Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Editing-Learning Something New

Writing isn't, nor should ever be, a process that stops once the work is published. I know I've learned quite a bit over the past month since I've published my three books. So I have been going over a couple of them to see what I might be able to improve in my 'second' editions.

One of the things I've recently learned is how to affix page numbers on the outside of the page, in other words, to have different odd and even pages. Is this absolutely necessary? Probably not. However, if you read a lot of books published by big name houses, you'll see that this is a standard with their books. It makes it easier for the reader to find a particular page number.

Don't assume your word processor will do this for you; it's set up to print pages as it would for a report, not for a bound book. You'll usually have to go into your header, page numbers, and check a box that says 'different odd and even pages'. This may be slightly different than the word processor you're using (I'm using Office 365). Also, while there, you can check the box that says 'different first page', and this allows you to remove the page number of your title page.

 There are also other things I've learned while working with Createspace, my printer. I'm not really sure what software they use, except that they only allow file uploads in certain formats. I had difficulty with my first edition books with new chapters. Even if the chapters were set up correctly in my version, sometimes the chapter heading would end up at the bottom of the previous page rather than at the top of the next one. To resolve this issue, I learned to use the 'page break' button in the INSERT menu in my Word. I've never used this feature before, as I'd only published with Smashwords before, and they discourage the use of this feature as it's unnecessary in a digital book.

I also had issues with the table of contents feature in my non-fiction titles. Try as I may, I could not get the page numbers to line up properly! Again, I tried an auto feature on Word, the table of contents function under 'references' tab. To use this feature you must use one of the preset headings formats. I'm not sure yet how it will work in actual print, but I'm willing to give it a try!

My point through all this is that, as we advance as writers, our writing should advance with us. We shouldn't allow it to become stagnant!

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