Jun 08

Seeing Things, Part 11: paper books and cover design fallout

Dear Blog Friends,

My right arm has been hurting for about a week, and I finally figured out why: Mouse Elbow.  Yup. Too much time with gimp.  So, I’m going to take a break from cover design for a while, even though (because) it is SO MUCH FUN now that I’ve figured out some of the basics.  The general response is that the one with the teacup is better, but I might end up doing a cover with the figure on it as well, so there’s no doubt what genre it fits in.

Earlier this week I decided to take a gander at Amazon’s Create Space. I can’t say I liked what I saw.  Their directions for converting a doc file to pdf all presume that you own a copy of Adobe Acrobat, which I do not.  I searched on google for directions, and found not one but TWO different places on the createspace forum where people angrily and impatiently snipped that the didn’t feel they had to answer that question (how to convert doc to pdf) because it had been answered SO MANY TIMES and honestly if you would just do a SIMPLE SEARCH you would find it.  Neither of these arrogant blowhards answered the question, by the way, and my search yielded no other results.

I tried to figure out on my own how to do this conversion sans Acrobat, failed dismally, and began to edge into the realm of supreme frustration.  This is not a good place to be.  In the realm of supreme frustration, perfectionism and pride butt heads with impatience and ignorance. It ain’t pretty.  Eventually found a place where you can download templates which will presumably help you format your doc file to suit the right trim size, but by that point I realized that I was in the realm of supreme frustration and it was best just to back off for a while.

I’m still not 100% certain I’m going to do a print version of SEEING THINGS, but if I do, I will wait until I am patient and refreshed before going back to Create Space to see if I can make heads or tails of pdf formatting.  I think typesetters really earn their money.

In order to let my arm heal from the overuse, I decided to do a long-delayed project and paint my studio.  It may sound woo woo, but I believe I’m more creative (and more relaxed) when the walls of the room I work in are not all orange.  Since it’s very difficult to write at my computer without a desk, I haven’t been emailing or anything, and my arm is feeling much better.  Also, two walls are colors other than orange, which makes me happy.

I have two more pairings of stories I’m considering e publishing, but one of the B sides is out on submission, and the other B side story’s rights don’t revert to me until August.  I have other trunk stories and reprints I could use, but I want to pair stories by theme. Also, frankly, some of my trunk stories are trunked for good reason, and some of my reprints are not ones I’m super proud of.  I want to offer good stuff.

Meanwhile, I am working hard on rewriting the end of TREEMAKER.  When I’m done with that, I will send it back to my beta reader and see if she has further feedback.  If not, I’m ready to start revising and revising and revising and copyediting, and then cleaning it up and revising it some more.  The official release date for TREEMAKER is October 1st, but like SEEING THINGS, I will probably have it done early, and up for free on Smashwords for anyone lucky enough to have been reading my blog.





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    • David on June 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I use a free program called CutePDF. After you load it, try to print your doc but select CutePDF as the printer. Instead of printing a hardcopy it creates a pdf document.

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    it is just

    • Kater on June 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the info.

    • Amy on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    last time I did a big report as a pdf, i think I ended up just using MS word’s save as command, and then selected pdf. there were a few options for quality and password protection, and it probably was a larger file than adobe would have created, but it worked and was faster for me than finding a machine with dedicated software.

    • Kater on June 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    The problem is not converting it to pdf. Converting it to pdf is totally simple. The problem is creating a pdf document with the correct margin width, the right page numbers, and the right font size.

    • Amy on June 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    We must be on different pages, because I had to do all those (fonts, margins, page numbers and TOC, and complex tables) tweaks in word. Once I got it so it would print _exactly_ how it needed to, the pdf conversion was spot on. The only thing that was tricky was selecting one of the fonts pdf’s like so that any reader on any machine would open it correctly, or embedding the font

    • Kater on June 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    It’s the trim size option I’m having trouble with. Microsoft word, at least from what I can tell, presumes that you are using 8 1/2 x 11 paper. I think that with the templates, this would be fixable, but I’m not ready to fuss with it right now.

    • Amy on June 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    when you’re ready to fuss with it, you go through the page layout/page size options, they have several other options or you can customize it. When you’re ready to do it, it’s pretty straight forward, but depending on the version of word you use, the page layout menu might be easier/harder to find

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