.PNG

Download the converted PDF, check it over, make sure the conversion process hasn’t altered anything drastically. You might find that an adjustment of margins

Then it’s time for your cover. And my lunch break is well and truly over, so I’ll have to put that in the next post.Mini Jeztyr Logo

 

 

 

Lulu – Back Cover & Spine

When you have finished converting your front cover, you need to slap your forehead and say, “Oh, right!”

Why?

Because, unlike eBooks, real books have a spine and a back cover.

Considerations

You’ve got three options when it comes to cover design. Firstly, you can make an image for your back cover, just like your front cover (my preference). You can also use a flat colour or pattern, which isn’t so terrible, really. Lastly, you can use Lulu’s advanced cover editor, which I haven’t had the pleasure of fiddling with yet, but from my understanding it’s a matter of you creating the entire wrap around cover, including spine and safety margins, as a PDF.

For simplicity, I’ll assume you’re making your own back cover image. If you’ve used the Lulu template for the front cover, keep it. The dimensions will be the same. As for the spine, you can set this to a constant colour in the Lulu cover editor afterwards.

Text, Blurb and ISBN

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Lulu will insert the ISBN on the back cover for you. That’s a big help, because you know that it will be to standard, it won’t be fudged up with JPG artefact or anti-aliased or anything.

The bad news is that you don’t really get a choice where it lives. For the most part, I don’t care, but you might if you’ve included a graphic in the lower right corner of, only to have it covered by a barcode. Also, it’s black and white with big numbers. That’s the way it has to be. My advice is to put any significant image away from the lower right, and you’ll be fine.

See here, this is the resulting PDF after pushing my bits through Lulu’s online editor (We’ll cover that later):

Lulu-Cover

For Jolimont, I’ve taken a zoomed shot of the front cover, lowered the brightness and increased the contrast, so that light text shows up nicely on top. For the spine colour, you can use the colour picker to sample a pixel, or you can type in the RGB colour code.

When it comes to writing a blurb, you don’t need to include this in your image. When you design your cover in Lulu’s online editor, you can have text boxes. Set the font, set the colour, set the alignment, and type away. This is useful in case you’re still teasing your blurb: You don’t want to have to upload a graphic for every minor change.

As for the spine text, Lulu gives you a spot for the title and the author, pre-filled. You only need to adjust the size and font to suit, and you’re good to go.

Lastly, you can insert the Lulu label on the spine (if it’s thick enough) and the Lulu book id on the back (next to the barcode) by clicking the check boxes in the Lulu editor.

So, really, all you need is the front cover image (check!), the back cover image (check!), and the rest you can do online.

If you need to have two tones in the spine, or your own font, or any of that, you’ll need to go with Lulu’s advanced PDF cover upload. Can’t help you there. When I get around to trying it, I’ll let you know how I go, but until then I’m sticking with the online editor.

Whew! What a ride! We’re almost there. After this it’s a matter of uploading all your bits, filling in the blanks and going with Lulu’s Global Reach program to do some of the heavy distribution for you, like getting your book to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.Mini Jeztyr Logo

Lulu – Tidy up, Double Check and Export

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.

What’s next?

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.

ExportPDF.png

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.

Job done!

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:

  1. Title page has the title, subtitle (if applicable), series (if applicable) and author(s), all with correct spelling (raises hand – guilty).
  2. For a series, be sure you’ve used the same format for numbers: If your other books are in roman numerals, continue that way.
  3. Copyright page, correct year, correct author.
  4. ISBN filled out on the copyright page – and it’s correct to the one you claimed for your print book (not recycled).
  5. Table of Contents looks correct, font is fine.
  6. Dedication, Foreword and/or Preface on separate pages.
  7. Each Chapter title in the same face / case / size.
  8. Chapter pages match up exactly with the table of contents.
  9. Page numbers are left on the left page and right on the right page.
  10. The Chapter banner for a page actually corresponds to the Chapter.
  11. Blank pages can arise after reformatting, that aren’t evident before hand.
  12. Afterword on a separate page.
  13. All images are displaying correctly.
  14. 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.Mini Jeztyr Logo

Lulu – Printing Requirements

You’ve got your eBook up and ready to be made into a print book. Bully for you! This is exciting stuff. You’ve done all the hard yards, now it’s just the tedious (but important) yards.

Lulu insists that, if you’re going to distribute your books, you follow some rules. These rules are fair, not outlandish or anything, but it can cause you some grief if you’re not sure what’s what. So take your time, go through this as a guide (not complete, but, hey, it’s a start), and be thorough: digital format allows you to update mistakes quickly. Printed format is quite unforgiving.

I use Open Office to write my books, mainly because I’m used to the interface. If you use a different word processor, the steps should be similar, although I doubt they’d be exactly the same. Maybe same but different.

Lulu uses PDFs as they content, but will also accept Microsoft Word docs and raw .txt files. In any case, I export to PDF before uploading.

Size, Format and Fonts

With eBooks, you write, and that’s that. The formatting is (mostly) up to the device upon which the viewer is reading. Sure, you can set the font and make this a heading and that bold, but readers can override your setting and change everything to Comic Sans (which is evil) if they’re feeling frisky, increase the line spacing, decrease the lines per page, etc.

A printed book, last time I checked, doesn’t have this luxury. So you now need to take off your writing hat, and put on your type-setting hat. Don’t worry, you’ll get through this.

Firstly, choose your book size (see eBook to Hardcopy – Lulu). Sounds obvious, right? Well, there’s more to it than just that.

What kind of book do you have? A novella? A tome? If it’s a light read, you might consider a pocketbook format. If it’s meaty, perhaps you’d like the A5 size. The larger the book, the more expensive it is to print per page, but remember that larger pages hold more words, and therefore each page is less expensive but, and here’s a rule: Don’t let the cost guide you. Rather let the book have what it needs.

What’s your target audience? Children? Teenager? Adult? Older-adult. This can give you a hint as to the size of your type, the spacing and the font type. Larger fonts for children and teenagers, maybe very fine fonts for epics and war stories. The size and type will affect the page count but, again, don’t let the number of pages lead you: choose what’s best for your audience and stick to that.

Now, the font. Pick up a book from your bookshelf. What’s the font? Serif or sans-serif? Does it have the little ‘flickety bits’ on each letter, or is are the characters straight lines? It’s a matter of preference, but I like to read books in serif fonts, and I’ve got my Kobo set to this, only because I find I can read easier and faster. Eh, up to you.

A Worked Example

Let’s start with Jolimont Street Ghost. It was an eBook, published with Smashwords, and I needed to make it into a paperback. When writing, I had everything as ‘default’, thus:

JolimontSW

See how everything just runs together, including the copyright and the Dedication? All the front matter is rammed onto the one page.

We’ll have to change that.

OK, like the rest of Paranormology, I opted for a pocketbook, it’s 10.79cm x 17.46 or 4.25″ x 6.88″. OK, so I set the first page and default page size to this. This is under Page styles (see below).

JolimontFirstPage

Front Matter

The first port of call is your front matter. Your eBook can’t just be printed out any old how, it needs, among a host of other things, to have a proper title page. That’s right, a page dedicated solely to the title, subtitle, series number and author(s).

Hit CTRL+Enter to make a page break under my title. I then click on the page with the title and set it to being a ‘First Page’. That is, I nominate that page’s type as a ‘First Page’. I then edit the margins to give me a 2cm clearance on each side. For a larger book, this isn’t so pronounced.

For the rest of the book, or ‘Default’ pages, I set the margin to 1cm. I’ve found this give a good clearance of the text from the spine – I have read a book once where I needed to practically breaking the binding to read the words next to the spine – and a comfortable reading margin from the book edges. Don’t worry about the little grey margin line, that won’t print out.

Set your font to ‘Title’, set your sub-title, series and author fonts to something a bit smaller. Put them centred. Job done.

Bummer. Lunch is almost over. Stay tuned, I need to get some more screen shots. Coming up, we’ll cover the rest of the front matter, including the copyright, ISBN and table of contents. After that I’ll show you how to add in page numbering, chapter titles on pages, tables of contents and images, and also what to look for when you finally hit the ‘go’ button.

Right now, though, I’ve got to get back to writing code.Mini Jeztyr Logo