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Paperback copy problems

Toby Frost

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I've been trying to convert my manuscript (currently in Word) into the format used to make paper copies. Copying and pasting it into Amazon's template leads to odd gaps appearing at the bottom of a lot of pages. They don't seem to be related to the existing formatting.

Does anyone know why this happens, and what can be done to prevent them? Thanks!
 

reiver33

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If I remember correctly I reformatted in Word to match the print page size before bringing in in - if only so the index page numbers were correct
 

Toby Frost

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I am having endless problems with this. I've followed their instructions and it's going nowhere. I'm going to try again - I might end up finding someone who can do it for me and paying them. This is going to take longer than I thought. Very disappointing.
 

HareBrain

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Toby, if you're using a Word file, part of the issue might be if you're not using Styles to format it. (I've found when uploading un-styled Word docs to Kindle that the formatting of paragraph indents etc can look essentially random.)
 

Brian G Turner

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Alternatively, if using Word, save your MS as a PDF file, and then upload that as the paperback source file - that way you should be able to get around CSS Styling issues.

Do make sure that your Word doc is formatted to the correct paperback size, though!
 

tinkerdan

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I haven't yet used amazon since I was using CreateSpace however I'm hoping it is all the same.
I always use word files and I format them to the page size that I'm requesting and generally have been able to format them the way I find easiest to create a proper header and footer and chapter headings and such.
I've never had trouble with format errors; so once again I hope that their interface is similar to that used in CreateSpace.

I used the same word file to create the kindle edition with amazon and once again that didn't create any format errors. ( Of course to confirm that you have to go through the whole book for each the kindle edition and the paper edition.) I sometimes wonder when finding gross errors in kindle books if those authors check the edition after publishing.

You should probably use their suggested formatting and margins when you can. I admit that the last one I did went outside their suggestions because they are a bit over conservative and that tends to create more pages than necessary.

I would almost guess that you have either missed something in their suggested format guidelines or you have the wrong page size formatted for the end book size you chose. However I won't really know that until I do the next book through Amazon.

Good luck with it. And as mentioned an alternative is to do the pdf file and see how that works. You will still have to be formatted to the page size you chose or things won't work out quite right.

I've been trying to convert my manuscript (currently in Word) into the format used to make paper copies. Copying and pasting it into Amazon's template leads to odd gaps appearing at the bottom of a lot of pages. They don't seem to be related to the existing formatting.

Does anyone know why this happens, and what can be done to prevent them? Thanks!
Oh: also if you are pasting into the template then you might want to check the styles they have used because there is an option that can be checked that requires keeping a paragraph together--not allowing breaking it up from one page to the next--and I would almost bet that that is set for some reason in that template.
I never use the template, I just change my current document to match their formatting.

I use styles: however I keep them simple. There is one style for all paragraphs and then I alter the first paragraph for no intent as a new style. That way I can alter all the first paragraphs at the same time and the indented paragraph I can alter separately. There might be a few other styles for the front and back material; however I try to stick to the initial two when working on things--the fewer styles used the better.

Also it is best to try to limit font sizes to two or three. Front pages(aka titles) might be the largest font and the chapters the next and the paragraphs the smallest font. Limit font types or styles to one or two for the cleanest results.
 
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Toby Frost

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Thanks guys. I shall have another go this evening! I'll let you know how it goes!
 

Toby Frost

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I still have had no success with this. If anyone knows anybody who I could pay to do this, please let me know. I think it's beyond my computing abilities.
 

tinkerdan

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After looking at the template Amazon has::
If you are using the template with sample content and if you are copying and pasting a document from a previous document of your own that is in word and contains it's own formatting initially and you are not careful about making sure you understand the formatting used in the template which contains some odd formatting in the headers and footers; then what you get in your resulting document might have some pot luck result with styles.
If you are using the blank template the chances of random errors goes down.
I would look at the formatting style in the template and then review your own formatting styles in the original.
Then look at the result you have in the copy pasted paragraphs. The answer might lie in styles and how they copy into the document.

Also they use section breaks between paragraphs and specific rules for how the headers are populated that could have an effect.

There are also the front material and back material pages that you don't want to get your body text confused into or you might be getting pages that are centered oddly.
 
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Good luck! I had so many issues with trying to format mine, and then made my head spin with all the research on how to do it, that I simply gave up and hired a freelance formatter. Maybe someday I'll figure out how to do it myself, but I've been using Open Office and found it doesn't have some very important features that Word does (like embedding your fonts).
 

tinkerdan

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Because I was so close already to setup a new paperback I ran my docx file through the process and used all my own formatting and it went through without a hitch. Looks exactly as I expect. For the cover I do my own design and add own lettering into the final after downloading their template and using the guidelines for bleed and extra keep-out areas around the edge and on the spine. That worked also on the first try. I ordered some proofs and those will be on the way as soon as they set things up and notify me.

That way I can verify that they will be printed as I see them in the reviewer.

My advice would be to use your own files and styles and reformat the page margins to the example because I did find out by experimentation that copy and paste doesn't always manage the styles properly and I'm pretty sure that's the problem here. I could send you an example of my file; however you would have to turn on display of the section dividers and you would have to check the formatting of the header and footer to get an idea for how things work.
 

Brian G Turner

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@Toby Frost - make sure your Word document is set up with the correct size for your paperback and margins as required (I can post images to help with this if you haven't already covered this).

Then in Word go to Save As > PDF and save as a new file.

When in Amazon KDP, upload that PDF where it asks for you to submit manuscript.

Because it's in PDF, it should preserve all your formatting.

Hope that helps, but if you're struggling on any specifics, please do ask if you think I may be able to help. :)
 

Toby Frost

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Hi there, thanks guys - I think this is in hand at the moment (just about). I had a "know your limits" moment and paid someone to do it for me! However, this is a useful thread and has been very helpful. Much appreciated.
 

tinkerdan

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This is helpful advice::
@Toby Frost - make sure your Word document is set up with the correct size for your paperback and margins as required (I can post images to help with this if you haven't already covered this).

Then in Word go to Save As > PDF and save as a new file.

When in Amazon KDP, upload that PDF where it asks for you to submit manuscript.

Because it's in PDF, it should preserve all your formatting.

Hope that helps, but if you're struggling on any specifics, please do ask if you think I may be able to help.
However I would like to add that I just received my proof copy and it is exactly as it looked in word, though what I did was submit the .docx file(not a PDF)and that worked just fine for both KDP and CreateSpace.
Also I use my own margins base on the minimums listed on the Amazon KDP website rather than those in the template files.

KDP_PRINT_BOOK_CONVERTED_COVER_THUMBNAIL_100.png

This is how the cover turned out except the proof copy has a watermark that says not for resale. And I just have to read through to make sure I haven't missed any glaring grammatical problems. I'm half way through and so far everything is exactly how it appeared in word-so I'm happy.
 
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