Saturday, October 22, 2011

New blog series: publishing in print (PIP) via LSI/Createspace

Over the past month or so I've blogged about editing, polishing, proofing and publicity for the self-pubbed (or indie-pubbed) writer. One thing I haven't really covered in detail is ... getting your work into print. As in generating the PDF you have to upload to Createspace and/or Lightning Source so they can generate printed copies of your work.

I realise the world is hurtling towards ebooks, but there are still segments of the market where paperbacks rule. One of those is middle grade fiction, and since that's the genre for Hal Junior, I had to generate a hard copy as well as an ebook.

There's no substitute for getting your interior layout designed by a pro, but this article is written for those of you focusing primarily on ebooks. If you're considering putting out a paper version as a kind of sideline, it's hard to justify the expense of interior design against potential sales. And remember, if the book takes off you can always hire a pro and get it redone. (Or wait for a publisher to swoop on the print rights and let THEM pay for it ...)

Warning: I'm going to be talking about yWriter in this series of posts. It's freeware, so you don't have to pay anything, but it is Windows-only. (You can also run it on Linux and on the Mac, using the Mono runtime library, but it's not bulletproof.)

The second part of the puzzle is a collection of software called the ProTeXt TeX distribution (also for Windows. Sorry, no idea about Mac and Linux.) This is a 750mb download (yikes!) which contains a whole bunch of programs and addons which you don't actually have to do anything with. Just download and install the thing for now.

If you've just installed yWriter5 and don't have a project to load, follow these instructions to import a work in progress.

Once you have a project loaded, press Ctrl+Alt+X on the yWriter main screen. yWriter will instantly generate a TEX file of your project. Double-click this TEX file to open it in TeXnic Centre, and press Ctrl+Shift+F5 in that software to generate and view the PDF.

The result is a very basic book block, not ready for uploading yet, but I thought it would be good to show the process before we delve into the fine detail. We're not going to use TeXnic Centre for much - all the hard work will be done using yWriter5.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock Series and Hal Junior: The Secret Signal. By day he's a computer programmer and author, and by night he's the same only sleepier.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Boddaert said...

So glad you've decided to take us through this process Simon. I've had a look at it in the past and found it a bit confusing to use. Looking forward to your forthcoming blogs.

Simon Haynes said...

Plus if I blog about it piecemeal I can put the bits together into a single page at the end. Less work than sitting down to write the whole thing at once.

Heather Kelly said...

Simon--This post is great--and your books sound fantastic. Thanks for the on-going discussion during the MyChoiceInPublishing blog round--I hope we can all keep the conversation going. Good luck with this junior series!