Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Not with a Whimper, but a Thwack

To continue our story, I had bought CutePDF and fiddled around with it. I put the book pieces together, front cover, body of the book, and back cover. Well, actually, the body of the book was in two pieces because of the word processor and it's lack of functionality with page numbers. A lack of functionality, I might add, that seems uniform across the board even with my favoured MS Word. The problem was that I could not get the page numbers to start several pages into the manuscript. What I could do was tell it what page number to start with. So I cut off all of the starting pages that I did not want numbered and put them to their own document. That way the first page of the rest of the book could be whatever number I wanted.

This all brings us to a PDF book that would be complete if it were to be printed. I did have to make one other tweak though, make all of the pages the exact same size. I have frequently seen PDF books where the “cover” or title page was bigger than the rest, and despite all of my pages should have been 8.5 X 11 inches the sizes didn't match exactly. It was easy to fix though, given the difference was small. I did however also try to make the book smaller, 6 X 9 inches like a trade paperback (the bigger ones like say Stephen King's Dark Tower books with the colour plates). That did not work out so well.

Any way the book was put together and sized properly. The security was set to be put in place as the final step. For that I set up some passwords and created a certificate. One thing was missing, and it was another spot where CutePDF helped out that I doubt those other two programs would have helped with. It had a function to set Bookmarks. The book has a table of contents but it doesn't link to the chapters, the Bookmarks duplicating that table does and you don't have to go back and forth between it and the page you want to start on. The Bookmarks sit on the left side of the screen in a collapsible column above the tab for page views. Now I had not only my fist book for publishing, but it was also a proper PDF book. That's it, that's how I did it all.

Now, what I am thinking of doing here on the blog for the next while is getting down to discussing some of the basics of writing, then with those on hand get into less basic things with a particular interest in my forte, horror writing. The question for you the audience is why should any of you listen to me, I'm just some guy who put his own book out and is still working on his first sale with other publishers. That is the reason why. I'm at the stage where I'm trying to get out there. Its an ideal position to speak from as I hone my skills further, see what kind of things and don't work in selling stories, and go through the process of getting into the industry. I've seen people like Neil Gaiman blog about how they got a certain book out and it's helpful but not quite as helpful maybe as starting with someone unestablished.

In any event we'll see how it goes. Don't worry I'll still intersperse the heavy stuff with more news of the other things I'm doing, ideas about role playing and all the other goodies I usually get to writing.

Mood: relaxed.
Music: Flash (Gordon)'s Theme by Queen and The Rift by Vince Neil.

Queen: Flash Gordon
Buy these at Amazon.ca
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Vince Neil: Carved in Stone

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