Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My wonderful editor

One of the most precious people I've found in the process of self-publishing is my editor:  Leslie Noble.

They say, nomen est omen.  The man is indeed noble.

Not only is he an excellent editor - knows his way through the labyrinth of the English language like an intrepid archaeologist with incentives - knows byways and passages I had no idea about.

For my own piratical purposes even better, he is a yachtsman with hands-on experience of flying a sailing yacht, surfing a freak wave, and all the moods and idiosyncrasies of the ocean.

Most importantly, he's a Noble knight on a white charger where it comes to rescuing a distressed damsel from going to Cuckoo Home (it's somewhere in the Transylvanian Alps, I'm sure).  The file that was driving me round the bend yesterday?  Around midnight it won against me and I gave up on it (LibreOffice Writer, Winword 2007 - neither could help me) and launched it in a missive to my noble editor, with a plea for help.

This morning as I open my emails, the file is back - all fixed!  I could take it exactly as is and upload it to Amazon, no further tweaks required!  How's that forya?

Les, thank you.  Your help is absolutely indispensable and worth gold.  And diamonds!

I don't know if anyone sees these posts but if you do, pls be aware that Les is also our most prolific author - having written Tabika (1 and 2), Baa Baa Black Belt, Regina, Forest Circle Quest, and the "Immy" series of 5 delightful toddler-shaped multimedia toy-boxes parading as books.  The stories are so cute that as adults we smile and chuckle as we read them.  Definitely worthy of our little ones, much more so than a lot of the toddler literature that is currently out there.

Here are his books:

He is also a composer (Immy features a Peter-and-the-Wolf style themed musical background of his own composition) and his classical-style CDs are on our web shop too:

(The photography featuring on the covers of these CDs is also his own.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aaaarghh Createspace!!

Though it's not really CreateSpace at fault.

It's Word for Windows, and sectioning.  I'm trying to upload a perfectly good manuscript - mind we already had a P'kaboo print run for it, and I know the book has formatting issues - but not the ones I didn't expect at CreateSpace.

The real formatting issues of the book:

The margins are a teensy bit too small for comfort.  That is, the outer margins.  There's enough gutter.  (Not saying that it's gutter literature!)  And:  The binders here in SA don't seem to get perfect binding right.  The glue is stiff - it should never be with such a thin book.  Which leads to breaking of the spine when it should be flexing instead.  Highly annoying.  But those are printer-binder issues; not file issues.

And:  It is not A5.  Making the printing a bit of a nightmare as the text has to be reduced onto the page, to fit the smaller format.  For me that's an issue.  It's the last small-run digi format book I'll ever create in a non-standard format.

But Amazon doesn't work in the A standard formats; its format that comes closest is in 6' x 9' imperial inches.  (I'm wondering now, are they the inches of a Roman silk trader, or of Julius C, or of the American president...  - OH, they are 2.7 cm?  Standardized to a metric measure in other words?  LOL.)  Never mind the furlong-per-fortnight issue.  I had expected, and got, margin issues with my A5 file with the too-small outer margins, and I fixed those.  I expected serious issues with the cover format (as that is in the non-standard size); surprisingly I got none.  They resized the cover.  We'll see how well that worked when I see the digital proof.  But here's an issue I did not expect - didn't pick up myself, on the doc file:  Pagination!

Ok.  Get a matchbox, empty all the matches out and then try to stick your brain into that.  That's how I feel about a pagination issue.  Apparently in parts, the pagination is completely missing!  Why???  Because the book has been sectionalized.  Was that necessary??

If Word were GIMP, I'd "flatten the image" so that the whole book becomes 1 single "section", and repaginate.  I don't know if Libreoffice (Linux) has such an option, but my guess is, not.  Does Word even have that option?  And once I do, I'll have to repaginate the table of contents, manually, again..............   *SIGH*

This is not my favourite part of publishing, of helping other authors onto a platform.  Definitely NOT.  If I were a rich company, I'd employ someone with a certification in Windows to do all the formatting for me and I'd pay them not to get creative about it!  So, nose to the grindstone, I'd rather be editing Solar Wind 6 - Romania, but wtf, that table of contents is calling....  urggh...

(please pardon the very teenage spoilers, this is practically a teenage temper tantrum, I'm learning a lot from my kids...)