Going Indie For Dummies – Checking Before Flight
Okay, what you need to understand is that I actually get flustered very easily. I particularly get flustered if I have a long list of things that I have to accomplish in a given order.
Partly this is because my men (husband and sons)keep forgetting that I’m actually working, and so will pop in to ask me a question. Often these are very nice questions on the order of “what would you like for dinner?” but if you interrupt me in the middle of a complex process, I’ll forget where I was.
So I developed the “Idiot checklist” — the idiot being me, of course.
Of course, right now the idiot checklist is packed, so I’m going to reconstruct it from memory. Stop laughing. If I forget some thing, one or more of you will remind me.
Manuscript check list:
1- Make sure you have the copy edited manuscript and not the finished but not copy edited version.
2- Make sure you have deleted all comments and accepted all changes.
3- make sure you run it through your word processing program’s version of anonimize otherwise the meta data will identify the copy editor as the author.
4-Make sure you ran the change replace to eliminate double spaces after periods, at least if you learned typing when I did.
5- If you’re using a manuscript submitted years ago, make sure that your underlines are now italics.
6- Make sure your front matter has the right book title. Yeah, I know, hilarious, right? Yeah…
7- Make sure you have the right front matter, copyright notice and cover credit note AND that your upcoming, will also like links are right.
8- Look at the cover. REALLY look. This is usually where spelling mistakes slip in.
9- change the spacing line to one and a half, not two.
10- Make sure you have no tabs, and that the indent is set at about 2 1/2 not the one inch we used to do.
11 – Optional: all-cap the first word of each chapter.
12 – Make sure your chapter titles are larger font, and centered. Oh, yeah, if you number your chapters do one last check to make sure they’re in order and no duplicates. (I TOLD you it was an idiot list. The number of times I have five chapter 10s.)
If everything is ready, now you’re ready to convert. I know people use Calibre, but it’s too complicated for my head, so I use Atlantis. It’s fairly useless as a word processing program, but unlike Word which hasn’t caught on to this yet, it allows you to save as epub. This is usually good enough to upload to amazon.com, but I find I get fewer errors by running the kindlegen program.
1- Make sure you have the right description for the book, not your first three iterations. I find it easier to copy-paste.
2- Make sure you don’t have spelling mistakes or typos in your description. (you’d be amazed! I TOLD you it was an idiot list. I become an idiot under pressure.)
3- Make sure you didn’t check that your book is in the public domain. Yeah, ahah, not even an idiot would do that… right… er… welllllllll….
4 – Make sure that you upload the right cover, not the version you discarded with the upside down title.
5- Make sure you have the right price. Not that anyone EVER put her short story up for $999. Ah ah.
6- Now after the manuscript is uploaded, download the preview and check it on every kind of reading implement you have. Yes, I know, but … it wouldn’t be the first time all my m-dashes because AA in the final manuscript after conversion, and if you’re still using Smashwords, you’d be shocked how STRANGE they can get. (How strange? Well, half a manuscript in small caps. That’s how strange.)
7- If you’re putting the book up for pre-order make sure you do that, not put it up for sale. (You wouldn’t be the first, the last, not even in the first 1k people to make that mistake.)
8- If you put the book up for preorder, set up a calendar to remind you of the drop dead date for it.
Now sit back and relax. I’ll let Amanda do the instructional on how to set things up for print (ehehehehe) because I haven’t done one in 3 years. And yes, I need to, but time. Move. Lasers.
Soon enough the first people to read it will start annoying you with typos some of which won’t be typos or errors, just regional dialogue or whatever.
But for now, you’re done.