The procrastination game pays off

It’s amazing how easily I can think up half a dozen things to do in order to avoid work on my manuscript. Though to be fair, one of the distractions was actually book related research, which paid off extremely well. I had cut some things from a particular scene that I wasn’t completely sold on, even though I liked portions of the old material. Now I can keep what was best of the old and blend it with the much better, newer idea. It just seems like there’s never enough time to do everything that needs doing. If only I could clone myself. Fear not, however, work is getting done, albeit slowly.

The episode guide relaunch of the e-book versions is in limbo because one retailer is taking their sweet time pulling the old versions from their website. I haven’t re-released Volume 6 in print yet because I had to make a decision involving photo editing software. Sorry, Affinity, I don’t have the time it takes for the learning curve and Ingram is so damn finicky about the files they’ll accept. Photoshop it is. I hate having to use the Adobe Creative Cloud, but Photoshop Elements doesn’t do what I need.

As for the Volume 7 episode guide……good God that Leviathan storyline. Brutal in so many ways.

That was encouraging

Needing a hard copy of my manuscript to work off of, I opted to get an early, incomplete proof of the book. After crunching the numbers, it was cheaper to buy two copies (with 2 day shipping, no less) than buying a ream of paper and some ink jet cartridges. I really have to commend CreateSpace. I submitted an Affinity Photo PDF/X-1a:2003 in the default SWOP profile and the cover looks great. When I first received the proof, I wasn’t sure about the image at first and considered a complete redo. I think because I’ve been looking at it onscreen for so long, seeing it in print was, I don’t know, jarring? I warmed up to it quick enough, though, and have dropped my plan to try it in a glossy finish; the matte gives it the vibe I want. I just need to tweak  one of the CMYK colors a little. Although I’m nowhere near using Ingram yet, why the hell do they have to be so difficult with file type submissions?

I’ve been lugging the book around with me, along with Post-Its and highlighters, hoping to get in some proofing here-and-there. I hadn’t planned on this, but today an opportunity presented itself to get feedback on the cover. Both people who saw it, liked it. I just hope they weren’t bullshitting me.

That wasn’t very bright

Every so often, we have the opportunity to learn new things, usually after engaging in, let’s call it, a bout of dumbassery. First things first. I’m not writing today because my brain needs the break; I don’t even remember the majority of what I worked on yesterday. Back to the idiocy…

When I started this writing and self-publishing thing, I went with Lulu because it seemed to be easiest, especially being a Mac and LibreOffice user.  I ditched them, however, because they a) have limited trim sizes and I detest 6 X 9, and b) cost, I had to hike up my retail price to cover the distribution fee. Once I got the hang of things, I decided to switch to Createspace and KDP. What could possibly go wrong? Faster availability, ability to check sales whenever I wanted, downloadable cover templates, a smorgasbord of trim sizes! (I’m partial to 5.5 X 8.5 for most projects) Sounds great, right?

Wrong. Expanded distribution is absolutely worthless. What’s more, ever since I moved everything over to CS, no more Ingram sales. Not a damn one. The episode guides are very, very, niche. I didn’t realize, until those sales evaporated, how much I messed up. I suspect it was small, independent bookstores buying them. So, yet again, I’ll be republishing the back catalog, using Ingramspark for non-Amazon distribution, starting with Volume 6, the launch of which was pathetic. Everything will be under the imprint  Abstruse & Louche.


A lesson hard learned

After moving my back catalog to CreateSpace and opting for free ISBNs out of laziness, Ingram sales have screeched to a halt. Never had that problem with Lulu. Needless to say, I’ll be doing things a tad differently with the novel, as in, buy my own damn ISBNs. A question to consider now is whether or not to republish all the episode guides again with new numbers. Frankly, I think that ship has sailed. In fact, I think I’m the only one amused by them. C’est la vie.  It was a decent run while it lasted. I’m much more interested in my other projects at the moment, and I have several on the back burners. I’d post an excerpt from the novel I’m working on, but I’d have to kill you.


How to change page numbers in LibreOffice

I know I’m not the only one who has wrestled with page numbers in a LibreOffice Writer document. The content of your book (excluding the front matter) should start on page 1. Sure, but in your document, the good stuff starts on page 7. How do you change those pesky numbers?

I was looking into this today and found several explanations to try to achieve that. When I tried them, they didn’t work and, worse, messed up my formatting. Then I started playing around with various options. I thought I discovered the secret, but that, too, altered my formatting, though ever so slightly. Try again. Jackpot! You won’t believe how easy it is.

On your first numbered page, place your cursor in front of the page number in your header or footer. For this example, that would be document page 8. Choose Edit — Fields. The Edit Fields dialogue box that pops up will have three columns; Type, Select, and Format. Below the Format column is a narrow box that says “Offset.” Enter a negative value of the number of front matter pages in your document. For instance; my book has six pages of front matter that I don’t want numbered, and the first chapter begins on page 7, but I don’t have a number field on that page, so I’ll enter -6.

Number Change

Page 8 has now turned into page 2, and all even numbered pages should have also changed.

Number Change 2

Repeat the process on the next page to turn 9 to 3. All the odd pages should automatically change. The lower left hand corner of your document window will show the actual page number (page 2 in your header or footer will show as page 8 of xxx).

There you have it. Quick, painless, and no unwanted alterations to your carefully formatted pages and header/footer styles.