My Self Publishing Adventure #6

Having finally worked out where I was repeatedly going wrong with my paperback book cover, it was time to turn my attention to some of the other problems inherent in being a First Timer at this self publishing lark…

FACEBOOK POST BOOST

No doubt like you too, for ages I’d been getting emails from Facebook encouraging me to Boost one of my posts, which is code for Give Us Some Money, and as a result always ignored them. However, with The Fan Film Book Ebook now available, I thought I might as well give it a bash. 

A Post Boost isn’t the same thing as an actual Facebook Ad, but since Fbook were giving me a £5 credit I thought I might as well. The resultant boosted post video looked pretty grim to me and for the duration it ran, which was five days, it cost me the grand total of £2.34.

In terms of results it didn’t achieve much but it was a worthwhile experiment. It reached just over 1,400  Facebook Users who are into Doctor Who. Of those, about 1,250 engaged with the post, resulting in single figure page views and clicks. Disappointing? No, not really. Fan films are a pretty niche subject area within Fandom and Fan Studies so the low results didn’t come as much of a surprise.

And anyway, getting sales as a result isn’t what this is all about. It’s about getting a handle on things before The Big Fiction Project. And it didn’t cost me a penny!

Having figuratively dipped my toes into the murky, shark-infested waters of Advertising, at least now I’m prepped for doing a proper Facebook Ad at some point in the future once the paperback version has come out. Speaking of which…

PAPERBACK BOOK FORMATTING

If I thought getting the outside cover right was a world of pain, it’s been nothing compared to trying to sort out the inside text!

Remember all those hours I wasted trying to get the cover right? Well, you can at least double that when it comes to formatting the inside of the paperback!

The book was written in Scrivener and the Ebook was formatted directly inside Kindle Create. For the Paperback Version, Kindle Direct Publishing needs a PDF for your inner text. While Scrivener can give you a snazzy PDF that looks exactly the way you want your paperback to look in terms of layout and fonts and all that sort of stuff, it’s useless for KDPEvery time I tried to format the inner text file, KDP rejected it for being the wrong size.

One of the things you need to do when moving from your initial Ebook to the Paperback Version is to choose your Trim Size. This is the actual size your physical book will be when it’s printed. The plan for the paperback was, and still is if I can get it to work, to put it out as a 5×8, as that’s the same size as Sell Your Self!. I like the idea of them being the same size when sat next to each other on my bookshelf as I’m a bit OCD when it comes to that sort of thing. But, unlike the Mac Version, Scrivener For Windows doesn’t let you select a size for your exported file. Thanks, Scrivener.  

Heading over to YouTube was a waste of time, as every video I found was from a Mac User. Being a PC User sometimes feels like you’re a second class citizen, especially if you’re a Scrivener-er… Hopefully it’s one of the things that’ll be fixed in the long-promised-but-still-not-here-yet Version 3 Update. I tried using a Mac when I was at Uni and didn’t like them at all, so buying one isn’t an option.

On the upside, my fruitless online trawl for help did yield one positive result.

Like Dave Chesson’s Kindlepreneur Ads Course, Reedsy Book Editor was something I’d signed up for ages ago, started using, then forgot all about. A quick check revealed that, like Scrivener For Mac, they do let you choose the trim size. So I flung a couple of chapters into RBE, exported the resultant PDF at a 5×8 size and loaded that into KDP.

The result was that, for the first time ever, the text fitted perfectly. Hooray! However…

The downside is that the fonts are generic instead of specific and it doesn’t allow you much freedom or flexibility when it comes to what you can include in your Front Matter. So out of the three options for formatting a paperback I’ve tried so far, none of them, Kindle Direct Publishing, Draft To Digital or Reedsy Book Editor, have given me a paperback book that looks the way I want it to look.

Which means I’ve got some tough choices to make over the next few days & weeks and a lot of head scratching to do…

But I’m still not buying a Mac!

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