Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Turning the Ebook into a Paperback

Some potential readers are asking me for a copy of my ebook, Walk Forward, as a paperback!


This means I must find a platform for publishing a hard copy of Walk Forward.

I checked out the following three platforms:

1. Espresso Book Machine
2. Blurb
3. Createspace

The decision as to which platform to use is not exclusive, I could go with all three.
However, I eliminated the first two per issues of either the information they requested, cost, or location.

We do not yet have an Espresso Book Machine in our area of Cleveland, Ohio. There is one in Austin, Texas, and my sister would gladly pick a paperback copy of the book to me from their location on the University of Texas at Austin campus, and check the book for me.

However, after looking at cost, prompts, and requirements, I decided to try Createspace which is fully owned by Amazon, where my ebook resides on the Amazon Kindle platform.
I hoped that since my book was an ebook on Amazon's platform that there might be an easy way to submit my Amazon contribution to their wholly owned subsidiary.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way my ebook for Kindle can be turned into a paperback without having me upload a manuscript to Createspace in their preferred format.

All three platforms, Espresso, Blurb, and Createspace use a print-ready PDF to make prints of the book, various formats are accepted, but they convert to a PDF for publishing. Createspace will do as much as one wants to do and offer various services, in addition to the free uploading of a PDF.Whether one creates a PDF, using the guidelines for each platform, or hire someone to do it depends on the time one has to spend on the project.

I chose to do everything myself using mostly free programs and read that Open Office makes an awesome PDF.

Per Open Office Writer one need only match the requirements of the target platform to options in making the appropriate PDF.

One obvious problem is that ebooks do not currently have page numbers. Pages in a book are also dependent on font size. I decided to make the font size in my book size 14, and in the 6" x 9" paperback,
my book turned into 226 pages.

After submitting a PDF with even numbers on the right side and odd on the left, Createspace emailed that my book is non-standard. A book must have the odd page on the right side! They suggested I add another page to the front of my book to make my text start on an odd page, on the right side.

It sounded simple, just add a page and all should be fine, right?  No, no, no, it did not work. I could add a page by placing a page break before a heading on page 2, however, when I inserted the pagination, all the pages had numbers, or none of the pages had numbers. Should I use Roman numerals for the pages, such as the copyright and dedication pages, restart the page numbering process on the first text page, or what?

I called Createpace as was not sure I understood their directions and what the pagination should look like.

Createspace has great telephone help. I recommend them for their helpful telephone response system with a live person. All I had to do was type in my phone number and Createspace called me back immediately, with and very short waiting period, practically no waiting at all to speak with one of their knowledgeable representatives.

Createspace explained that they only allow one series of numbers, the front pages should not have numbers, but must be considered in the page count expressed on the first page of text of the book.

In my case, the first page of text would be page 5.

I could not get the text page to say page 5. Thus, decided to move my Open Office document to Microsoft Word which for some reason, allowed me to add the page numbers more easily. However, the page in back of the title page had a page "2" on it. I did not mind this and as long as it truly is page #2 and page #5 is labeled as page 5,  Createspace would accept the manuscript as long as page numbers correspond to the actual number the page would have, counting blank pages or whatever pages one might include in the book.

Having had to redo my pagination many times, I quickly learned to understand the difference between changing properties of a paragraph versus a page. 

I went between Open Office and Word and Open Office. Setting styles for a front page (termed a "first page" in Open Office) versus a "default" style for text, seemed easy, but for some unknown reason, the extra page I had to insert, stayed as a "default" page rather than being a unnumbered "first page." I started over
several times adding or deleting page numbers. I tried both Open Office and Microsoft Word and seemed to have issues as could not remove the default style from the page I added.

Certain tasks were easier to perform in Open Office, like making an awesome PDF, while it seemed easier to add/delete pages in Microsoft Word, and add page numbers using Word. Open Office's footer got larger and larger, Word's page number did not take up much space on the page. 
 I did not want to purchase software or hire someone to make a cover or put page numbers on my book, but I might hire someone in the future to do what I did as it was beyond time consuming! I am thankful that my first 6" x 9" paperback was no longer than its 226 pages!

I uploaded several copies to Createspace, as I had a few words in italics that hung into the margin. It was easy to cut and re-paste the few sentences that had italic words in the margin area.

The reverse side of the title page has a little number "2" on the bottom, as I could not
get that page number to hide, without deleting all the page numbers! The next two pages
have no page numbers (as I wanted and Createspace prefers), and no number on the Title page.

The text of Walk Forward starts on a page which is numbered "5" and it is page 5 if one counts every page included in the book from its front cover. Page 5 is on the right side, where convention dictates. CreateSpace will not
accept text starting on page 1, my text started on page 5 and it must be so numbered, 5.

CreateSpace wants the text to start with the real number, counting from the beginning of the book
and they do not allow Roman numerals, or another numbering style, for those early pages. Createspace does not allow two numbering systems in one book.

They said my cover converted properly and I ordered 5 proofs of Walk Forward as 5 is the maximum number of proofs one is permitted to purchase.

My book cover is brown to convey a serious feel of the nonfiction book, with yellow words on the back and front of the cover to signify "rays of sunshine."

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