I’m not any further along on understanding how to work with digital graphic files than I was last time I wrote about it. I consulted with some people who are in the know, and the consensus was that CreateSpace was being overly picky on the requirement of 300 dpi when the graphics were not photographs. So I went ahead and ordered the proof copy. I’m hoping it will be here today, and I can finalize the book within two days.
But beyond the graphics issue, I’m still traveling the learning curve on all this self-publishing stuff, not just the mechanics of layout and publishing but also the necessity and tasks of promotion. I have a similar situation at work. We use two different computer programs in our floodplain simulations. One we use on every project; the other we use infrequently. The one we use all the time had a steep learning curve. If I used it in 2002 then didn’t have another project with it until 2003, I had to learn the program all over again. Finally, after a project every year, I think I have mastered the basic use of it, though I don’t think anyone would call me a power user.
The other program I’ve used three times since 2009. If I had to use it now, I wouldn’t be able to without some significant re-study of how to do it. It wouldn’t be as bad as the first time, when I learned how to use it from reading manuals and trial and error, but it would still be a slow process.
Right now it’s the same with the three self-publishing platforms I’m dealing with: Kindle, Smashwords, and CreateSpace (for print). The interior formatting requirements are so different for e-books and print books that I still have difficulty switching between them. I’ve now uploaded six items to both Kindle and Smashwords, and am starting to feel comfortable with them. Next time I upload something, which I hope will be in less than two weeks, I think it will go smoothly.
But with the print layout I’m still far down on the learning curve. I’ve done the layout of three books, two uploaded and one ready to go once I get the cover. I have one more to do: Doctor Luke’s Assistant. That’s so big at 155,000 words that I’m somewhat intimidated by it. I think it will be such an expensive book that it won’t sell at POD prices, so I don’t mind putting off the formatting. Plus, I’ve had plenty of other things to do on my writing and publishing to-do lists.
I’ll work through it all. I feel good about my progress. Someday I might even get to the point where I don’t fear clicking the “submit” button. It might take three or four more e-book items, and at least that many print, but I’ll get there.