Over the weekend, I sat down in the sweltering heat and began the first round of serious prep work for Action Figures, which involved formatting the manuscript to CreateSpace’s specs.
The process was a little more involved than I anticipated, thanks to the quirks of MS Word. CreateSpace helpfully provides MS Word templates with preset margins, so when the file is converted into a printed book, the text is positioned properly on the page (extra space is provided to account for page surface taken up by the binding, a detail I never would have thought of on my own).
The pain came from manually futzing with some text, since — for reasons I could not puzzle out — a paragraph that jumps from the bottom of one page to the top of the next did not do so automatically; huge chunks of text would automatically position itself, leaving some huge blank spots at the bottom of some pages, meaning I had to hand-divide paragraphs to avoid wonky layouts.
(If anyone knows how to make that happen automatically, please let me know. I don’t want to have to do that every bloody time I format a manuscript.)
Under the category of Maybe This is Only Interesting to Me, I decided to go with a common industry standard size so I can take advantage of CreateSpace’s expanded distribution feature. No sense in putting the book out in some esoteric size for no good reason.
On a positive note, reading through the whole thing yet again allowed me to catch some lingering typos and smooth out a few passages that struck me as off for one reason or another. Once my intrepid sister-in-law finished her typo check, I can upload the manuscript and get that out of my hair.
And then comes the wait for the cover art, which is somewhere in-process with my artist friend Tricia. I know she had a couple of jobs ahead of mine, so I have to force myself to be patient — which is actually a good feeling in light of my past several weeks of creative apathy.
In the coming days, I’ll be punching up the promotional end of this effort, launching a Facebook page specifically for my writing and popping some teaser material online to try and drum up some early buzz. Since I’m going the self-publishing route, the Internet is going to be my best friend when it comes to pushing paper.