Lest you think my writing muse escaped to the hinterland, I assure you folks I have been diligently working on the word. The stories that have been eating up my time are the ones I trying to publish! I’ve written a series of ten books about space and an exile planet and aliens and about how a furtive refugee becomes a real leader. All hinges on the first one getting all the way through the process.
This time I’m attempting to run my own publishing imprint, with my own cover design and everything. You see with my last book, I farmed out nearly everything. The covers for those books are beyond sorry. Those first books were not a waste of thousands of bucks (not totally anyway) because I learned much in many areas. I thought I was doing pretty well this time.
These books are much tighter and better edited than the last ones. Instead of 500 brick-weight pages, these are about 250 pages each, more straightforward. I designed several covers and settled on one for the series that I think is striking. I bought interior format and cover templates ; that’s my words and design on their layouts. I bought my own ISBNs.
You cannot snap your fingers and make an EPUB or MOBI file for an eBook. It took time to research programs, get one, find out it wouldn’t do what I needed, get another one, learn it, go to Amazon and get the book for it, yippee I have an EPUB and MOBI file! Oh the cover template is a Word file… it took a while to figure out how to turn that into a jpg.
Somehow using high resolution pictures and a bona fide professional template I still got the low-res gavel ponding when I submitted my print cover to the printer/distributer. I spent some more time on the cover and resubmitted it. I set off the ‘it’s too big’ siren. They said use OUR template. I downloaded it. It’s a PDF and I can’t do anything magic with a PDF unless I spend more cash every month as it’s a stupid subscription. That’s like a cow with the milking machine always hooked up and sucking. Poor cow – MOO.
I fixed the spine width and resubmitted the cover; the cover should be perfectly sized now. Three days later, SIRENS. “Your file is 12×15 and it should be 6×9!” Please account for the cover being on a 12 x 15 white page. I verified I signed up for print and the standard 6 x 9 with the typical front and back. I asked via customer service what the hay? A week later, no response except for another copy of the PDF template I cannot use.
Frustrated, I left that for a weekend and started putting the next volume into the template. It took all weekend. Using a template does not mean the works will trot into place into the correct spot all on their own like obedient little doggies. It’s more like cats with pinchy clothespins on their tails. Put you hand in there and see feel what you get.
Enough! I just wished to explain my bloggish absence! Perhaps next week I’ll have a spiffy new book to wave around with a cheesy grin. I did go to Wisconsin last month and came back with a couple pounds of white and orange parcels of wonder. I have the cheese, will I have the published books?
Seems like the printer/distributor needs to rethink their customer service! Good luck. I know you have worked so hard on it.