The latest update on the book:
- I got a copy from Lulu.com. I'm pretty impressed with the POD quality – it's pretty good overall. Layout work, cover worked (except for some brightness/contrast on a photo which I miscaluclated). Print quality is VERY nice.
- I then proceeded to go through it with a highlighter and find anything that looked wrong and correct it.
- I changed the font, it was too small – I had gone with ten point which looked horrible. It's much better in 12 point, which makes the book bigger, but won't affect the final sales price when it goes commercial.
- I also changed some page breaking and organization – it's amazing how you can forget things like "Chapters are best starting on odd pages".
- The next copy is coming to me. If all is well release will go on end of month if not earlier.
What I learned:
- You need a copy of your book to truly appreciate it if there's a physical copy.
- Twelve point, maybe even eleven point, but ten point is NOT a good idea for most books.
- Underlines can look bad in books too. I understand they're frowned on.
- Converting to PDF's is quite an adventure. This time I had to make sure my formats were right for large-scale distribution, which meant learning about embedded fonts.
- Book layouts have TONS of subtleties that you have to learn either via study and practice or painfully experiencing it yourself. I've learned from the latter. Among my findings are: chapters should start on an odd page (right-hand). Table of Contents also starts best on odd/right-handed page. Changes in font size, even a small amount, change the acceptable amount of whitespace in formatting, and appendices somehow flow better when you have a simple "Appendices" labeled page to break them off from the main body.
So far, a lot more work than I thought. Then again I learned a lot. And, of course, this will be used in the next book – and there will be more to come . . .
– Steven Savage