Friday, 29 July 2016

Author Problems: Word Formatting Part One

So I use styles/headings to do my chapters as they have actual names otherwise I prefer to format font a spacing and all that manually it makes it easier to transfer files when all that hidden formatting isn't there. Way less glitches.

First thing to note the only automatic formatting I use is auto tabs. Ebooks don't like them and to all first-time authors, it's a bitch removing many tabs. Don't hit the tab button. Just don't. 200 pages of deleting tabs is painful.

So autotabs set. Going on my way and book is finished, looking beautiful. Create auto table of contents and yes now I can edit, edit and edit. So here I am, ebook separately formatted, I make my own links cause you never know who's system will hate the autoformatting, refer to first paragraph. So back to original file and... ugh all the hyperlinks I made are blue. I like to link all my chapter heads back to the TOC which saves stress when I eliminate the headers to do the manual TOC for the ebook cause I don't have to do it twice.

I'm here changing chapter titles black but in my pdf that I just glance at during the process I'm thinking having the title and author name mirrored on the outside margins just sucks. So I go in to sort this mess out and centre them. Now up to this point my only issue is blue prints a faded black in black and white so this is why I'm changing my links from the blue to black. So moving along I make pdf to check there are no hidden pages are in there. That's a story all on its own. And hmm... Why aren't some of my headers perfectly centred with my chapter heads?

Goes back to word file. Everything is centred. Without the headers the chapters are clearly centred over the text. Looking at the headers without the chapter heads they are also clearly centred with the text.

How the fuck is this even possible when they don't align with eachother when they are on the page together. Furthermore, why is the title header 'brothers and frenemies' perfect but none of the author name headers or the actual chapter heads? 

Sigh, I download a pdf editor, that fails. And I refuse to pay for one so I'm deleting it off my hard drive. I go through every page set up function and there I find the answer at long last. Apparently word, and no I did not do this, somehow magically decided that my chapter heads wanted to be at the auto tab mark so it centred itself in accordance to that, and not the actual page width. Thus making it appear it was directly centred with the page. Sigh.

I test said theory out on one chapter head and the actual author header is now even more eschew. Hmmm I click in the header go to paragraph set up and it's also at auto tab length. Okay this makes no sense. Word infusing my indents into my style chapter headings is one thing, they have their own separate independent functions so this shouldn't happen, but the actual page headers.

In order to get them the way they are I had to make section breaks and different first pages and different odd and even headers and do not link to previous sections while also continuing page numbers from the sections I'm not linking to so they are the right number all on their own without me having to say start at this number for every section. (well that's a wordy sentence if I do say so.) This is how disastrously hard it is to work with word headers and, just so you know, none of this affects the main document that's how independently they work from the main text. That being said there isn't a snowball's chance in hell I would go into the paragraph function and tell only my odd page headers that I want them to have an auto tab of 1.27 thus throwing my header of a bit and making it all the more confusing why some chapter heads and headers don't line up.

This is what you have to deal with with word. Headers that there is no 'delete header/footer text from this page only' function. Nope you delete one and they all up and go the fuck away. Different odd and even page headers well only half go away. Section break. Now you gotta unlink on the right pages in the section to ensure when you delete a page number or header or footer, nothing in the section before it, or after it also dissapears. Need an extra page word will sometimes do an auto odd page start so even if you remove a pagebreak you think is causing said blank page, uncheck everything in formating and the continue page counting while doing all of this and this mystery invisible page will still be there even when everything checks to no. And it throws of page count and auto adjust to this fake real page count should you try to fix a header or footer. There's nothing worse than clicking on pages and it goes, 1,2,3, 5 and there is no page break to speak of and none of the functions check to say start on odd number so why is word deciding it wants to skip a page and how do you delete a page that does not exist. 

Quite simply word is a challange in the patience and the tenacity of an indie author who has zero dollars to be paying someone to do all this shit for them. Honestly would it be too difficult to have functions work independently of each other so I can go in delete and move and do it all without having to find out how to stop it from auto creating stuff. Even when I'm in the normal mode and doing ALL of my own creating. Word still manages to decide something needs to be somewhere and I then have to turn into a google super sleuth to find work arounds.

Case and point word sucks. I cant afford to be getting something like Adobe just for like one book every so often or another learning curve after all this word bulshit. And I know that nomatter how much I bitch and complain it will NEVER get fixed. So whatever. I will continue to fight with invisible page breaks, headers that update on all 300 plus pages which also forcess me to deal with section breaks. Having to get rid of that annoying function that forces lines on to the next page when there's space. Why would I want this. I need my text to go all the way to the header and all the way to the footer and if i think it's too close to the page number or header text i'm perfectly capable of moving my own damn margins.

It's kinda how I feel about facebook. No I do not want to boost this post and I know how to do it if I choose to. No i don't want to share this memory, no I don't want to upload every fucking photo on my phone everytime I post something from my phone. This is why I don't have the auto upload fucntion on in the first place. And I'm really over the adds popping up for all the things I search. I'm kinda getting in the habbit of searching everything incognito so facebook will stop bullying me into making purchases based on my alleged private data that they are clearly sharing no matter what privacy functions I have up.

So there you are. A day in the life of an author. And this is just one problem. So to everyone that gets all bitchy about book prices I am here to tell you that it takes more than a regular nine to five and most of it is painful agonising and almost never works out untill the one millionth try and none of this stress even begins untill after the months of no sleep typing and then the months again of no sleep editing and then all of this technical bulshit you try to sort out before publishing and you still even after pulishing keep finding shit that you know the assholes of the world will find big enough to say self published authors suck ass that you just have to fix. (my wordiest sentence yet. I may have broke some sorta record.)

So yeah my book is going to be 2.99 after it goes live so gett it while its 99cents still. Its actually worth 4.99 but you gotta play the game with all the people who think authors arent worth their weight in gold. Hell all artist in general. And thats that. Man vrs MSword. Man for the win. And This is my forth one. Sucker for punishment. Yes. So much yes.


  1. Yes I feel your pain! I would say the best advice on how to format for E-book came from the Smashwords style guide. I suggest check it out - its free in the how to section. And I will admit for my first book (which I had to pull for editing because I did not have an editor and I suck at it) I paid 60$ to Elaunch (if you want the link let me know. They fixed it for me in 12 hrs and I was up and running - easy peasy. Now to sell and market and all the other work - yuppers it's harder than the day job. I do it because I love writing and hope to someday be able to afford to stay home and do it full-time. Til then I do it for me really. Of course now my credit cards are maxed so no more buying books at any price, I'll add you to my must read list and in a few months you can expect a review from me :) I hope you find your peace in writing and stick with it. Til then - GoodLuck

    1. I do. Actually ebooks are the easy stuff. Remove all formatting and go bit by bit. Making the hard copy interior look like a professional book is where all the trouble comes. Sigh. Without the headings and little details it kinda just looks like a plane word file. Sigh. Word really needs to sort that out. The best part of my formatting process is removing all the junk for the hard copy and just making some hyper links and bookmarks for the eBook. Takes a whole day but at least I know I don't have to worry about any imaginary invisible auto word just like to be difficult functions getting in the way :)

      And thanks. I need all the luck I can get.

    2. side note i may have chuckled a bit at max out cards. I'm so there with adds and stuff. I am surprised I can still feed myself lol.

    3. I hear that to, currently I make about 14$ a month in books sales hahaha I'm on a roll!