Sunday, July 15, 2012

Formatting Illustrations for CreateSpace, and Other Miscellany

       No publication yet!  This morning the virtual proof was ready and so I started glancing through it, and darned if I didn't see a place where I left a word divided at the end of a page.  Oh, well, I thought, one instance of that won't hurt.  But then I started to spot more! -- plus a place where there was a gap of two spaces at the end of a page, and another place where the final page of a chapter started one line down from the top ...  I thought I had caught everything like that!  But obviously I hadn't, so I decided I would have to make corrections and upload another PDF.  That means going through the whole review process again, so we'll see what the new proof looks like tomorrow. 
         Sigh.  Back to what I'd intended to write today!  Within two hours of posting yesterday's piece on CreateSpace formatting, I had nine page views of it!  Weird!  I think I should specialize in formatting text!  (By today, I have 13 views.)


       Here's the final map for "The War of the Stolen Mother."  In the book it will be displayed lengthwise, facing the title page.  As you can see, it's black and white, which I figured would print without any hassle.  My little line drawings on the title pages haven't caused the slightest stir, and the line border I put around the facsimile 30th-century title page went through without a bit of a quibble. But apparently the fills that I used for mountains, marsh, and hills (taken from the Patterns in the Fill Effects menu of the drawing tools) required an upgrade to 300 dpi.  Phoo! 
       So I tried grouping everything together and running it through GIMP the same way I do with the cover art.  I flattened it and upgraded the dpi to (I think) 350 (I usually do 325 for the covers).  Then I wasn't sure how to insert it into the CreateSpace template because there is no "Upload" feature (at least, nothing I know about).  Turned out to be easy.  On the Pictures folder, you can just right-click on the picture you want to use and click Copy.  Then you can paste it directly into your template.  Apparently it retains the dpi count.  I also learned how to turn the picture (as I did for the version above).  Just right-click the image shown in the Pictures folder and click on  Rotate Clockwise or Counterclockwise.  (I'll have to remember that feature, because it means I could have drawn this map in a normal position instead of sideways (getting a crick in my neck!)
       Then when I uploaded the text again, I get the message that the illustration is 299 dpi!  ???  Who knows why?  It takes 325 on the covers just fine.  So I went through the whole process again using 400 dpi.  Then it took it.  So my advice is, any illustration you want to use in the text should be made into a .jpg and upgraded to 400 dpi using GIMP or some other image manipulation program.
       The proof came through OK, but it did say there was a problem with a "transparency" and they had flattened it and it might come out looking slightly different.  That's a puzzlement!  I know I flattened the map in GIMP because the text and the lines on the map didn't show up until it was flattened.  Maybe they were referring to the t.p. drawing, which I didn't run through GIMP (I didn't do that on my earlier books, either.)  Anyway, I'm just ignoring that. I don't think there will be a problem.  The virtual proof looks fine.  I still think I'm going to publish without getting a printed proof.  Hope I won't be sorry.

       Here is one other problem I'll just mention today.  I found the following search phrase on my Stats:  "createspace justified text leaves big spaces."  I did address that problem in my first post on formatting.  See the section "Justification and Automatic Hyphenation." I had to do a lot of that with "War of the Stolen Mother" because it's impossible to divide a name like Di'fa'kro'mi.  It's not that there aren't syllables -- it's that dividing a word like this looks stupid:  Di'fa'-
       Furthermore, sometimes a word isn't included in Word's automatic division dictionary.  One of these words is "Remembrancer."  I must have manually divided "Remem-brancer" dozens of times.  If a word really is indivisible, all you can do is adjust the line lengths by moving down little words (like "in" or "to") at the ends of lines, or by just plain rewriting the paragraph.  It's amazing what you can achieve by changing "said Di'fa'kro'mi" to "Di'fa'kro'mi said"!

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