Createspace for the Lazy The Doomed And the Hopeful

UPDATE: (Still by the inimitable, pants-wearning Sabrina who is offering us all an opportunity at promo —  Calling all Human Wave authors! A group promotion is being planned for early August. All you need is minimum one available ebook and a willingness to price it at $1.99 or lower for a week. I’ve got publicity planned for some high-traffic blogs to announce it, too. I’m calling it the Human Wave Garage Sale but my mutant talent is NOT marketing so better ideas are encouraged. Send smoke signals if you want to join in.

A guest post by the inimitable Sabrina Chase (who-wears-pants and everything!)

Createspace for the Lazy

An ancient software principle is that laziness is a quality of a good programmer. They hate writing extra code so they get very *efficient* at what they do. I revel in my laziness, and have figured out a lazy way to do CreateSpace print books. I’ve formatted six books so far, and this is the system I figured out.

First, a bit of prep and the Naming of the Parts. You will need…

  • One (1) complete manuscript in Word format. In my case it is originally written in OpenOffice (because Word is evil and puts all sorts of goop in that is bad when converting to HTML for the epub/mobi versions). However, I also convert a copy to Word format for my editor (may her name be blessed) so she can do the official markup thing. You want a version in Word, with styles, that has all the edits done.
  • Cover art. My artist very kindly puts my name and the title of the book in the actual graphic file for me, but it is simple to do yourself if you need to.
  • a CreatSpaceinteriortemplate for the trim size of book you want to produce (I have standardized with 6×9 for no particular reason). I have also customized the base formatted template for my own needs, putting in my standard end matter, Also Published, author bio, and other non-book-specific content, because, lazy. Get the templates here: (link)
  • Some kind of graphics manipulation software. You can get a free version of Photoshop here, (yes, perfectly legit just no longer supported software) but be aware it is a computer resource hog. This is what I am using. Anyone with experience using Gimp or other graphics programs, please chime in.
  • Once you have completed Part 1 below, you will need a covertemplate from CreateSpace, but you need to know the *finished* number of pages so we’ll do the interior first.

Part 1: the interior

Using the CSinteriortemplate (use the formatted one, at least at first) will get you a professional-looking print book, but no bells and whistles like drop-caps or other, truly professional layout features. I’m not a layout expert and frankly neither are most bookstore owners so I argue it doesn’t matter. All of my detailed instructions below assume Word 2003. If you don’t have that version don’t panic–you just may have to search around the web to find the steps to get to that particular thing.

1) Open the template in Word and decide which sections you want to keep. For example, I usually remove the table of contents unless I have funny chapter titles I think the reader would enjoy anticipating.

2) WARNING! Here abides math! Simple counting math, but it still tripped me up a few times. After removing the sections you don’t want you need to make sure the page COUNT and the page NUMBER match. Because the template puts the gutter, the margin that meets the spine of the book, on one side or the other depending on whether the page is odd or even. It’s magic. Therefore it is crucial that the even and odd page COUNT match even and odd page NUMBER.  A page can be the third page in and be numbered 7 and that is OK because they are both odd. All of those previous sections you removed? They had page numbers even if they weren’t displayed. You may need to insert a blank page just to get the page numbers to work out. The way you check is at the very bottom of the Word window, it will have something like “Page ii  Sec 2 4/40”. That means page (roman numeral) 2, second section, actual page 4 out of 40. Make sure as you go through that every even page has an even number, and also that all 40 (or whatever) pages are there. Somehow you can make it think there are invisible pages if you delete sections, I have no idea why. Just humor it. If there is a missing page add one to the previous section using CTRL-Enter.

3) Change to Header/Footer view by clicking View in the upper menu, then selecting Header/Footer. You will be doing this a lot. Go to the beginning of the first fake chapter. Notice that at the top of the header it says “same as previous”, meaning it is copying the style from the previous section. A handy little menu bar should have popped up with header/footer stuff. Disconnect the style from the previous style by clicking on the icon with two little pages with a dotted arrow going from one to the other. Do this disconnection procedure for the next two pages (this cleans up First Page, Odd Page, and Even Page styles). Start the page numbering at 1 in the footer of the first page of chapter 1, add your author name in the header of the first even-numbered page, add the book title in the header of the first odd-numbered page. Format font style according to taste.

4) (this is the fun part) From your original Word document, copy the whole bloody thing, from “Chapter 1” to “THE END”. Select the section of the template from “CHAPTER 1” to the beginning of the end matter, and paste.

5) No, not done yet but it’s just a mopping up operation from here.  First, open up styles by going to the menu, clicking Format, then clicking Styles and Formatting. The handy list of available styles is displayed, including a lot of CSP-Blahblah that came over with the template.

  • Convert your styles to the equivalent CSP-STYLE WHATEVER for first para of chapter, chapter title, and regular body text. See why we use styles now? Put the cursor on a block of text with your format. Look over at the format list, scroll down until you see the format name in a blue box, and right click on it. It will have an option to “Select (x) instances”, click that. THEN you can pick the equivalent CSP-style, click that, and hey presto, everything changes over. the first chapter section you get for free, but now you need to go find each successive chapter and do a section break insert (select Insert in the menu bar, then break, then section break/next page) between the last line of the previous chapter and the new chapter title. This will make the pages and margins all happy. DO allow header and footer inheritance and continue the page count from the previous section.
  • Styles are where you can set your font. I usually go with Garamond 11, the important thing is being consistent in the text. (Although I use Times New Roman 9 for the header and footer and nobody has yelled at me yet).
  • If for some tragic reason you didn’t use styles, no time like the present. All you really need are the chapter title, first para, and body text. Search for your chapter titles, select the text and pick the CSP-chapter title style, select the first paragraph and set its style to CSP-first paragraph, and the rest of the chapter to vanilla CSP-body text.

6) Gross violations check. *quickly* skim through the whole thing without reading. strangely you will be able to catch a lot of egregious formatting bobbles this way. You won’t get ‘em all but that’s what the proofing pass is for. Usually in my case it was some rogue style that weaseled its way in when I wasn’t looking. Select the offending section of text, pick the correct style and continue on.

7) Extra Credit: Fleurons. I use clever little graphics instead of # for scene breaks. There’s no style for that, so I go through and make sure they are centered and look right. Sometimes the AutoProofer (see below) complains that they aren’t flattened images, but it’s a warning and not a failure and it always comes out looking fine.

8) Get the final page count. Go all the way to the end of the document, past the end matter. (note page COUNT not page NUMBER) That’s what you need for the CS Cover template (link).

Part 2: The Cover

This will all be done assuming Adobe Photoshop CS2 , which is the only graphics program I know (and none too well, at that). See the introduction for a link to a free copy if you have nothing.

Go to Creatspace for a CS Cover template (link). Here you will need to decide the paper color (color makes it thicker or something, who knew) and use your previously determined page count and trim size. Download the handy template, which is an image format Photoshop can handle.

1) Open up the template in Photoshop. Admire the ghastly pink borders, and treat them as lava. This means, no text or important graphics can appear there. You must also avoid putting important stuff in the reserved area for the bar code. Swaths of pure background color are OK. Don’t worry, the ugly stuff will go away when we don’t need it any more.

2) Open the graphic file of your cover art. This will be a separate window in Photoshop. Click to select, and drag over to the template. Resize as seems best to you, remembering to avoid the pink lava areas. What I usually do now is use the Rectangle Tool, click and drag to create a rectangle that completely covers the front cover area (including the pink) and then use Fill to make a nice background for the cover image. Selecting a color already in the cover art using the Eyedropper works well. If you can’t see your art, that’s because the fill layer is on top of the art layer. In the layer menu just click and drag until everything is in the proper stack order (the template layer should be at the absolute bottom).

3) Use a similar procedure for the back cover and spine (I usually use a single rectangle for the whole area). For extra credit, I also sometimes copy a section of the front art that looks cool, expand it, and set it at something like 40% transparency for the back. Again, stack the layers with the fill under the transparency if you use one.

4) Text: Clever but readable fonts for front cover tag lines (“She thought the penguins would save her. She was wrong…”) and the spine title and author name. Use the Text tool. I like to assemble my text then select it with the Move tool. If you move it a handy menu appears that lets you rotate the text exactly 90 degrees for the spine. Text for the back copy (“Marooned on the ice station, menaced by penguin pirates, Mary Sue longed for a cruller. By the award-winning author of “Where’s My Walrus?”) should be non-fancy, readable and professional. Make each paragraph of back cover text a separate Text box to make rearranging more convenient.

5) Extra Credit: Press Logo and Book Style. Since I have my own publishing company and a cool logo, I put that on the back too. I have a consistent “house” style for the placement of the name and logo, which I have saved as its own file (lazy!). Opening a previously formatted book cover, I line it up with my new cover and make sure everything looks the same as much as possible.

6) Cleanup: By selectively turning off layers (click the eyeball icon next to a layer to hide it) make sure no critical graphical elements are in the Lava Zone. Turn off the layer with the template, and save the whole thing as a Photoshop PDF. Make sure the Layers checkbox is not checked.

7) Yay, you have a cover!

Part 3: Uploading

Go to CreateSpace. If you haven’t already done so, start a new project with your book title and fill in all the pertinent information (be consistent with your trim size, paper type, etc.)

1) Upload the interior text file. It will take a while to riffle through it electronically with their automatic checker. Definitely open the proofer, even if it finds no issues. CHECK THE PAGE NUMBERS and the header/footer behavior. If pressed for time still check the first chapter and last chapter. If the auto-proofer comes back with hundreds of errors it’s probably just our friend the odd/even page problem, so refer back to Part 1 and the importance of page number continuity. Easy fix. Keep fixing and uploading until it says you don’t have any issues.

2) Upload the cover. Submit the whole thing for approval and wait. (If you have more books, just proceed with them). When your book is approved, order a proof copy (REALLY recommend this) it is cheap, about $4 and you will catch all sorts of errors.

3) Thoroughly proof the proof. Check the headers, page numbers, styles, etc. again. Make sure the cover doesn’t look goofy anywhere and the whole package looks like something you already have on your bookshelves.

4)Fix any problems in interior and cover and upload again. I usually don’t order a second proof copy but when it is approved I do check it out in the online proofer to make sure my changes took place and didn’t screw up anything else. APPROVE THAT SUCKER! and start picking out the custom features you want on your yacht.

5) Picking the sales channels. Here you may want to hedge a bit. I didn’t pick extended distribution the first time around because who was going to buy a print book anyway, and it cost $25 per book. Also, I found some goofs in my print versions I didn’t catch in multiple rounds of proofing (I’m better at this now). If you make a change in a book *after* extended distribution is picked, it costs an extra $25 per change of file, so that saved me a lot of money when I fixed them, then signed up for Extended Distribution. You may well want to order that second proof copy but it takes a long time to ship, and it might delay your yacht order. Depends on what you want and what you can put up with.

6) That’s it!

95 responses to “Createspace for the Lazy The Doomed And the Hopeful

  1. I use Paint.Net for graphics conversion. It’s free, very tidy in terms of resources, and it handles the simple tasks quite well.

  2. I use OpenOffice, and don’t have access to Word, is it possible to get by without it?

    Also, lest I start a religious war…. Curly quotes or straight ones?

    (I can avoid the Double Space after sentences one. I’m trained to type that way, but Open Office has a setting to ignore it!)

    • I use straight quotes– If you ever find yourself writing academic papers for any reason, you’ll get dinged if you use curly quotes. 😉

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Curly quotes often don’t translate well when converting to other formats or posting on some sites.

        • I’ve noticed that Sarah uses them, because my e-mail program doesn’t display them correctly when I get the new post notifications.

          • Sarah mostly uses them through unfamiliarity with word. I need to figure out how to take them out…

            • Go to Tools, Auto correct. Disable all those punctuation thingees on the bottom.
              On the Auto-Format as you type tab, unselect all those, too.
              On the Auto-Form tab, unselect all those, too.

              I think that’s all of them.

      • Curly quotes look nice, but mess everything up horribly if you need to do something else to them (convert to another format, etc.)

        On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 8:19 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > ** > Cyn Bagley commented: “I use straight quotes– If you ever find > yourself writing academic papers for any reason, you’ll get dinged if you > use curly quotes. ;-)” >

    • I use InDesign and Photoshop– I tried using the Word template, but I had the most problems with getting it to work.

      • That (InDesign/Photoshop/et al) has been my intention. But, while I’m closer than ever before, I’m still concentrating on — you know — getting the book WRITTEN. So learning this stuff in advance of need is helpful, if less stressful.

        Does the cover art have to be in a bitmap format, or will CS accept a .pdf file?

        I’m translating my knowledge of PageMaker to InDesign and hoping it won’t be too painful. Is it still helpful and wise to use named styles in Word or Open Office or whatever? This seems to be a serious lack in Scrivener — that it doesn’t support named styles and it’s export to Word format is rather crude. So I’m going to have to work over the whole MS and would like it to go as smoothly as I can make it.

        M

        • The wonderful secret of named styles is they show up as such in the generated HTML, and can *easily* be replaced with whatever your css template demands. I love named styles, and my formatting has gotten much easier using them.

        • PDF– I went to InDesign so that I could use a high quality PDF (commercial grade) file. I couldn’t find anything that would do as well… Plus there is a template for InDesign that makes it less painful for the first few books. I still use the template because it has the right margins for 6×9 paperback.

          It is helpful to use named styles in Word (and save them)… it makes for less junk to clean up in the document. I don’t use Open Office (because Smashwords and others don’t accept the files). You have to do some fiddling I suppose…(I have to make my own ebook files as well). 😉

        • Wayne Blackburn

          The move from PageMaker to InDesign can’t be TOO difficult, since many of the people I work with use it. You can read that any way you please…

          • My issue is that I could never do PageMaker. It’s the DIRECTIONAL thinking that kills me. Something broken in my brain.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Since I don’t use PageMaker myself, I’m not familiar with what directionality would have to do with it, but if you aren’t any good with it, then InDesign would be like learning to use any other software – ie, from scratch, rather than as a move from one software to another within the same company’s purview., which is generally easier than learning something of similar functionality from another company.

              This is one reason I tend to stick with Microsoft programs instead of using multiple platforms. I’m familiar with their architecture, and I’m lazy.

          • That’s good for me. PageMaker and I go way back. Version 2 or 3, I think. When it was still Aldus. I sysopped the Adobe forum on CompuServe and got VERY familiar with PM… 4, 5, 6 if memory serves. Still have a copy of 6.5 installed on my laptop. Later had occasion to do heavyweight database (ODBC) work with it. I’m hoping it’s like riding a bicycle. Well… a NEW bicycle.

            M

    • The only available templates (right now) are Word templates. I certainly encourage contacting CreateSpace/Amazon and asking for templates in other formats. We have enough problems without Word added to them, neh?

      Curly quotes, “smart quotes” are what professionally published books use, so I go with that. I think most readers only notice if you mix curly with straight. It’s not like the Einzatzformattengruppe will knock on your door at 2am, but “professional as possible” sells books 😉

    • Mauser, OpenOffice will save a document in MS Word format without having to have the software on your computer. That’s what I do with my books before uploading them as ebooks. A word of caution: Always, ALWAYS edit your book after converting it to Word. You’ll find all kinds of problems you need to fix. You can still do it in OpenOffice.

      • What sort of problems? I’ve already run into some pretty serious ones when I tried to output a file as RTF from OpenOffice. I was using the free WordViewer program from MS but I haven’t bothered to install it on my new computer (Amazing all the programs I thought were essential on my old hard drive that I haven’t bothered to re-install yet).

  3. Oh yeah, the free Photoshop, I have it, very nice. HOWEVER if you have a 64 Bit Windows operating system, the install can be tricky. There are some very good guides out there if you Google carefully.

  4. Thanks, if I ever finish my nonfic book it will be going to CS.

  5. I’m not entirely sure that installing the CS2 versions is 100% legitimate, given Adobe’s disclaimer on the top of that page (“[t]he serial numbers below should only be used by customers who legitimately purchased CS2 or Acrobat 7 and need to maintain their current use of these products.”) Has Adobe given implicit permission to use their products by posting the serial numbers on their website? I don’t know what the legal grounds would be to answer that question.

    At any rate, if you’re concerned about the legality of these CS2 versions, you could stick with the Gimp. A Google search for “Gimp tutorial” will find you several, and working through those should give you a good feel for the Gimp, how it handles layers, and so on. I’m afraid I can’t really give better instructions: I’ve gotten pretty good at the Gimp, but I don’t know how to teach other except to say “Do what I did: read some online tutorials, follow them, then play around until your brain starts to learn what tools do what.”

    • I can almost guarantee you it’s not. Adobe is pretty liberal about licensing — permitting work-and-home dual installations, frex — but they’re not about to just give away software.

      FWIW, and I’m far from an expert with GIMP, it’s capabilities are pretty much the same as PShop,although there are some key differences, such as the paste layer thing that was observed here the other day.

      M

      • Actually, if you think about it, they can’t ADMIT they’re giving it away for free, BUT, Adobe’s products are very heavily pirated, especially because they’re so expensive.
        The plot is beautiful in its simplicity. Put an 8-year-old, now completely unsupported but very functional version of the product up where people can “steal” it, and you completely cut the legs out from under the pirates who are trying to sell “discounted” copies of the newer stuff.

  6. The detailed instructions are nice. Some more details about those distribution choices and the cost to customers would be welcome too.

  7. Any experience with Wordperfect? I use Suite 8, for nearly all of my writing, and have for years. I find it a lot easier to edit for glitches (why can’t Word have a REVEAL CODES option?!?).

    I CAN open the documents in Word (have the 2007 version) for other changes for publication. But if I can export from WP8 to Createspace it would make things easier.

    • In Word there is show/hide formatting marks http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/show-or-hide-formatting-marks-HA010102250.aspx and reveal formatting. The show/hide helps you to keep the manuscript clean.

    • Ah, WordPerfect, how I adore you! I fought this for years before giving up. I too want Word to do Reveal Codes, not the silly formatting symbols that don’t help AT ALL. I have no idea why Word refuses to do that.

      I would be very, very careful converting between WordPerfect and Word. The reasons are very interesting from a coding perspective, but I will try to keep it simple for our purposes. Basically, WP and Word look similar but are very, very different, kind of like sharks and dolphins. (Admire my diplomacy in not hinting which is which.) As far as I know there is no way to translate everything WP does to a Word standard, and sometimes it screws things up massively and in a way that can’t be fixed. I know, I tried. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news 😦

      • I was only dragged away from Word Perfect a year and a half ago when I started doing ebooks. And yep. Also the latest word, working on WP documents creates the most bizarre artifacts. … baen complained.

        • Sorry guys– I love word perfect too, but I was dragged away from it in the 90s when I realized that it was losing in the Microsoft stakes. Sadly– it is one of the best word processers for teaching real typesetting. Sadly– it is really unsupported — and lost the fight.

          • I found I had a lot of trouble switching test from Word, which I composed in, to whatever database I was using because I’d have a lot on non-translated characters and wonky formatting.

            I got the suggesting to paste the text first into Write or Notepad, and then copy from there to the data base. Write and Notepad will strip off all the formatting.

            Notepad will strip off even the bold and italics, and even the tab indents.

  8. OK, some general answers. You *don’t* have to use Word, it’s just easier. As long as your interior text file is in print-ready PDF, .doc, .docx, or .rtf, you are good to go. If you don’t use the Word templates, you have to figure out the even/odd/first page format requirements, like the spine gutter (margin) yourself.

    The cover just needs to be a .pdf, however you generate it is up to you. And remember about the lava zones!

    • Yes, and I could never do that…

    • At least in my experience, uploading the interior fire as an ISO-compliant PDF (PDF/A in the print options on my installation of Word 2010) will prevent a *lot* of potential CreateSpace conversion glitches that can happen with a Word .doc file. I was getting blank pages added all over the place, for instance, regardless of whether the section breaks were set for next page or next odd page. Drove me crazy.

      Now, if only Word could handle kerning and loose lines more easily!

    • OTOH, If you use Open Office, you can make PDFs from the document with a single button.

    • I use Scrivener, but it does convert to Word, and several others. But since I don’t have Word I have never checked how well that conversion would work.

  9. masgramondou

    The word, word perfect, libre/open office battles can be significntly reduced by exporting the doc from LO/OO/WP as RTF and importing that into word. Having said that, except for cases where you have track changes on and are sharing a doc*, I’ve found that libre office does a perfectly fine job of reading and writing nice clean word 2010 (.docx) files. Not sure about the older .doc files though

    There are, BTW, a number of places that will take word docs and make pretty nice HTML out of them. WordPress blogs for one…

    *Track changes, while incredibly useful tends to explode if you go mix edits in word and open office. It is possible libre office has fixed this but I’m not going to risk trying it.

  10. For example, I usually remove the table of contents unless I have funny chapter titles I think the reader would enjoy anticipating.

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    Please leave the chapters in. I tend to read e-books on several different devices, and not where I can always get to a network to synch. I can usually remember what chapter I am in, and it’s a lot quicker to start from where I left off by going to the TOC and clicking the chapter.

  11. Open Office available (In Linux, Mac OS (Intel) and Windows versions) from:
    http://www.openoffice.org/

    A more Free Software compliant version, Libre Office from here:
    http://www.libreoffice.org/

  12. Totally unrelated to the topic at hand… The wildfires in Colorado look pretty nasty. Esteemed writer host Sarah, you and yours remain unburned and unendangered, right?

    • JP
      Never near us. It was at the other end of town. To get to us would need to burn down the whole town. We were mostly worried about friends much closer to it. But now they’re contained and all is well. (Er… the fires are contained, not the friends. I think.)

      • Just a note– the type one team leader (I.C.) is from Carson City Nevada and is the husband of one of my husband’s co-workers. That is their third fire in the last four weeks. They are a really good group.

        • Colorado has got way better at this “fire thing” even since last year.

          • Good to hear. Thanks for the update.

          • I bet — We have a wildfire season (two or more a year–) and one year we had 1.2 million acres burned. We are always swapping people back and forth from California as well. It is the one thing we have to fight every year. –plus floods. 😉

          • Since the Black Forest Fire was the largest loss of homes to date … let’s hope that this is the peak of their “getting better” at the fire thing …

            *<8-0

            • yeah, but SPQR it was a VERY densely populated area. Waldo Canyon started in a sparsely populated area and was allowed to spread.

            • SPQR – there were about 13,000 homes threatened by the Black Forest fire. Less than 500 have burned. The fact that so few of the houses threatened actually burned is a bright spot. The biggest lesson learned from the Waldo Canyon fire was to get assets to work as soon as possible. The military was called in early Wednesday, instead of waiting four or five days before getting approval to use military assets during the Waldo Canyon fire, even when the Academy was threatened. The local Air Reserve unit (302nd Airlift Wing, hq at Peterson AFB, right here in the Springs) also increased the number of aircraft it could use to fight fires from two to four, and had them in the air by late morning, Wednesday.

              Unfortunately, we’ve had three years of weak La Nina weather conditions, which causes drought conditions across the lower Rocky Mountains (southern Wyoming through New Mexico). Our forests are bone dry. Any spark can set off a fire that will burn a thousand acres or more. The Black Forest fire is the only one in a residential area, but almost all the buildings at the Royal Gorge Bridge Park were also burned in another fire, there’s another one in Rocky Mountain National Park, and a third west of Pueblo in the San Isabel National Forest. And fire season is just beginning… Pray the firefighters have indeed learned to handle fires well.

              • We are also praying that it is a low fire year (it won’t be). The air is dry, and no spring storms this year. We did have one, but very little rain and it sparked a couple of fires. The plants, bushes, and trees are extremely dry.

  13. I have thought about doing a CreateSpace nonfiction book, and at the same time doing it in hardcover through Lightning Source. Lightning Source wants files in PDF/X-1a:20001 OR PDF/X-3:2002.

    To me, a PDF looks like a PDF — does CreateSpace care which type you use?

    Lightning Source recommends InDesign, but I understand that InDesign doesn’t do endnotes well (and my nonfiction books have gadzooks of ’em).
    I think Serif PagePlus does the former file type (X-1a) — but I’ve never done a document longer than 40 pages with that program.

    Any other recommendations? I have NitroPDF and CutePDF — could perhaps I use a word processing program and then convert to the right kind of PDF?

    I’m a former WordPerfect user, too. I now use Atlantis Word Processor, after a brief foray into using SoftMaker TextMaker from Germany. Atlantis just added the capability to do Kindle eBook conversions directly from the program (I’ve had to use Calibre to convert to a Kindle-compatible file or save as a Word document before now). I haven’t tried out the conversion yet to see how well it works.

  14. Use Microsoft Word to handle any kind of *.doc or *.docx file because OpenOffice and LibreOffice mess up the formatting for those types. If you use OpenOffoce or LibreOffice for them, you’ll find page breaks where they shouldn’t exist, as well as headers with altered fonts.

  15. The biggest problem i had with OpenOffice and formatting was when I tried to put “The Strange Case of the Atlas Field” into proper Manuscript format for submission to Asimov’s. Apparently because one paragraph spanned the first and second pages, the First Page style applied itself to the second page, messing up the required headers.

  16. Oh, for the former WordPerfect users — do you have any tips for redeeming old files and converting them into something usable? I’ve tried converting old WordPerfect files into .rtf files, but sometimes have awful results. The files seem prone to cause crashes, the formatting (even when redone) often won’t stick and old formatting well inexplicably reappear.

    I’m at the point of retyping files — even when I’ve converted into plain text files, problems occur (which a techie friend says is impossible).

    • It’s possible Word Perfect isn’t producing clean text files. There might be embedded control characters other than a Carriage Return of Line feed in them. (Mac uses CR, Win uses LF, Unix uses both).

      Try opening the text file in Notepad, then either re-save or copy it and paste it in a new word file. Warning, even Notepad can stick some odd characters in there if you have word wrap enabled (Which I’ve discovered that Open Office CAN’T eliminate).

      • Is this the cause of some self-pubbed ebooks having random @ and & characters in the middle of words? I mean obviously this is a failure to check and edit after converting, but it is always odd when you come across it.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Also, when you open the text file in Notepad, do a File… Save As… and look at the Encoding selection. If it says ASCII, then it’s not going to produce any artifacts when you load it up in Word. If, however, it says UTF-8, then it can.

        You can also download the free program Notepad ++, and the View menu has a Show All Characters option, which you can use to help find any problematic characters.

    • You end up having to go over it by hand, change all the weird characters. I’ve also had semi-good results with copying them in WP and pasting them into word with “paste text only” — no formatting.

    • Try pasting them into Notepad without word wrap, then copying them into the other word processor.

  17. Thank you for the suggestion regarding Notespad.

    Another problem is that I think I must have had hyphenation on at some point in WordPerfect; I get these funny little squiggles in the middle of words. When I convert over the files over to .rtf format they show up. I don’t know what they are, so I can’t search for them, and I have to go line by line looking for them.

    I recently had a project for which I needed to convert 20+ WordPerfect files to .html files to be put up online. I converted to .rtf files then converted again to .html . . . the results weren’t pretty, and I wound up having to check and correct around 1600 lines of code.

    I’m not really that much of a coder — I used to use Notespad the last time I did much of it. I wound up trying to use Notepad2, then PSPad and SynWrite. Any recommendations for other GOOD html editors in case I have to do this sort of project again?

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Not sure about HTML Editors, but that character sounds like a tilde, and is found to the left of the “1” key in the top row. If it’s not a tilde, then it’s probably one of the UTF-8 characters I mentioned in my other comment.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        This page has a list of HTML editors, and the first one not only looks like it’s pretty good, it’s also free.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          And then there is this other page, which purports to be a review of the “10 Best Free Windows HTML Editors”.

          • Thank you — I’ll have to look over the lists.

            When I did the conversion to html, the results didn’t look so bad, but the computer guys I’m related to didn’t like a lot of the underlying code. I was also cautioned to not use a WYSIWYG editor.

            Thus I ended up going through all the code, checking it, and correcting it.

  18. It looks more like a LONG tilde turned straight up and down. Since they can appear more than once in a word, I suspect that WordPerfect was trying to figure out where to hyphenate and would just stick ’em in here and there. They’re hard to delete, too, without getting the next letter at the same time.

    • If you can manage to select and copy one, you might be able to use search and replace with a blank replace. Just paste it into the search box.

  19. No, that’s Robb Allen who is famous for not wearing pants on the Internet. You people aren’t clued in to the gun-nerd blpgs.. are you?

  20. er, I meant to write “blogs.” Oh God I hate WordPress. It is even worse than blogger.

  21. It is widely known among all gun nerds that Robb Allen goes pantsless on the Internet. He being a Marine, he is quite insouciant about that, and dares us to object to it.

  22. And further: Two of my favorite bloggers, John and Beth Donovan, have claimed at times that they blog not just pantsless, but nekkid . They have a nice place in the country where they can shoot high-power rifles off of the back porch with perfect safety to all concerned. I suspect them of nekkid shooting.

  23. Interested in participating in the Human Wave Garage Sale, but not sure what flavor of smoke to send, nor where to send it… any additional details???

    I’ve been thinking for a while that we need to organize a Human Wave Humble Bundle style-offering, but it hadn’t made it to the top of my available time list yet.

  24. This was a great guide, Sabrina. Well done, and thanks!

    For the Garage Sale, do we have to be in paper also?

    • You are very welcome!

      Paper not required for the Garage Sale, but certainly can be included. (I’m not sure how fast CreateSpace handles price changes, anybody know?) My books are in the Extended Distribution program so I would not be able to discount them very much, which is another consideration–but if you’re not in Extended Distribution you have more latitude on price.