More on PDF conversions

Text   All this changing of the Page Set Up doesn’t mean you should change your text size (unless you’re using something like a 10pt or smaller somewhere in the text).  Using a 12pt Times New Roman throughout is probably for the best. We say this only because it’s large enough that people of many visual abilities can read it.  Some people prefer non-serif fonts, we don’t. But if you gotta have it, make sure it’s 12 pt.

Fonts  If you love your font selections, that’s ok. But you need to make sure they travel with the PDF. That sounds strange, but think of your PDF as a little troop of performers.

They can only perform if they have their equipment with them. They may find some equipment where they’re going, but maybe not everything they need to finish the play. So you have to embed that equipment (in this case fonts) in the coatpockets of your players so at the right time, they can whip out the bold or the ital or the Baskerville Gothic.

Most people can make a PDF, but don’t understand how to make to a PDF with embedded fonts. So, the short version is create a PostScript the file first, then open the Acrobat Distiller, then choose open on the Distiller’s drop down menu, and choose the PS file. At that point the PS file converts to a PDF with embedded fonts and you can check that by opening the file in Acrobat and going to Properties.

If you do know how to embed fonts, great, do what you want.  If you’re kind of confused, leave a comment.

With a PDF, it is what it is. Your readers get some of the experience of the physical book because you can duplicate the typography in a PDF. Many eReaders today can change a books font, or allow it to be changeable, but they can’t do that with a PDF on an eReader.  So: It is, what it is.

You want to be sure that you have your PDF version set up to be either a) as useable as possible for E-readers, or b) exactly as you want it in your book, because you’re using it more to send around as a “Galley” version / review copy of a print book that’s coming out soon.

Marketing   People with Nooks and Kindles  and iPads can read PDF version documents.  But, they have to hear about your book before they go to your website and download it.  Since you can’t market your PDF versions on B&N or Amazon or iBooks platforms without converting them to proprietary formats first,  . . . . .

This is the downside of PDFs.

As for somewhere like Google Books? We’ve never put a book on GoogleBooks as for sale Ebook, but we do think it’s possible to do.  And too, possibly, you can have them create a hard copy for sale as well.

More on PDFs tomorrow.

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 7:07 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Loose Fantasies — just when you think it’s all over, it all starts all over again!

Today if all went well, our new book, the last of the Lennox series, Loose Fantasies  The Memoirs, comes out. If it didn’t  . . . oh wait, it kinda didn’t. We had a little text hiccup.  About 3 paragraphs went astray, so we have to herd them back in.

Notice our lack of upsetment?

People tend to think that printing this book is the end. As if!  It’s usually after you print it that you actually see problems. And so it is with this book. But we go with the Guy Kawasaki method, ie, go ahead and roll it out. It has to happen sometime. Even if it has flaws, you can fix them. If you wait for perfection, you’ll never get it out, or published, or done, or whatever.  So, at this point . . . .

The last book of this series is out, it does have some typos, but is it enjoyable anyway, you bet.  Still, we do care, so we are going to be doing a new round of editing on all 6 volumes in Sept, starting with book 1, and rolling the whole series out through B&N PubIt! (the ebook creation tool they use) for Nook.  We’ll also be taking a crack at turning them into Kindling (Kindle format?). If all goes well, the ebooks set will be up and out in time to take with on your Thanksgiving journey.

Nook and Kindle is something we’ve never done before, although all our books are in an ePub ebook format and available through Adobe Digital Editions. One of the downsides of the PDF format is its static. It doesn’t work well on readers.  And too, Amazon will only sell its Kindle format, ditto Nook, so we felt we needed to tackle this issue.  If you’re following along for the month of September, expect to read an endless stream on this topic and its related issues.  If you’ve been thinking of setting up with Nook/Kindle, it might do you well.

We’ll get around to upgrading the print/PDF versions to match the newer Kindle/Nook versions in a bit, but it’s not like it’s going to make a huge difference to the read. These won’t be major story edits. In other words, these remain the same leisurely, intimate family drama / romance / travel mysteries, you’ve all come to know and love.

In the meanwhile, we’ll also be going through a general round of “end of book” things . .  . the copyright process (all done online thank heaven!), and the mailing out of complimentary copies, and copies to the Library of Congress copyright office.

There’s also all the updating and adding on to do to the FAB website, and Bowker, and Google books. And even before we finish that,  we may have some other books by other authors will be in the pipeline. Probably. Hopefully. Maybe. (People doing marketing probably know this, but you may not, ARCs went out months ago.  An ARC is an Advanced Review Copy.)

The upshot is, if you do decide to become a publisher, you probably won’t get everything right the first go round, even if you do hire a great copy editor, proofreader, designer, media person.  But it’ll still all be ok. Hang in there. You’ll get another chance, and another, and another.  And if you went with LSI cover corrections and text block correction are only $40. Practically guilt free.  Sure some people may snicker, but so what.

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus . . . whose got the last laugh now?

Going live on GoogleBooks, at least for the time being. As for Apple, it’s wait and see

For those of you wondering we have at last taken the plunge, or at least dipped a toe in.  As of today we have our books on GoogleBooks, available for preview, but not for sale.

The Closet {of Sir Kenelm Digby, Esq. } Opened and The Nature of Bodies and the Immortality of Souls, are both up.  We haven’t reached the point where the books are available via Google’s Books merchant site, but we’ll probably do that in a few months.

Much a we’d like to say we are also exploring the Apple eBooks world too, we really put that on hold. The launch of Apple’s bookstore was not very small press friendly, and still doesn’t seem to be.  Also, there seems to be a little battle brewing and with the U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading launching an antitrust investigation into prices charged for e-books, it seems prudent to hang back.  The OFT did not identify the companies it was looking at, but they reportedly include Inc.and Apple Inc.

So, there we are.

Published in: on February 7, 2011 at 8:12 AM  Leave a Comment  
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It’s a new day

In an effort to start the year right, we uploaded our books to Google books, just to see how that goes. As of today, the books are still processing. Later in the year, we might upload to Google’s ebooks or Apple’s iBookstore to see what that’s like.

Our attitude toward ebooks is basically the same as our attitude to coffee. No matter how many people want to drink coffee at a local cafe, there are always going to be people brewing it at home. And too, people tend to cycle back and forth between these venues over time, but they never give up coffee.

Reading is exactly the same. As people become more aware of reading options, some will gravitate toward ebooks, and others books (physical books, and over a lifetime they’ll switch back and forth. But give it up? Never.


Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 1:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Quote of the Hearing

At last week’s hearing before Judge Chin, opponents of the Gobble Books (because let’s face it, they aren’t being Googled, they’re being gobbled up) Agreement pointed out that Google would have the right to scan and sell orphan works, and Hadrian Katz, a lawyer for the Internet Archive, a nonprofit group that is scanning books for its own digitization project, said,

“You can’t settle a claim for copyright infringement by authorizing the miscreant to continue to infringe copyright.”

The issue of requiring authors to opt out of the GBA, rather than in, continues to be deal-breaker for Google.  GB is banking on authors not noticing their rights have been voilated till after the fact.  Can you spell “lawsuit”?

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 8:50 AM  Leave a Comment