Two weeks ago I set most writing tasks aside to concentrate on publishing The Candy Store Generation. Working with Rik Hall, a book designer, on some interior design elements, I was able to upload the e-book to Kindle a week ago today and it went live last Saturday. A couple of days later I had the Smashwords file and uploaded that.
That left the print book to work on. I was waiting on the print book cover, but that didn’t stop me from formatting the inside of the book. I was determined to do the best I could with this before sending it on to Rik. I figured this wasn’t my first print book to format. I did Documenting America by myself. The main difference with CSG is the many graphics.
So I set to the formatting, completed it on Tuesday, and sent it off. On Wednesday Rik said it looked pretty good, though he had some suggestions for improvement. I made the changes and sent it on Wednesday. On Thursday he told me he thought it was ready to go. Also on Thursday I received the print book cover from Vicki. So Thursday night was upload night.
The cover uploaded fine. The book interior uploaded fine. But CreateSpace has a new feature. Some software on their end cruches for a couple of minutes, checking your interior. It then gives you a report on whether it finds any problems with the layout of the interior. In my case, it found 12 problems, most dealing with the graphics. Those relating to the size of the graphics (inches or pixels) I can handle fairly easily. But two are proving difficult.
One was that the fonts are not “embedded.” The message is a warning. It says CS can pick the fonts, but that it would be better if they are embedded. The problem is, both my MS Word and my Adobe Acrobat are set up to automatically embed fonts. So when I created and saved the document in Word, the fonts should have been embedded. Then when I used Acrobat to create the PDF file, the fonts should have been embedded. So why weren’t they? A check of Adobe help forums suggests that the plug-ins used with Word to create a PDF are the problem. While Acrobat is the program I used, I did it by clicking a simple button within Word. Maybe that’s the problem.
The other problem is that all my graphics are not of the quality they suggest for print. The are in the 100-200 dpi range, whereas CS suggests using 300 dpi or better. I’m using Word 2003, and it automattically resizes imported images to be 200 dpi. I spent two to three hours in Word help and on-line help and forums and I haven’t found anything yet to tell me how to get around this. A writer friend said she got the same error message about photo quality, decided to print anyway, and it worked fine.
Today I went ahead and completed the upload. It’s now in a 48 hour period where someone or something is further checking the book to make sure it can be printed as uploaded. After that I’ll order the proof copy, and see how it looks. Perhaps the graphs will be fine. Or perhaps I’ll have to get a graphics editor, something better than Paint, and learn how to use it.
Which brings me to the learning part. When I was querying agents and editors, and pitching to them, and submitting proposals and partial or full manuscripts, there was much to learn about that whole process. Now that I’m self-publishing, both e- and print, I have a whole new batch of things to learn. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to the learning process, but know I will be the better for it.