The Author Speaks: on the frustration of formatting

As an author who is going through the process of self-publishing I have had to learn a lot on the job. Most recently it has been the art of formatting that has occupied my time. This may seem like something that you should be able to just click a few buttons to do, but that’s where you would be wrong.

My workstation

I have been using Microsoft Word to format the novel, and let me tell you now that any typesetters or graphics people reading this right now are probably either laughing their arse off or shaking their head. This software is incredibly frustrating to use as every time you make one minor adjustment it throws the whole damn thing out of whack. I have had instances where I had entire paragraphs I removed from earlier edits just miraculously appear, back from the dead like Robert Downey Jr’s career. Headers and footers are one of the most frustrating things ever and it took me a week to figure out what I was doing wrong. All this frustration because I can’t afford Adobe software.

However, I got through it and apart from a few bits and pieces to add to the copyright page I have a book ready to go to the presses (minus the cover.) I should point out that the final draft of the book was completed on the 140th anniversary of the Glenrowan Siege because I thought that might be, for want of a better term, good luck.

Maybe one day I’ll do a write-up on my take on Nolan’s paintings.

I have also acquired the ISBN and barcode for the book, so it’s basically real now. This means that there’s only a few bits and pieces to follow up on, which may only take a week or two, before the whole project is ready to be printed and bound. That means that in the next couple of weeks there will hopefully be an official announcement regarding pre-orders.

Coming soon…

The initial run of pre-order books will play a huge role in how the run will unfold thereafter. Each of the first run will be hand numbered and signed by yours truly. It is very hard to put into words how nerve-wracking this is. Suffice it to say that the last time I was this nervous was the month leading up to my son’s birth. Make of that what you will.

Current mood…

I’m hoping that someone up there is smiling down on me as I look at the rapidly approaching flagpole in the distance that signifies the end of the stage. With any luck I’ll get there with enough time to spare to trigger some fireworks.

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