When A Fine Line: Herrick’s Tale was released, it was done as a self-published book through CreateSpace.  Boy, was that a crazy journey, let me tell you!

The one thing I’ve learned in this process is that the most valuable thing I ever taught myself was learning how to use Microsoft Word.  When you decide to self-pub, you will need to know how to do your own formatting to bring the double spaced 8 1/2 by 11 page into a single spaced document of your own industry sized choice. Took me 8 hours just to do the physical book, and another two for the ebook.

And I thought that the editing was the hard part!

But the best thing is that now that I know what I’m doing, next time the formatting should hopefully only take half the time.  This article was the most helpful thing I had to guide me along the way.  Here are a few things you can do to help yourself before you set about starting your own formatting:

– decide what size you want your manuscript to be.  You can do this before you upload the file to your self-pub platform, or hopefully see if they will do the resizing of your current doc for you.  Make sure you do these first though.

– remove all tabs.  Your first line indent should be done through paragraph formatting, not tabs.  Tabs will only mess your pages up.

– remove all double spaces after periods in your sentences.  Word can do this for you!  Just do a find with the double space, and replace it with a single space.  this will save you pages later and make it look better.

– switch your documents from being double spaced to single spaced.  Real books are single spaced.  Double spacing is industry for us to be able to send it off to publishing houses so that they can write all over it with red ink.  Since you’re not sending it out, set it back to single spaced.

– any clip-art or graphics must be bigger than 300 dpi or it will get error messages.  This is the program warning you to keep from having the images get pixilized.  If you don’t know how to do it on your own, ask a friend who knows Photoshop to help you with it.

– use section breaks at the end of each chapter and start your page numbers per sections. This will allow you to be able to blank out page numbers on blank pages.

– when you think you’re done, order the physical proof of your book before you hit the button that puts your book up for sale.  When you get it, give it to someone you know and have them flip through it and check all the formatting: page numbers, chapter headings, etc. Only when someone who isn’t looking at your baby with your eyes says it’s ready to go, then you can hit that button and celebrate.

 

I hope these hints help you along on your way to getting your own work up for sale.  Good Luck!

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