Formatting Woes

I recently went on a jag to update all my books ahead of releasing Second Wave. And I’ve made some troubling discoveries. Oh, the covers, at least on the ebooks, look great. But the front and back matter are inconsistent. When I finally got the print version of Gimme Shelter put together, my fiancee looked at it and said, “You need to change the title page, rewrite your author bio, and clean up the front of the book.” Ugh.

Then I started struggling to get Broken Skies revamped. I love the new cover, but…

The back matter still refers to the combined version of The First One’s Free/Before Amargosa. The author bio says I still live in Reading, which is one suburb over from where I live now.

And Tishla? That’s probably the best cover of the batch, but all I have are the jpgs. (Pro tip: Ask for the PSDs so you’re not bugging your cover artist. And make copies in case you screw up!!!)

It’s the holidays. I’m doing holiday stuff because my fiancee is a Christmas nerd. She even has an elf costume. But come December 26…

One thing I plan to do is to break up the files for every non-KDP Select offering on Draft2Digital. D2D allows you to upload your title, dedication, front and back matter, and the body of the book separately. So I will upload the actual book body as the file used, then add the other sections. This lets me change books on the fly. So what about Amazon?

While Amazon is my biggest source of income, it will have to come second in terms of updates. Once a book is updated, it’s just copy and paste. Which brings me to the print editions. Those have to be uploaded as a single file. I’m already having trouble uploading Warped‘s cover. (Note to self: KEEP YOUR ORIGINAL PROJECT FILES!) But the interior has to be formatted to fit the book’s trim. And if you end up adding pages, you have to redo the cover as the spine changes size. That’s the biggest hindrance in CreateSpace, and I’m sure it’s more of a challenge for self-pubbers using Lightning Source.

But I need to do the work now. And I need to get the project files put together in a way that makes it easy to make updates. Otherwise, I’m struck with an inconsistent product.