by Anura Guruge
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Click to ENLARGE. The tightly formatted inside of the printed book. Note the ‘Q & A’ participatory approach used in this book — the first time I have used it (and folks tell me that they like it).
Click to ENLARGE. My [Amazon] ‘CreateSpace’ dashboard showing all the PRINTED books I have published through ‘CreateSpace’. So ‘Pope John XXIII’ was my 10th book through ‘CreateSpace’.
I will never deny it. I am very old fashioned when it comes to books — whether it be reading them, writing them or publishing them. eBooks do NOTHING for me at an emotively (though nearly all of my titles are now available in eBook form (other than my ‘Popes and the Tale of Their Names) — and for the sake of full disclosure I should divulge that I do get a few (and I do MEAN ‘few’) dollars a month on my eBook royalties (which I then promptly use on eBay to buy ‘Poppy Pins‘ or cheap pope memorabilia). My sister-in-law (who was visiting) asked me last week whether I would ever start reading books on ‘a Kindle’. I had to think about it, but the answer was NO (and ‘a Kindle’ was just a code-word for some kind of portable, electronic reading device). Yes, of course, we have the Kindle App. on all of our Andoid Pads — and I have a bought copy of all of my eBooks on my pad so that I can make sure that it looks ‘OK’ in Kindle form. I like the tactile feel of books. I like the heft of a Michener, Irving Stone or John Irving book. Holding up a thin, ‘light’ pad for long periods of time (and remember I read when I am travelling and before going to sleep) would not feel the same.
So publishing “Pope John XXIII: 101 Facts & Trivia” as an eBook on Amazon Kindle, on Thursday night, left me totally cold. It was just something I had to do. There was no satisfaction, no sense of achievement, no sense of closure. Just another item that had to be ticked off my neverending ‘to do’ list.
I started working on the print version as soon as I hit ‘publish’ on Kindle. I wrote this book in formatted ‘print form’, as opposed to the unstructured, free-flowing text form required for eBooks. So there was no re-formatting that I had to do. Just insert the images, create the cover and index the book. Had it all completed by 1:30 pm yesterday. Then I pulled the trigger on ‘CreateSpace’ — the Amazon service I have been using since 2008 to print my books. This part of the process, at least for me, is nerve wracking. I was a true ‘dipso’ this would be where I would have pure red wine pumped into me intravenously to keep me sane. Creating the cover, at least the way I do it, is not fun. Since I submit it as a ‘print-ready’ PDF, I have to do the front cover, back cover and spine all as ONE Word document and then convert it to a PDF. It ends up as a 15.4″ by 11.25″ document. 15.4″ is one long document — i.e., more than two pages, plus a spine, side-by-side.
Once you submit the interior and the cover to ‘CreateSpace’ you have to wait, and wait, and wait and wait — and then go to bed, eventually, around 1 am, still waiting. ‘CreateSpace’ asks for 24 hours to review the material you submit. So since I submitted at 1:30 pm yesterday, they have till 1:30 pm today to send me an e-mail saying ‘GO’ or ‘No-GO’. To be fair to them I usually get my e-mail within 15 hours. (This one was sent at 4:45 am, so that is 15 h 15 minutes!) But, I never know what they will say. They ALWAYS complain that my images don’t meet the 200(+) dpi requirement. With this book getting even medium resolution images was HARD since all the photographs were pre-1963. So I was worried that they would make me take out some of the pictures. This morning I got the e-mail — with the usual subject line “Your files NEED ATTENTION”! Yes, they busted my chops, as I knew they would, that some of my images didn’t meet the 200 dpi requirements. But, as they invariably do, they give me the option of going ahead IF I am OK with how the images look.
In my mind I did a little dance of joy.
I checked the book using the very useful and good online, digital proofer. Though I ordered a proof copy and there is still a chance that I will have to redo the print version multiple times, I approved the proof — based on the online review. So it is now on the way to getting listed as a PRINT book. Now that makes me happy. In my mind I danced a little jig. The books is NOW done. Another load of my mind. It is strange. My 21st book — on my own. My 26th or 28th book IF I count the books that I co-wrote, edited or co-edited. This is my 10th book in a year! So, in theory, I should be totally sanguine about each new book. But, doesn’t work like that — or at least not yet. With each book I feel the pressure to get it PRINTED and published. Well, this book is done. Yes, there is a sense of relief. But, I have already started writing my next book in my head. I will probably take a week off. Have to do my taxes too.
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I approved the proof around 11:48 am this morning. It was already listed on Amazon, sans the price, at 2:20 pm — when I go back to my PC after my breakfast, actually my brunch. That is pretty good and quick. (As I have said before Amazon is good to me. That they already have an active listing for me helps. IF I was a brand new author the listing process will take longer.) That the price is not there is NOT a good sign. It means that the listing is screwed up! Yes, after all these books I know the process and all the anomalies. So this might require phone calls and 3 – 4 days to get fixed. The fun never ends.
Amazon print version listing.
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