Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Self-publishing offers writers another choice on the road to publication, whether they’re already traditionally published and/or e-press published, or unpublished. Although the author maintains control of the process, she also has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Education about self-publishing and the publishing industry is vital to a good product and creating a professional image.
The content is ready! The book is written, the polished manuscript has been to an editor, critique partners, and beta-readers, the tagline and blurbs are written, a contract for cover art has been signed, ISBNs are purchased, and front and back matter are complete. The e-book files are ready to upload.
Formatting for Print is one of the most patience-testing part of self-publishing. Break it into smaller tasks to avoid frustration. After completing the page/text formatting and adding title/author headers, page numbers are next. These instructions are for the Mac version of Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Begin by opening the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro. This isn’t automatic, so click the file once to highlight it and use the File drop-down menu to choose the Open With option. Choose Adobe Acrobat Pro.
To view side-by-side pages, go to View-->Page Display-->Two Page View. This will help with odd/even page identification. Even pages are on the left. Odd pages are on the right.
On the right side of the Acrobat window, click Tools. Select Pages-->Header and Footer--> Add Header and Footer.
Even and odd pages require different settings. For the even pages:
1) Choose font, size, and margin. The font and size may or may not match the page-text and/or title/author font and size, depending on preference. Top margin is usually .7 inches and bottom margin is usually .5 inches. Left and right margins are usually .5 inches. Left Header Text should be set as <<1>>. All other header/footer text boxes should be empty.
2) Click Page Number and Date Format. Enter the starting page number. For a book with a title page, copyright page, dedication page, and blank page before the beginning of the first chapter, enter 6. Remember—the first page of each new chapter doesn’t have a page number.
3) Click Page Range Options. Select Pages from and enter the starting page number (6 in the example in #2) and ending page number. Remember—page numbers normally end on the last page of the last chapter. Select Even pages.
4) Click Save Settings. Save the header in case of mistakes that need to be corrected later. To save it as something new, give it a new name and write down the new name. The program will open with it the next time. Or replace old settings by giving the header the same name as an existing setting. Tell the program to replace when it asks.
5) Click OK.
Repeat this process to create a header setting for odd pages. Click Add Header and Footer. Do NOT click the replace option! Click Add New (changes can be made to an existing header here too).
For Step 1), the top margin is usually .7 inches, the bottom margin is usually .5 inches, and the right margin is usually .5 inches—same as the even-page settings. The left margin is usually 1 inch (to allow for the gutter). Right Header Text should be set as <<1>>. All other header/footer text boxes should be empty.
For Step 2), enter the same starting number page as was entered for even pages.
For Step 3), select Odd pages.
For Step 4), the same instructions apply, but give the odd-page header a different name from the even-page header.
For Step 5), click OK.
Step 6) Page numbers have been added to all pages between the start and end page numbers. To remove page numbers from the first page of each chapter or section, go to the Tools window. Select Content-->Edit Document Text. Click on the text and use the Delete key to remove any unwanted page numbers.
Step 7) Save the document. Click the Save icon or go to File-->Save.
Step 8) Open the document in Preview to check for mistakes. Make corrections in Adobe Acrobat Pro and save again.
Check off #7 on the To-Do List, but be prepared for a couple side topics before tackling #8. In addition to page/text formatting, title/author headers, and page numbers, formatting for e-book and print may also include adding images to the internal content. Audio books are another publishing option.
The To-Do List
1) Finish the book.
2) Polish and edit the book.
3) Write taglines and blurbs.
4) Create or purchase cover art.
5) Purchase ISBNs, if using a single ISBN for all retailers using the same book format (print or e-book).
6) Create front and back matter.
7) Format for e-book and/or print.
8) Update website, blog, and social media.
9) Create metadata list.
10) Plan a marketing and promotion strategy.
11) Publish the book.
12) File copyright paperwork, if registering.
13) Add buy links to websites, blogs, and social media.
14) Implement marketing and promotion strategies.
15) Write the next book!
Be sure to check out the writing craft series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace, and the writing career series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Career Handbook, in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace.
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