Self-Publishing: Formatted Print book

Hello everyone, I have recuperated from the panic I had last week. The book for printing is pretty much formatted. I ended up doing it with Libre Office after I downloaded the guidelines and a pre-made template from Amazon’s KDP site. There are a few issues I have to go over before committing to the format: apostrophes before drop caps, what style I will use with my chapter headings, and mull over with my Author’s Note section. I will go over some of my thoughts about formatting, some of them apply to ebooks.

KDP provided a great template. It was easy to use and had the basic font with it. If you want to use something fancier, you have to buy and install them on your writing software. With some fonts, you need to pay licenses. Be careful with that. With fonts, I agree with those who are opinionated enough to write blogs, articles, on forums, and so on, that the font shouldn’t be too distracting. That sticking with the basics like Garamond, Times New Rome, Paladino, or Helvetica can get you a long way. Using a distinctive design is a good marketing tool and a vau factor, but it should never go before readability. I’m would like to be more particular with choosing my font because of my dyslexia, but due to licensing, easiness, and availability, I have to go with Garamond. Even when it isn’t the best font for someone like me. I use Verdana while I write. Garamond is widely used, not a font that argues with you, freeish to use (the printing place have to have a license to use it,) and already comes with the formatting.

I used Garamond for the chapter headings and title page, but I might change it to something more stylish. A cool font might attract more readers, but it can also make the pages look busy. Like, let us say with a chapter heading you don’t want too many things fighting for the reader’s attention. With my chapter headings, I want the focus to be on the heading as some of them are cute and funny. I want the reader to move to the text in a cheery mood. Thus, I will use numbers to indicate chapters, have a simple but compelling font to draw attention to the heading to make it easy to transition to the text itself.

I start my chapters with drop caps, using two lines long. At first, I thought to make it three lines big, but it would be too much for a 5,25×8 size book. I don’t particularly like drop caps because of my dyslexia. They dim the surrounding words, making it hard to read. But I went with the design this time, wanting my book to appear professional. Using drop caps is causing me a headache. I have two chapters starting with an apostrophe. For some reason, the formatting breaks after trying to make the apostrophe smaller and the next letter from it bigger. Something alters the apostrophe and drop cap to make it unnaturally large after I open the saved document again. Argh… It doesn’t matter as long as I get it okay for the final version before converting to PDF, but it is a battle to get it right every time. Sigh.

After the scene break inside a character’s storyline, I use an enter and start the scene with all caps for the first words. I do that to give a rhythm and style. When inside the chapter character change happens, I use a centered tilted, black square to give a splash of color. I chose a simple symbol for the breaker to make the transition smooth and not too distracting. Originally in my ebook, I used a curly symbol as a breaker, but I got lost in its frills and changed it to three big, bold periods. While I formatted my book to printing, I did my ebook styling again, understanding more than a month ago. Styling is a good way to give a rhythm, logic, and unity to the book.
I would like to use a nice picture somewhere in my book like in the title page or chapter heading, but I’m leaving it out this time. I can’t afford to buy one, and I have too much to do. Maybe someday somewhere over the rainbow, an image waits for me. If I used one, I would go with something very simplistic. An outline of a mouse’s head, rabbit, or something completely different.

With my Author’s Note, I have to think over if it is too serious, opinionated, and arrogant. I past it here. If you find it bad, please be kind and say so. Or feel free to comment on anything else I have written.

Author’s Note

“I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other.”

-Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius, Letter VII

Hello and thank you for picking up Worth Of Luck. When I sat down to outline and write this book, I never imagined it would get into your hands. But here you are reading it for my joy. This story was something I had to tell, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did writing it. The story grew from an idea of secret societies battling each other out in a kingdom of Leporidae Lop and turned more complex when I added on social issues. It is still humorous fantasy, but I’m helpless when it comes to the underdog.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to be born to a wealthy, kind, or decent enough family, or sometimes the circumstances we come across are impossible to overcome. I see no other out than empathy and compassion to our fellow creatures and a society which doesn’t let its strong to prey on those not so lucky.

As a writer, I know my duty is to point out those discrepancies in our lives and societies; and to add empathy. For me, there is no better way than through humor which lets me say: “Look the king wears no clothes.” That is what I have done with Worth of Luck and continue to do with my other books in the series, and to entertain and delight you while I am at it. Without you, the reader writing would be impossible.

Sincerely, K.A. Ashcomb

Thank you for reading. There is a lot I could go over with the styling or using Libre Office for formatting, but I think I wouldn’t add to anything new to the old conversation. Maybe later if I find an angle or point of view.

2 comments on “Self-Publishing: Formatted Print book

  1. Was it weird being on the other end like that and thinking about the logistics such as the font for chapter headings to dropcaps or not to dropcaps?


    • It was, and the work I had to put into the whole ordeal made me appreciate more those who do it for a living. It demands lots of concentration. And I have to be honest I was drained when I was done with it. Now I need to give myself time to breathe and to see with fresh eyes if everything is as it should be.


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