… before I started publishing my books in print.

1.  Formatting for print is a lot more complex than formatting for ebook publication.

2.  It takes a lot longer to get it right. And you go cross-eyed going through it for the 59th time.

3.  Just because the formatting looks ok on the Word document does not mean it’ll be right when converted to PDF, so it needs rechecking then.

4.  My crappy computer won’t convert to PDF. Had to copy document to memory stick, run upstairs, and ask teenage son to do that.

5.  This made teenage son roll his eyes and groan. Even more than he usually does.

6.  Page breaks on the last line of the page in Word will end up adding an extra blank page on the PDF, thus throwing out all your chapter starts.

7.  Teenage son’s friend is pretty good at using Photoshop and creating me nice covers, front back and spine.

8.  Cover has to be PDF and under 40MB to upload to Createspace. Teenage son’s friend first sent it as a Photoshop document, 1,715MB. Then he converted it to PDF and it was 80MB.

9.  If you use free PDF Compressing software you might compress too much and lose detail. I did, with one of the covers, but I uploaded it anyway. It wasn’t good enough.

10.  When CreateSpace say the cover must be under 40MB to upload they mean it. So when teenage son’s friend managed to send me a version of the cover at 40.2MB it still wouldn’t upload.

11. Teenage son got fed up of being the go-between between me and his friend.

12.  It’s lovely getting hold of the first proof copy of your book, even if it turns out not to be quite right.

13.  Proof copies are printed in the USA and shipped across. You have to buy them and pay for the shipping. So it is worth checking everything you can (a) before you upload and (b) online on CreateSpace before you order the proof copy.

14.  Even after all your checking there’ll still be something wrong. Your mate will spot that within seconds of you showing him the finished, published article.

15.  Nevertheless, after all that it is rather lovely sitting here admiring a box of print versions of my books. I’ve done it.


Short Stories and How to Write Them  print edition is available from all Amazons now. Price £4.99 or less if Amazon decide to discount it.

Ghost Stories and How to Write Them print edition is available from all Amazons now. Also £4.99. Both books are also available from Barnes and Noble as print books.

Both books are second editions – extended from the original ebook with extra stories and discussions and a section on story prompts. The ebook has also been updated to the new, longer second edition.