For the most part, I can honestly say I love self-publishing. But as I clean up the first draft of Dying to Forget, I’m reminded again how much of a pain in the booty doing it all yourself can be. Formatting is just not fun for me. Not a little bit – not in any way.
Last year my laptop went to wherever laptops go when they die. For the sake of this post, you can totally pretend that Little Miss D is sitting on top of a cloud, looking down at me and waving her power cord in my direction while laughing, ‘Bwahahahaha…you will never find another laptop like me!’ Since then I’ve been using the hubby’s laptop for Photoshop (and my new little Acer for writing only) and because we don’t want to overwhelm it with all my previous writing stuff, we haven’t downloaded ALL the software programs I was using before. Like Word. I’m a creature of habit, and when hubby informed me that his laptop didn’t have Word, but I could download Libre Office for free, I nearly had a heart attack and died. Dead. Totally factual story.
To skip ahead, I did start using Libre and for the most part, it’s pretty much like Word. I’ve been satisfied. Welp, today while working on the formatting of the newer version of DtF, I realized that any corrections I made to the original document (previously done in Word) didn’t translate exactly in Libre. Like quotation marks. For the print version of this book, I want smart quotes. Basically the opposite of what Libre tossed up there for any of my quotation changes, which is the non-curly version. Totally fine for an ebook, but kind of ‘meh’ for print. OMG, people. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to fix this tiny issue. I mean, in Word, you just ‘select all’ and go into your Tools or wherever, and make the adjustment from one type to another. I remember doing it before, and once I figured out how to do it, it wasn’t hard. Um, this same function wasn’t easy to find in Libre. I had to Google just to find out WHERE this function was.
Tools > AutoCorrect Options > Localized Options > Single Quotes and/or Double Quotes/Default or U201B or U201C = Trish going WTF?
No doubt there’s an easy way to do this, but even after putting in the changes, I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t work for the whole manuscript. Nothing changed. Even after going online – again – and searching articles for the best way to switch all quotation marks to smart quotes in Libre, I was unable to do so. Which, BTW Libre, why can’t you just spell that option out instead of throwing up number codes to confuse the hell out of people who don’t speak ‘tech’ as their first language? Huh? Huh?
As apparently many other users have, according to my Google search, I ended up having to do the ‘find and replace’ option. For each damn quotation. For. Each. One. It took me over an hour to click through every highlighted quotation mark to make sure there weren’t some sneaky bastards in there that didn’t match the rest (actually there were only a few actual quote marks that needed to be changed and that took less than 15 minutes, and though none had to be changed, there were a buttload of commas to check, because the style was different. SO MANY COMMAS). An hour doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when your right hand, or more directly put – your right pointer finger, is consistently going click-click-click-click-click-pause-click-click for over 60 minutes, it’s maddening. And that was just to fix this one particular formatting issue. There be more. O.O
Little Miss D is laughing her keyboard off from atop that little cloud in the sky. I just know it.
My point? I’ve come to the conclusion that there are too many commas in my work. I’m a recovering Comma Whore addict, I admit. I’ve gotten SO much better. But I think my next book will either be one ginormous run-on sentence or a billion fragment sentences. Which do you prefer, Readers?
Commas – I don’t like you.
Formatting – I like you even less. Pretty much close to passionately hate.
Anyway, I need to take a break to feed the children before I hit up formatting in the doc again. First I must do hand exercises so my fingers don’t go into shock and just fall off in revolt.
‘Nope, we’re done. Take your business elsewhere.’ – Poor Fingers.
See, self-publishing isn’t all roses, people. Writing is only the beginning. It does take time – lots of it, and work – lots more of it. I suppose it’s my time to start outsourcing for these things. lol