Sunday, December 1, 2013

The fun of formatting

That's what comes next, formatting the text file of Contravallation after I load it into Word.  There are some nifty little tricks using search and replace if you write in a text editor but edit for kindle publication in Word.  First, you can edit out the extra spaces by doing a global S&R for the number of spaces your text editor uses instead of tabs.  Next, if you learned typing old school, you'll need to edit out the extra space after the end of a sentence.  Same approach for that.

Second, set up the rough structure of the document: title page, copyright page, and table of contents.  You can add the bookmarks and hyperlinks later if you want, but it increases the speed of the task by adding them to the chapters as you go.

Third, begin pasting in the chapters.  This is straightforward.  It helps if you have the Windows shortcut keys memorized, like shift-ctrl-end, ctrl-a, ctrl-c, and ctrl v.  If you use dashes, you might want to replace the short (-) for the long em dash.  You can do so using S&R.

What your paragraphs look like depends a little on where you are publishing it.  Usually you want a short paragraph indent and justification.  I like the look of 1.2 spacing in finished kindle books.  Set up the chapter headings, then format the text.

Now, do that a bunch of times for a 190,000 word novel.

I might say that perhaps long novels as self-published kindle books may not be the best, at least for a short-term response from your readers.  Short novels might be the way to go.  We'll see how Causality and Contravallation do over the next six months.

That's all for tonight.

R. P. Bird: Professional writer since 1989. Author of the IN THE REALM OF THE GODS series and the SUZIE crime novels. Crazy, but highly reliable. Can fix about anything.