End game stuff

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by skip.knox, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    So, I have a book nearly ready to go and am realizing I still have some business to attend to before I can publish (on Amazon).

    First, KDP lets me have a printed draft copy of the paperback. Any idea how long the shipping takes?

    Second, does anyone use book formatting--either as a template or hiring someone? Any recommendations? This would be for both the ebook and for the paperback.

    Third, if you've used ARCs, how much lead time do you build in for your readers? What I'm looking for here is to have a couple of reviews (which will be glowing, obviously) to have ready prior to publication.

    I have been aiming at May 23, but I'm suddenly realizing that just because the book is ready doesn't necessarily the book is ready to be published!
     
  2. kyrrimar

    kyrrimar Acolyte

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    I can't speak to most of this, only to your last statement. You are absolutely right. Take the time to prepare for a successful launch and your book is going to potentially do much better. I keep getting prodded about platforms (ack, social media, ack, ack, ack) and how and why you "need" them... I haven't had platform shoes in decades...
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I'm fine with the platform--got a web site, FB page. But these considerations have snuck up on me. I was eye-deep in writing.
     
  4. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Skip, I don't use ARCs so can't give you any advice there. You can publish the paperback version first so your reviewers can get started even before the ebook comes out. For instructions on that I'd check the internet. :D As for formatting, I use Jutoh. Do you have Scrivener or a similar program? These will format the ebook for you. For paperback I have heard that KDP is good and so is Createspace. In Jutoh, I choose what type of file I want it to do and it compiles it right there. In the past I used Google Docs for formatting and although it came out nicely it was a big pain in the rear. Jutoh or Scrivener all the way.
     
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I should have been more specific about formatting. I did Goblins by just letting Createspace handle it, but this time around I was thinking more about drop caps and chapter titles and headings and font choices. Kick the professionalism up a notch.

    As for reviews, I was rather thinking the reverse. If the ebook is out, then I can garner a few reviews and then I have something to go on the back of the paperback. That has to be done ahead of time so the artist can include the reviews.
     
  6. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Jutoh does drop caps. I no longer use though because they messed up my formatting on numerous occasions. Not sure if Scrivener has drop caps??

    Far as reviews go, they can't be posted until one of the versions comes out. Either the paperback can be published then unpublished (thus allowing reviews to be posted before the ebook comes out) or they have to be posted after the ebook goes live.
     
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  7. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    When I did the formatting for Emma's Story I used a template I'd downloaded from Amazon that I imported into Open Office (it'll work for word too). It had the page layout and page numbering set up already and all I did was add/edit the styles used for chapters headers, text, etc.
    I was able to get drop caps included on the one page where I wanted it, and as I recall it can be included in the styles in a way that only applies it to the first paragraph of the chapter.

    For the ebook version I used Amazon's ebook formatting tool - kindle create. It wasn't super intuitive, but it did the job, and the book came out fine.
     
  8. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Hey, I didn't know that Kindle had a formatting tool. You always learn something new!
     
  9. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    This one: Kindle Create | Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

    I've been messing around with Calibre for a long time making ebooks for my test readers, but as I wasn't super confident with it, I decided to try this one instead. I figured that since amazon provided it, it ought to produce acceptable results (it's okay to call me naive). and it turned out fine for me. :)
     
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  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    That's what I used for Goblins at the Gates.
     
  11. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I tried Calibre and couldn't figure it out. Jutoh was like $45. It's simple and effective. I cannot sing its praises enough. Scrivener has similar features as does Vellum (although Vellum requires Mac).
     
  12. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    For the nerd who can go crazy formatting, inDesign is turning into a bit of fun, LOL. Optical margins are kind of cool. I will probably end up subscribing for a month... I can get some photoshop done while I’m at it, heh heh. Pretty slick hyphenation rules, the leading and kerneling are predictably quick and easy. I’m going to play around with some graphics tonight, with custom breaks.

    It’s got a learning curve if you aren’t used to Adobe and other typsetting style programs, but I doubt anyone needs more power and flexibility, LOL.

    Vellum looks cool. Might have to check that out.
     
  13. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Vellum... looks damned cool if you are on Mac and going for a quick, good looking book. I would have to play around with the formatting to get it to look right when compiled from Scrivener, because of entries I have before the chapter text block. Eeyeah, that could pose problems for me with Vellum, not sure it's going to be customizable enough for the typesetting geek in me.

    If inDesign frustrates me, Vellum looks like a solid fallback. So, if you've got a simple formatted book... Vellum looks good, if you want the power to nip and tuck the kerning and leading and other details, inDesign looks like the way to go.
     
  14. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    PC all the way, here. So I think it will be Jutoh for me, even though their website looks like it was freshly minted in 2002.
     
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  15. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    I love websites that give you so much confidence in the product.
     
  16. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    He answers his emails quickly though. Just recently my husband contacted him because I had lost the key to my program (and husband was trying to restore the program on Linux). He answered back within minutes. So even if his website is rather old and complicated looking he is still great at customer service.
     
  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Thanks. I still don't have any fancy formatting needs, but I think I'll give Jutoh a try. Thinking forward here.
     
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  18. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    I’ve got a pair of old axes, bearded look, 1800’s Carpathian region if I remember right... I’m trying to use them in the books decorations in some way, so playing around with manipulated photos in formatting in InDesign is fun, LOL. But InDesign has some functions that aren’t intuitive to my poor brain... to say the least, heh heh.
     
  19. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    So, I've discovered I don't like the output of Scrivener into Mobi, so I will use Vellum for Mobi and most other digital formats. But, I don't trust Vellum for print, just isn't able to be fine tuned enough for my taste, therefore, it's InDesign for print. If I ever do a "special edition" of my books (ala Game of Thrones on iBooks, with clickable links to glossary terms) I'll use iBooks Author, where that's pretty clean and simple.

    Hmm, that should confuse my brain at some point.
     
  20. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Well, just so long as you keep it simple. :)
     
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