Refining my self publishing process.

This all came about when I decided to try voicing my first Creator Sky book to make an audio book. By the time that I got to chapter 4, I was seeing various issues with the text flow when read out loud. Because I want the text to be the best that it can be, I decided to revise it. It might have introduced new typos, but I felt it was necessary. I added some additional flair to sections and also simplified some odd wording that doesn’t work well when spoken.

Throughout the editing process yesterday and today, I refined the technical aspects of my self publishing process.

The first step was to revise the Google Doc. I went back and removed all formatting I had in there. Before I (re)figured out the entire publishing process, I had formatted my google doc with a non-standard page size as well as other anomalies that were not needed and ended up making the entire process more time intensive (unnecessary page breaks, wrong heading types, too many spaces between chapters, etc).

For Google Docs I format the document like this:
1. Leave the page size as standard, it doesn’t matter.
2. Do not manually use tab in the document.
3. The book title is at the top of the document with “Heading 1” applied to it.
4. Chapter titles have “Heading 2” applied to them.
5. I justify chapter text (only for readability when writing)
6. I use the “first line indent” feature (only for readability when writing, see graphic for details)

gdfli

You do #6 by dragging that first line indent rectangle to your desired position. I just do half an inch. It isn’t going to be how your final result is going to look, because I still do that in Libre Office. I do this because it makes things readable while writing or editing.

Once I finished editing the text, I move on to the export. (oops: Another tip is to try to use multiple sources to spell check. I rely heavily on computers fixing my spelling and ended up using a lesser known spelling of monologue [monolog] that Docs and Libre Office didn’t pick up on, but WordPress’s post form did… Going to leave it for now because I already re-submitted the text to the publishing services.)

I export the text from Google, as I did before in my previous article, by exporting in odt format that Libre Office reads. I also do the same new-document and copy-paste special as unformatted text routine to get the cleanest output as possible.

librestylefont

In this case the entire text needs to be reformatted with headings and body text formatting. The main difference here is that I adjust the styles (Styles and Formatting, F11) I had used in Libre Office by setting the font to Times New Roman instead of the default because LuLu doesn’t support it. All this does is avoid their auto-conversion to the default font. Not needed, but limits any unintended results.

For the “first line indent” style in Libre office, I change the font but I also change the “Alignment” to “justified” that saves me a few extra clicks for each block of chapter text.

From that point on, I have a clean formatted odt that I submit to Lulu as usual.

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