Hey all, hopes this post finds you well. It inspires you and encourages you not to make the mistakes I did! 😉
I recently published my book Transcendence, and boy after putting out three books I thought nothing could ever surprise me! Guess what Transcendence did.
Usually, I write my books on Word (on Mac or PC) and use the same software until I get the final draft or even for updating my books. For some reason, when I began Transcendence a year ago, I started writing it in Pages. It’s an awesome software don’t get me wrong, but it’s always good to listen to it. Listen to the warnings it gives you.
So, when I finished the writing, I exported the book out into word. That sounds straightforward doesn’t it, well it isn’t! For instance, when I was exporting it gave me a warning that there were some formatting issues and I should fix them before I export the book. I ignored the warning and sent the book to my editor.
Surprise, Surprise, she came back to me after a few weeks and mentioned for the first time that there was an issue with formatting. When I checked the word document, I was shocked. All the curly quotation marks had changed to straight quotation marks. The apostrophes were of different font than the text, this led to differences in spaces between sentences. The editing was done, the formatting was a nightmare.
It was a horrifying for me. Now you would wonder why? Just go to the style manager and fix it. That was the issue, the style manager merged the two styles together. It was applying the two types of styles to different parts of the document.
I Googled high and low to fix this issue. The first solution was to replace the straight quotation marks with the curly ones. Tried it once, twice, three times! It didn’t work! Then I Googled some more. Modify the style they said. Okay. I went into the style manager, clicked and updated the styles. Nothing happened! The third thing I found that I should go in Style Manager, use the Style inspector and modify it from there so that the font and formatting is same throughout the document. No use!
I was terrified. Transcendence had preorders and people were waiting for it. I had to get the book ready. Yeah, I could have left the errors and hoped no one would notice. Here is the thing I would know! I would have noticed. And that was enough. Yes, I am a formatting junkie! It has to look good no matter what!
After two days of struggle, I did the one thing which I dreaded. Remove all the formatting and start from scratch. Actually, that took me less time because now I know a lot about formatting that when I first published Haunted. It took me another day, but finally the book was ready, and I submitted it to Amazon just ONE hour before the preorder deadline! Whew… that was a close.
Lesson, if you are using Pages use a very simple formatting or do not format at all until you are done. If possible, use Pages to publish your book and if you have designed it using this software, it’s better to continue with it. If you know you need a Word document to publish, then start in Word or if you want to use Pages do not do any formatting. Later on, export it to word and then begin the formatting/designing.
Hope this has served you all!
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