Friday, July 13, 2018

Showing Off My New Book Baby with Formatting Tips teenage girl is reading BOUND. I received my first set of author copies yesterday and can't get over seeing the product of my imagination in such a tangible manner. It's got weight. I have to share some pictures for those of you who won't get to see the paperback. The kindle version looks good too, but it's just not the same. 

You don't have to fiddle with the formatting as much with the kindle. The software takes care of most of it if you've used Styles to format your Word document. It's a trick I learned way back when I used WordPerfect for writing my PhD thesis. It made the document navigable on the computer. Of course, back then, there were no kindles, but it makes revising so much easier, and when you're keeping track of a hundred details like tables and graphs and pictures and footnotes, being able to link all these things makes life easier. Of course, the learning wasn't smooth. Just ask Michael. I wanted to smash the computer more than once when it didn't do what I wanted it to do. Does anyone here remember Sigma Plot or Corel Draw? I'm getting flashbacks. Anyway. If you have to learn the most useful feature of Word, it's Styles. And if I can do this, so can you.  

I made the kindle version navigable and had chapter titles so that if readers lose their place, they can easily find it again. This happens to me often--I blame the cats--and hate having to scroll. But for the print version, I got rid of anything that might distract from the story. So, no table of contents, chapter titles, headers of any kind. Just page numbers (and what a headache it was trying to number just the main part of the book, lol, but I done did good). I want the magic to happen, for the pages to disappear. I want the reader to be lost in the story, for time to disappear. I also made it easier to read by adding just 0.1 more to the spacing between the lines. There's just that extra breathing space. I love Georgia (the font I use on this blog) for it's roundedness but that would've put the book in excess of 300 pages and page count matters for pricing. So I switched to Times New Roman. The default for many paperbacks is Garamond but it is harder on the eyes. Once I settled on these things, I had so much fun making the pages look good. It's what makes holding the book such a pleasure. 


These first five copies will disappear quickly. I just know it. But for now I've placed them on *my* shelf. Don't I look like a new mother with her bookbaby?  It was a tough day with a rotten migraine but it was so great to just hold the book and flip through the pages. I spent a couple of hours reading my favorite bits. I would love to see pictures of BOUND being read by teenagers or even adults, so pretty please share.



Mirka Breen said...

It's so interesting to read about how you formatted the physical book. You have a good eye for the aesthetic of the printed page, which I can vouch because I am holding my paper copy right now.

Vijaya said...

Thank you Mirka. I really, really enjoyed the process. I'm glad all the artistic genes weren't passed on just to my sister :) And it's so nice that both my kids are developing their eye as well.