Book Update 3/1/2010

The latest update on the book:

  • I got a copy from  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