Thursday, 2 April 2015

When Iggle Piggle meets Shrek

Thursday already and I can't believe where the days have gone since Sunday.

My excuses are plentiful. 
  • I'm still shaking off this lingering virus - the coughing and 'gunge' not yet cleared up, the tiredness an absolute pest!
  • I spent happy time buying and posting birthday presents for three of my lovely great nieces; and I posted off prizes from last Friday's launch of Monogamy Twist to my equally fantastic people who were winners.
  • Most of all a lot of time was spent yesterday re-reading the instructions, and the terms and conditions, for using Createspace to publish The Taexali Game, my time travel historical for YA/ Middle Grade readers.
BUT the greatest time has been spent in learning MORE about formatting a book for publishing on Createspace. I now realise why publishing a book for other people is a very time consuming job. My eternal thanks go to Stephanie and Laurence Patterson for what they do to get my Crooked Cat novels up and published.

However, I'm sure once I 've done this learning tricks to publish a couple of times, I'll get the hang of it. I'm sad to say, though - I'm a very slow dog learning new technology tricks. 

"Easy as pie," says an author friend, talking about self- publishing on Createspace. "They're pretty helpful."

I agree with him that they are but there's something not logical about the way I approach instructions, or approach the finding out of what has to be done first. Before I started on my Monogmay Twist publicity and promotions, I had already poured over my manuscript for The Taexali Game and was hopeful I'd sorted all main layout formatting tasks.
I wasn't quite well enough prepared. Though - Why not?  

Accessing Createspace on the internet, it was easy to find pages which told me what's needed in specifications for a cover design. I just wish I knew about DPI and other layering thingies but I'm not worried because I know my cover designer will handle that. He'll be able to create a wraparound PDF for me with a front cover, spine and back cover.... but only after I know how many pages there will be in the book. I know I've got 150 + pages in my manuscript but does that mean the same number of pages in a book?


What size  is my book going to be? Fantastic! I made a decision. It's going to be 5" by 8"  to match the size of my other novels - easier for packing to take them to craft fairs for selling locally. Then I find some really useful information on the Createspace help lines and chat room. For a 5" x 8" book I need to make sure I've got the page layout and margins set correctly. Brilliant! I hadn't done that yet. There's even some graphics on one site that show me how to do this margin setting in Word. Of course, that's after I convert from inches to centimetres since I'm set up for British English and British metric standards.

I've now downloaded the formatted template for the size of the book I want- yipee! I'm getting somewhere now. The instructions don't alll make sense yet, but I'm confident I'll work that out as I start the insertion procedure.

Aargh! Some hours later I've inserted my front matter and the first 10 chapters and they look great! So... what was my problem at midnight last night? I found it's not so easy to insert my extra 15 chapters beyond the 10 that comes with the formatted template. I blearily read the instructions and see that I should have inserted the new chapter 'placeholder' slots into the Chapter List that I thought I could do without in the front matter!

So...I'm now about to start all over again, today.

But where does Iggle Piggle and Shrek come into this?  For a short while yesterday I thought I could seriously multitask. Read some instructions while...

"Grandma?" asks my 3 and a 1/2 year old granddaughter. "Will you watch Shrek with me?"
"Well," says I, " I'll do my best but we have to watch Riley, as well." At just past 1 year old he is quick as a whippet, even though not walking yet.

Iggle Piggle
This is where Iggle Piggle comes in. We don't have two DVD players in the lounge but we do have multiple toys that make very loud repetitive sounds when you're watching a DVD. "My name is Iggle Piggle" in that very deep croak competes with Shrek, the volume having been turned up.  Every car, train, tractor that Riley owns has a really loud sound system!

You know, I wasn't really reading the instructions too well. I'll be back with an update after my grandma slot today!


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