Books are a forest and it’s hard to see the trees, except the tall ones or the old ones. But when you enter the forest, it’s the new growth that emits the sunlight....

Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Publishing Glitches File

If I begin to feel confident about the computer, I have to laugh.  I’m reminded of a previous experience, usually an unnecessarily lengthy experience, and what small hurdles catapulted me backwards.  Recently, preparing a manuscript for a publishing site, I began to feel I had mastered the tasks of formatting and photo placement. I have reminders now, especially about the order of things so that I don’t have to go through the manuscript for added formatting.  And then there are my own pointers for formatting page numbers. Formatting page numbers is usually done first now, and it might be the hardest thing to do because of some mysteries in the Word program.

I was reminded of my first page numbering sessions in Word, what seemed to take a whole day. It was like being back there in the 1980’s when each page actually went through the typewriter.  How could I miss my old Olympus, my green Olivetti, or my electric IBM?

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Somehow I managed those iii, iv, v's in my first self-published books. It took me hours to establish my Sections and continued page numbering, 7, 8, 9, and so on. Now I have my glitches guide. And I dispensed with small Roman numerals, paginating where the text begins.  It goes like this:

Page Numbers

Section break

Footer in numbering section – uncheck Link to Previous and uncheck Different First Page and Odd & Even

See if you can remove the bottom line.  Then find bottom center position from centering on home page.

Page Numbers – Current position and then the simple number

This is probably not THE way, but now I’ve got my way! I started a project and did the page numbering within an hour.  I think I wasn't unchecking one of those boxes, and that has to be done in a particular order.

           If photos in my manuscript come back with Alert!, I have a note in my “Publishing Glitches” file.


When inserting pictures for print, make sure that they are 100 percent and that Do Not Compress Images in File is checked.

If THEY say your DPI is less than 300 and you’ve set Photoscape for 300, blow up the picture.

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Somehow this time, my 300 dpi pictures had turned into 72 dpi! What I think happened was that I took them from the Photoscape picture program to the Picasa program. Did Picasa save them as 72 dpi? Or did they compress? It’s all about the order of doing this stuff. Then I wasn’t sure what I meant, telling myself to blow up the picture.  

          So back to Photoscape with my tape measure and calculator. At 72 dpi, they had already blown up.  But I obtained the pictures at 300 dpi. So starting again, 300 dpi is about 300 pixels an inch; a 3-inch wide picture would be sized to about 900 pixels. I should say I messed with the pictures although after one, this came back fairly quickly. More quickly than I ever got page numbering.

Because I began to prepare manuscripts when there were still typewriters, the changes since are to me incredible. I was at the University of Minnesota and worked there while completing an M. A. in Writing.  In the years after 1983, I learned many computers on the job.  At that time, someone in an office would simply give a computer manual to an employee so that they could work with a new computer.  It was challenging although the ESC key (escape) was always there for desperate moments.

I refused to buy a word processor – the term in that time – until Windows came out. The computer companies didn’t have anything standardized and their programs were all different.  To me, it was as if the typewriter companies had once manufactured keys with their own brand of placement. Going from one new computer to the next was mind-boggling.

You think you might have mastered things, and then you try self-publishing. It can be learned. I’ve found the forums at CreateSpace and Lulu very helpful. You just don’t know what happened when you got the entire manuscript onto a PDF with your CuteWriter, and then you upload it and the pages don’t fit at all.  All those !!!! Alerts.  So you ask at the forum and someone gives you the reason. I wrote that reminder up too.

Your PDF might have a default page size of 8-1/2” x 11”.   Check it at the bottom left of the PDF page, clicking, or in Properties.  How to fix?   Here is Walton’s answer if you can’t figure it.

Select CutePDF as your printer, click on Properties; 2) click on Advanced; 3) On the PaperSize drop down menu select PostScript Custom Paper Size; 4) Enter the paper size; 5) If you want to change this, click on Edit Custom Page Size.

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Voila! In a few minutes, the manuscript comes on at your book size, 6” x 9” or 5.5” x 8.5”, whatever, and then you actually think that it was all so easy.  Until next time, when much is forgotten.

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