Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hunting Widows and Orphans

I have been hunting down widows and orphans for at least 20 hours over the last couple of days.

In case you're worried that I'm armed and out on the streets (I wish!) the widows I'm talking about are the one-word sentences at the bottom of pages that you should never see, and the orphans are parentless children the one-word sentences at the top of a new page.

It's possible you've never seen these, because it's the job of the typesetter to ruthlessly hunt these down and eliminate them. In the absence of a professional typesetter I've found instead that I can rely on... me?

Ohhhhh. Make it stop. I'm going blind.

Possibly because I have my eyes screwed up in frustration at the moment, shutting the world out. Possibly not.

The saddest thing about the whole experience was that for the first two hours (Saturday, I remember you well) I thought this was going so much smoother than the first time I'd had to do it. I felt all experienced and knowledgeable. Right up until the moment that blank pages started to appear in the uploaded file where there were no blank pages in the original.

Who knew that going to page 127 and entering an extra line after a triple *** was going to render the upload conversion service unable to tell the difference between a line and a line break on pages 10-11. Or 10-15 as the upload would have me believe.

Just to prove I wasn't going crazy I copied the entire book into a blank word document and uploaded it. The empty pages all disappeared. Yah! All of the headers turned into even page headers, rather than alternating even and odd. Boo!

Considering how much I hate the sight of books at the moment I find it rather hard to justify a career as a writer. Usually it's the lack of ability to generate a profit that does that to me, but apparently this can too.

My darling just says to pay the nice company their $199 and let them worry about the formatting. He doesn't understand that even if I pay them and they do it I would still have to check every single character because you can't trust no one these days. No one. No siree.

And then I'd also have to suffer the indignity of knowing that I needed to sell another ████████-ish books in order to earn that money back. Before I moved on to selling the books to earn back the editing fee, and then the proofreading fee. And then the... we'll just bring all that moaning to a halt shall we?

I would like to say that it's all finally done, but I need to wait for 24 hours for the good machines at CreateSpace to verify all my cover art and then give me a big tick (you hear that machines? A tick, no declinatures allowed.)

I do have to admit defeat, however. The system finally wore me down. There's an error on the last page. I couldn't get it out. I'm hoping that nobody notices.

Of course, reading this you'll have a heads up if you did want to grab a copy of the book and search for it. Or, better still, BUY a copy of the book and search for it.

It sounds like fun to me, but what would I know? I'm a writer who can't stand to look at a book.

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