creative writing

Pushing Toward Publication, Again

My blog post from two weeks ago exclaimed I would, “. . . work on uploading a new book size and cover into IngramSparks publishing.” My plan was to blog about this experience.

I did work on a new book size, but it was a pitiful amount of effort. My excuse I gave myself: I was finishing another book, which I really was doing. Yet, the real reason is that I’m overcome with caution about making my book available to more people. What would these people think about it?

The caution is stifling my motivation.

Without marketing, in KDP no one will look at my book. There are too many being published every day there. I may not find any readers on other publishing platforms, either. Why should I worry what people thing about my book when there may not be any readers to do that thinking?

I apologize for this being a whiny blog post. I have another two weeks when I hope to be blogging about my work on uploading a new book size and cover into IngramSparks publishing.

That sounds familiar. I think I might have heard it before.

Size of the Book (Again)

I read recently a blog about book sizes. The blog author, and people commenting, generally agreed that a book size of 6X9 is considered amateurish whether self-published or by a press. My book is 6X9.

I went back over my notes and realized I ended up with 6X9 because KDP pushed me toward that size by making it the default. So, I am revisiting my book size.

I read that I should look at my genre, which makes sense. In young adult science fiction, the popular books are 5X8 or 5.5X8 or 5.5X8.5. So, I’m going to reduce my book size, but by how much?

I don’t want the page count higher than what I have (335 pages). I do have room to reduce the margins and line spacing while keeping enough white space on each page. This makes it easy to read, if someone ever reads it.

To reduce my book size, this week I will play with the inside format and bring the book size down. I’m going for 5.5X8. Also, I have a new cover!

My book designer through Reedsy came up with a design that I like. My plan is to leave KDP alone right now since that is working and work on uploading a new book size and cover into IngramSparks publishing.

The adventure continues.

What Size Should the Book Be?

After I formatted the inside of my book (see the blog post), I tried out different book sizes. I did this while still using MS Word.

A small book of 4X6 or 5X8 created a thick book that I thought would be difficult to handle. It also could be intimidating to read by some people in my genre. More importantly, having so many pages would be expensive to print. Too large of a book, such as 8X10, had fewer pages making it less expensive to print. But it was big and awkward and did not have enough spine to show the title. I also thought the readers might think they were not getting value with a thin book.

For a 68,000-word novel, I chose a 6X9 book, which is popular in my genre. With margins set wide and 1.5 inch spacing between lines, this produced a book of 335 pages and making about 200 words per page. I could have reduced the margins or spacing and put more words on each page, but what I had gave a lot of white space. Based on other books in my genre, I thought this looked more appealing to the reader.

Next, I went to the end of each chapter. If there were one to three lines left, I reduced wording in that chapter which reduced the lines and saved the printing of a mostly blank page.

When done, I saved the Word document as an Adobe file. This mostly locked in the design posing fewer problems when transferring to KDP software. MS Word software can be proprietary and complex causing unwanted format changes when transferring to another software.

I uploaded this Adobe document into KDP.

KDP did make some additional changes to fit the document into their system. However, after reviewing each page of the final document, my novel looked very much like what I had uploaded.

Next came the book cover which I previously blogged about (Part 1 and Part 2). Part 3 will be in two weeks. The saga continues.

My Self-Publishing Progress – The Book Cover Part 2

In my last post, I said, “There are many blogs about writers trying to self-publish. Unfortunately, this is another one.”

So, I continue.

Part 1 was my issues with getting a book cover. After searching and failing to find a designer, I paid and subscribed to Adobe. I downloaded the KDP book cover template as a .pdf and designed something with my limited knowledge.

I used my cover design to publish the KDP ebook and print version of my novel High School Rocket Science (For Extraterrestrial Use Only). However, the cover could use more work.

So, I researched designers on Reedsy. This time I asked Reedsy staff for recommendations and they provided several candidates. As before, most wanted to design a dark cover with reds and greens because that is in my genre. I don’t like those covers and they were unwilling to change.

Yet, I had hope and I did find someone willing to design a book cover that was bright without using all reds and greens. Like Studs Terkel said, “Hope dies last.”

If I like the designer’s work, I’ll use her book cover to publish my novel on other publishing platforms. KDP will be my learning experience and I’m learning that I need to learn more.

But, hey! I’m a published author.