I have always considered myself a fairly computer-literate individual, for a layman. Three years at University, followed by a decade’s worth of writing left me, I felt, fairly justified in my quiet pride.
Oh, how wrong I was…
I can safely say that in the past five weeks I have learnt more about computing in general, and modern word and image processing than I did in the last ten years. It’s been quite a learning curve.
Let me give you a rough run down of the pitfalls I’ve had to drag myself out of:
- working out make my scanner produce higher DPI images, without completely wiping out my laptop’s processor.
- Adding text to my cover images.
- Doing so, without loosing the image quality I had (finally) worked out how to produce.
- Formatting my manuscript so that it fitted the trim size I’d chosen on Createspace.
- Re-inserting the interior images at a higher quality (I forgot them in the initial image crisis).
- Discovering the font I’d chosen for wolf’s ghost in the book was not a standard font, and so working out how to embed it (turns out you can’t, but re-saving your work as a PDF will solve the problem).
- Re-formatting my book (again) for Kindle, including…
- …applying standard format headers to all part, chapter and section headers.
- …hyperlinking said headers back to the active contents page therefore necessary.
- …choosing another font for the wolf’s ghost (as this time, the PDF cheat wouldn’t wash).
- …using the bookmarking function to instill the necessary virtual pointers kindle’s apparently rely on.
- …and finally, converting said file into htm format for upload.
I’m feeling fairly certain I’ve missed something along the way there. At some point when this is all over, I need to sit down and do myself a reminders list of things that I should do, and things that I definitely shouldn’t waste time doing (like getting precious about document formatting, when it’s all going to change post adjustment for trim size).
There are probably some of you reading this and laughing (quite justifiably) at my naivety. All I can say in my defence is I’ve never been very good at thinking beyond the immediate. And also, that whilst I would most definitely qualify as a geek to most people, I seemed to miss the bit of that stereotype where, as a teenager, you become a computer wizz. I think instead, I spent that time reading way too much fantasy and obsessing over boys.
There are a myriad of ‘how to’ pages out there regarding the above, but I might pop something together at some point, for any of you out there who are as dense as me.
Anyway, enough for now. It’s cookie time.