Adventures in Print!

Last week was full of learning experiences. I’m venturing into print with my middle grade and young adult fiction. A terrifying and exciting step in my publishing career. I’m working with CreateSpace, which is Amazon’s POD arm, and I just ordered the proof copy of Thunderbird *happy dancing*

I’m really proud of myself because I’ve done all the work with open source software. I’d love to work with InDesign, but it’s just not in the budget at this point in my career. Instead, I used Scribus, and it seems to have done the job. My initial review of the two required pdf files (interior and cover) came back that the book was printable, but that there were a couple of problems I should look at…

  1. On the interior layout, I needed an extra blank page, because the text of the story was starting on a left-hand page instead of the right. Now that was downright weird since I’d carefully proofed my pdf to make sure the pages were in the correct layout, but evidently something changes when it goes through CreateSpace’s process. So, I redid the interior file, making sure ALL of my chapters started on the right-hand page. Which meant that in Word and the pdf, they all showed on the LEFT-hand page. Talk about counter-intuitive! But it worked. When I uploaded the revised file, everything lined up perfectly 😀
  2. My cover was a total disaster! Yep. It met their printing standards, but the font had morphed and looked like some Cyrillic alphabet. Totally unreadable *sigh* Also, it warned that the images weren’t high enough DPI and might pixilate when printed. So…back to the drawing board on the cover. Except, I had to recalculate the size because I’d added pages to the interior layout, and while the numbers hadn’t changed a lot, they had changed. The domino effect was at work. I did the new math (thank heavens for a little ebook I bought… Create Book Covers with Scribus …it has a website that does all those calculations for you :D), changed my fonts to Arial (because it’s so standard) and uploaded the new pdf for review.

This morning the book passed review, and this time it looks great on their digital reviewer. Now to see what it looks like when I hold it in my hot little hands!

If the proof looks good, Thunderbird will be available in print in the near future! If not…well, this first book is all about the learning curve 😀

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About Debbie Mumford

Debbie Mumford specializes in fantasy and paranormal romance. She loves mythology and is especially fond of Celtic and Native American lore. She writes about faeries, dragons, and other fantasy creatures for adults as herself and for tweens and young adults as Deb Logan. Visit debbiemumford.com to learn more about her currently available work.

Posted on August 6, 2012, in Authors - Debbie Mumford and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Zowie! Debbie I had no idea you were going over to the dark side! Congratulations I’m sooo jealous. Sounds like paper on a budget is feasible for us. POD means they only print when there’s a purchase, right? Do you have figures on the retail price and number of pages? Thanks! Oh, to be on paper…

  2. *lol* No ‘dark side’ about it, Will. Just another form of distribution! The cool thing is, this isn’t the self-published route of the past. I don’t have to fill my garage with boxes of books and then pound the pavement trying to convince bookstores to buy them. My print book will be available from Amazon, and (for a few extra $$) will go into the standard catalogs that all bookstores order from. I’m not anticipating a lot of sales, but I don’t have much investment to earn back, so all is well. (And I really think my kids books may sell better in print than they do as ebooks)

    I’ll let you know how it goes, and if you have specific questions, feel free to drop me an email 😀

  3. UPDATE: *wheeee* My proof arrived! It’s official. I have a real, live, print book 😀 The cover looks good and so does the interior…BUT I’ll be redoing because the words are too dense on the page. Might be fine for an adult novel, but this is aimed at 9 – 12 year olds!

    I made the mistake of accepting the spacing and fonts in the template I downloaded from CreateSpace. I checked a few YA books I have on hand and (utilizing a handy little ruler my hubby had squirreled away) realized they’re done in TNR 12 at 1.5 spacing instead of single.

    Yes indeed. This is the purpose of a proof copy! So, I’ll be redoing the interior this weekend to increase the font and spacing, which will add pages, which means I’ll be re-calculating the cover areas and re-doing that as well.

    I’m going to be really good at this process once I get Thunderbird launched *lol* Hooray for learning curves!!!

  4. Deb I’m geeking out! Give me an idea of the words per page in the old and new versions, plus the total page count. We could publish a thesis on this!

  5. Oooo…Geeky details coming up! But I’ll spare the blog-reading audience by sending them via email *lol*

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