Easing Into a Book Production Mindset

selfpub[1]Every indie author knows that there are essentially three major components in a writers’ life. Writing, producing, and marketing a book. My last Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock, was released in November 2017.

I’m coming close to the final edit of the sixth installment, The Blade Man. An email to my editor last week marked the beginning of the production process, but truthfully, I’m in no hurry to publish yet. There’s a lot to think about regarding a book launch and other marketing plans.

Those who’ve published books, know all too well that there are a number of steps in the production process…hiring a jacket designer, acquiring ISBN numbers for electronic and print versions. Preparing the front and back matter, and of course, writing the all-important back cover blurb. As an increasing number of book reviewers require a synopsis, I’ll also spend a fair bit of time polishing a one-page version as well. There’s also the budget to work out.

It’s not all daunting, though. I use Draft2Digital and KDP to convert my documents into epub, Mobi versions, and so forth. The conversion is quick and simple for both, however, proofreading is still required as glitches occur. I haven’t quite decided what to do about preparing the print version, given that CreateSpace is no longer around. I could go the KDP route, but I want to do a little more research about the ups and downs to this approach.

If any Canadian colleagues out there, have production pros and cons regarding KDP, please let me know. Things change so rapidly in this business that I often feel that I’m starting out fresh with every published book. Sometimes the work ahead is overwhelming, but other times it’s exciting. Most of the time it’s both. Either way, I’m easing into production mode and looking forward to the future.

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#amblogging: My Best Formatting Tip

selfpub[1]I self-published my first mystery in 1995. In those days, Pagemaker was the formatting program of choice for print books, but it was cumbersome to learn and use. By 2008, when I self-published Fatal Encryption, Word had become a popular means of formatting a book.

After working a traditional publisher for several years, I’m returning to self-publishing for some of my novels, while staying with a traditional publisher for others. Because I’d forgotten so much about formatting a print book, I searched for and found a few how-to blogs, and YouTube videos to help me properly format the book for CreateSpace.

Despite the online help, I wish I had made better notes when I produced Fatal Encryption. The basics are there, but the details about creating the header weren’t written down, so doing it after all this time stumped me. Not all of the blogs addressed headers satisfactorily or offered the types of suggestions that I needed.

Formatting a book is time-consuming and frustrating if you haven’t done it before. So, my best advice for self-publishers is to make notes as you go along. There’s a lot to think about when setting up your basic page layout. Important steps, like remembering to right justify the text, or not indenting the first line of a new chapter, or creating the correct line spacing, are details that are quickly forgotten down the road.

I’m typing up notes as I do all this now because I don’t know when the next self-published novel will appear, but at least I know that I’ll have detailed notes, not to mention the bookmarked how-to blogs, for next time.

#amblogging: What I’d Forgotten About Book Production

self-publishing[1]I’ve self-published two books, one in 1995, the other in 2008. After that, I spent an interesting few years working with a traditional publisher. So, here I am again happily engaged in the production of my fifth Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock.

After going through the final edits and initial formatting, I found the occasional typo and started second-guessing myself about whether the book was actually ready to publish. Sure, I hired a great editor and incorporated 99% of her suggestions, but in doing so new typos occurred.

While chatting with colleagues at my writers’ group, it dawned on me that I’d forgotten one important step in the process, which was to proofread from a hard copy, and not just a computer screen. So, I’m currently printing out each chapter and, ruler in hand, am going over every word. I’m also reading those words aloud.

It’s helped quite a bit as I’ve found three more errors, but it’s also slowed the process significantly. Now I’m finding that I don’t like a certain word here and there, so I’m substituting one for another. I’m also giving the book to my hubby who is a meticulous proofreader. It’ll take a little longer to see Knock Knock published, but at least I’ll be certain that I did the best I could. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most. Well, that and my sanity.