Until recently I had a lovely user-friendly Word document of a manuscript. It was just over 81,000 words long, and 311 pages. That’s the extent of the technical aspects I knew - word count and pages. I could also tell you the character number if I had wanted to. An in-depth knowledge, or so I thought.
A few weeks into the self-publishing ride, and I have to know so much more than this. The Bond learning curve has risen sharply - no longer a curve, but more the trajectory of a space mission in the aftermath of 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF.
My recent Google searches include…
- Why does Amazon want my tax ID?
- Why is the last line centred on my book template?
- Do eBooks needs ISBN numbers?
- What goes in the place of publisher?
- How can I see page breaks in word?
- Why isn’t series 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix yet?
Clearly, all pressing queries.
I don’t think I have ever Googled so much for information. I have also found out, via reading up on copyright law, that Google aren’t best pleased when they are used as a verb, rather than a company name. So my previous sentence should read ‘I don’t think I have ever searched so much for information, using the popular search engine, Google.’ It’s all a bit of a minefield.
What is marvellous, however, is how much information there is online to help. Obviously some queries are easy to answer because the answer is simple if you know it. The Internet told me to click the pilcrow button at the top of my Word Doc, and all non-printing characters are now visible. This is important so I can spot wasted gaps, empty pages and whether I have inserted a page break that leads to an odd or even page. (Important for the final layout of the book).
Other queries are harder to sort, and take me to page after page of conflicting advice. I find myself reading pages of writer’s forums, where lively conversations from two years ago give me the gist of an answer, before I click on something more up to date that discredits it all. And don’t get me started on how much information I have digested regarding tax law, before realising I am on a US website and it means diddly squat here.
In spite of all this however, things are moving along. I have moved on from my Word Doc, and have a definite layout that is compatible with the printer and eBook distributer I have chosen. I have a lovely font, cool chapter headings, and it all looks so much more real now. I have also started chatting to a designer for the cover. All in all, things are rocking and rolling. I just wish Netflix would get a move on with Drag Race now.