In print

I thought the worst part of preparing my novel Jam, Jerusalem and Java for publication was the endless editing and proofreading. Not so. I have spent most of today fighting with Blurb’s Book Wright program to create a print edition of the novel.

I can hear you asking why I would want a print version when it is available for Kindle. The simple answer is that not everyone has an eReader. In fact, lots of people I know don’t have eReaders or tablet PCs. Indeed, some of the people who own mobile gadgets have little idea of how to use them. Being extremely tech savvy myself, I find this hard to comprehend and a little worrying. I have even downsized my iPad to make it even more mobile and, therefore, useful.

Having noted that some people are missing out on the reading experience, and spotting a chance to start early on the Christmas present list, I have gone into print. That is, to say, I have formatted my manuscript to fit a trade format paperback and put it up for sale on Blurb.

The formatting and uploading did not go without problems. As I said at the beginning, the process has taken a good part of a day. The first issue was the cover size. The image resolution for an eBook is vastly different from that for a print book. I spent many hours in Photoshop resizing the cover. I lost count of the number of times I did this before I got an image the software liked. I have to say, that I gave up and walked away several times during the process in order to save my sanity.

Having got the cover sorted then I had to write the blurb. After writing, and losing, several versions I opted to copy and paste the blurb from my website.

The next task was to import the text. The text as is was formatted for the Kindle and it looks good on a Kindle. It did not, however, look so neat on print preview for the Blurb book. The chapter headings for chapter 6 and chapter 13 had an extra line space. I have no idea why. I had to go back to the editing page of Book Wright in order to correct this. Then the formatting went totally bizarre and I lost a whole page. I got the page back but the software insisted on having an even number of pages as it is better for printing. I uploaded and removed the text several times before I was able to get the software to respond appropriately and add two more pages. Then the uploading failed.

At this point I was losing the will to continue. Suddenly, the program decided to let me upload the book, set a price and process the book. Now my eBook was in the process of becoming a print book. I ordered six copies.

Having succeeded in creating a print version of my novel I am not sure how I feel about it. The book was conceived as a digital book and its length reflects the platform on which I originally published it. How it will fare as a print book I do not know but I decided to make it publicly available so as not to discriminate again people who do not have the means to read a Kindle book.

Then I started on a photobook, 24 hours in Oslo, but the program crashed and I decided to call it a day.


one book in Panos