I Came; I Saw; I Formatted

Victory!  After about three days of concerted effort, and mind-numbing frustration, I think (fingers crossed) I’ve managed to get The Darcys of Pemberley formatted for CreateSpace, the print-on-demand arm of the Amazon publishing machine.

It shouldn’t have been difficult. After all, a template is provided, and the instructions simply say “cut and paste.” Although my computer skills are admittedly limited, I do know how to cut and paste.  So I figured, “How hard could it be?”

Glitch: a minor hitch or technical problem.

I beg to differ with this definition.  There was nothing “minor” about the technical problems I ran into trying to properly format my book.  The original document was in one font; after pasting a section into the template, it was a different font, a different size, with gaps between the paragraphs that I had never inserted.  Random sections were indented for no particular reason.  And don’t even get me started about convincing the page numbers and headers to show up where I wanted and NOT where I didn’t.  These are issues Jane Austen never faced.

But I persevered.  I discovered a step-by-step strategy for overcoming every glitch I encountered, and patiently repeated it …. 46 times – once after each section I had to cut and paste (42 chapters + prologue + title page + copyright page + acknowledgements page).  Then I instantly copied it to my backup so I would not run the risk of having to redo it….ever!

The good news?  Now that it’s formatted, The Darcys of Pemberley is starting to look like a real book rather than just a document on a computer screen.  One small step for literary history; one giant leap for author Shannon Winslow!

He was almost ready to wonder at his friend’s perseverance.  Fanny was worth it all; he held her to be worth every effort of patience, every exertion of mind, but he did not think he could have gone on himself … without something more to warm his courage than his eyes could discern …  (Mansfield Park, chapter 34)

Here, the prize was winning the heart of Fanny Price.  For me, the prize of five years’ perseverance will be to see my baby finally in print.


About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
This entry was posted in Jane Austen, Jane Austen Quotes, Shannon Winslow's writing, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I Came; I Saw; I Formatted

  1. Janettes says:

    How exciting to be so close to seeing a book instead of a document. Congratulations! And congratulations on persevering through the software glitches.

  2. Nancy Kelley says:

    I’ve heard some interesting tales of CS formatting lately. I’m glad you figured it out, and I hope you’ll share your tricks with the rest of us.

    • I guess I shouldn’t do a victory dance just yet, not till I hold the perfectly formatted book in my hand. And no tricks. I gave up trying to understand why the glitches happened, and focused on undoing them one by one. Perseverance, not genius, finally won the day.

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