If you pay close attention, you will see the hairs on my head go gray…or more gray I should say. You would think with this last book being my fourth book to publish that I would have it down to a science…nope…never seems to go exactly as planned. Book one, Do I Know You, was quite a learning experience, including hours of research, fixing, more researching, and more fixing. I did learn a lot, but by the time I finished book two, Taking What Is Mine, and was ready for the publishing part, I found I had to relearn certain areas. By the time I got to my third book, As If Yesterday, I thought I wouldn’t have any problems…YIKES…wrong again. So, I bought myself a notebook and started a “How To” book…oh yeah, now that’s the ticket…no more questions.

Ha…fool that I am, I get to book four, Four of Spades, and think it should be a slam-dunk…but nope, still learning. I had a major formatting issue that took two calls to Microsoft (neither of which helped), along with more research, trial, and errors, but I figured it out. If you have issues formatting, please feel free to contact me at cjv750@gmail.com, since I’ve pretty much run across everything and anything that can go wrong.

As Dragonfly Press, I publish through CreateSpace, via Amazon, and I have to say they are great. One big reason I love being an indie author is because first off, no deadlines other than what I put on myself, but also I do not have to surrender any creativity. I control all of it, from the size of the book to creating my book cover. They have template book covers that give you the freedom of adding a photo, color choices, lettering style, and much more. Of course, you can hire someone through their site to create your cover…but I’m a “starving artist” so anywhere I can save a buck, I’m all over that one.

There are forum/community help sites to guide you if you get stumped. It can be daunting for sure, but generally speaking, their step-by-step process is user-friendly.

What is important is to be sure the formatting on your manuscript is perfect, because when you are ready to publish, you have to cut/paste each chapter, along with lead-in pages and end pages, such as Author Note, onto a template. You will have to format again within the template, but it’s all part of the process. Once everything is done, and you have saved your interior template, you save it again as a PDF and upload to your file. Even though you will get a chance to review it right away, it’s important to order the proof copy. When you get that book in your hand for the first time, the excitement mirrors the feeling you had when you finished writing it.

So, here you are standing there with your printed book in your hand, and you don’t want to put it down. Okay…so start reading, and then read again. Make notes, dog-ear pages, and then read it again. When you are ready, be sure you make any changes to both your manuscript and your template copy. I always trash my first PDF before I get started with corrections so that I don’t upload the wrong PDF to the system.

At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about the book, as far as the cover and the interior are concerned. But, I still order one more proof copy to examine. If everything is good, then I approve the book for final publication.

One step I learned the hard way was NOT to use their Kindle version. But don’t worry I’ll have the answer for you in my next blog. It will be all about creating an e-book…so stay tuned, and until then, happy reading.