The nightmare that is formatting

So as you may know I recently published my first novel, Colorado Sunset, in Ebook format on Amazon. That was the easy part. I paid a wonderful lady (shout out to Lucinda Campbell) to do all of my e-formats for me and they look great.

But… then it came to the paperback version. Not finding anyone to do that for me, I plunged ahead. Like plunging into a deep dark ocean, but scarier!  I discovered cool features, like drop caps, to make my book look professional. That part was fun.  Then I muddled through the front and back matter, not as fun, but not too difficult, or so I thought.

Then came the headers, page numbers, etc, and this is where the nightmare really got going.  Of course, the odd and even pages had to be different so would be right in an actual book.  I would fix one, which would then mess up the other.  Fix that and suddenly all the numbers would disappear, or every page in my book would simply be page 2.  Finally, after many, many hours I got them all working AND THEN, I added my front matter-title page, dedication, copyright info, and yikes they had page numbers and now my other numbers were all off again. So, after much searching, I learned about sections, if the front pages were “simply” in a different section then I could delete, in theory, the page number from them. Right? Easy enough. NOT.

Finally, after several days, and I mean long days, the book looked perfect in Word format, I was thrilled and off I sent it to CreateSpace. First, it wouldn’t even accept my manuscript because there were blank pages, What? Where did that come from? No blank pages in my documents. So  back to the drawing board.  I could take out those pages, and  like magic the page numbers were now back on my front pages!  Hours and hours of more playing with it, reading countless proofs and I think a good majority of the errors were fixed before I uploaded it to Amazon.

If you order my book, please be forgiving.  And the worst part, I really wish I could tell you that I learned so much through this process that my next book will be so much easier. But that would be a lie. To tell you the truth, I have no idea how I did it, it was all dumb luck! Anyone want to format my next book?

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