Friday, December 31, 2010

The End of the Matter.

--the initial layout of 'The Case of the Curious Killers.' Page one, chapter one.

by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

This morning I started formatting my file for Publishing On Demand at, and perhaps other platforms. The Open Office 3.2 program seemed easy enough at first, and after a previous experience, where it literally took eight to ten hours to learn how to format book page numbers using Word, to properly number the pages in two hours seemed good. The left page has the number on the left bottom corner and the right page has the number in the right bottom corner. (In or on?)

The program is Open Office 3.2, a free download. The problem arises when I think that I need to have 'end matter' at the 'end' of the book. I guess I could simply have, 'The End,' and that's fine--but only if the very next page is the inside rear cover of the book, which is never the case in a real book.

The problem is a simple one. I want to end the text, on page 464. Then I want two blank pages, and a short bio, a pic and a URL. Then I need another blank page, (the 'reverse' of that one,) and then and only then should we be looking at the inner back cover. (Arguably there are books with many blanks front and rear, but I'm keeping it simple.)

I have several pages not numbered in the front of the book, 464 pages of text, and then for whatever reason I cannot start a new section with no numbers.

The help pages do not seem to cover this issue, although there are a number of ways to do the first section.

For some reason I seem to recall that Lulu or Wordclay or somebody out there 'inserts an appropriate number of blank pages' in order to make up the proper printing format. (I'm not sure if that's the right word, but a sheet of paper cannot be sliced in half thin-wise and have 'no page' on the other side...right?)

A blank sheet is two blank pages...right?

The simple solution may be to simply write, 'The End,' and then that is in fact the last page. Honestly, if I can find that reference to 'inserting blank end matter pages,' at Lulu or somewhere, then I can put my picture on the back. But the back should have a 200-word blurb describing the book and its characters. With an ISBN, a barcode, a URL and my picture, it gets a little crowded. (I would be more than happy to sacrifice the picture, but this is 2011.)

In some books, there is an author blurb just inside the book, on the first page.

(Asimov, 'The Martian Way,' Grafton Books, 1965, as well as Dick Francis, 'The Danger,' Pan, 1983.)

Maybe I could try formatting for a new section using the old i, ii, iii, sort of numbering, but it still isn't right. That belongs in a more academic sort of work.

It is possible to try Adobe Digital Editions, and learn how to embed fonts. It's just more time, right? The problem is if I run into a snag with that one as well.

Maybe I'm making a big thing out of nothing, but it seems important.

Sorry, I almost forgot. I'm still looking for a rear cover image. Stars, or something, maybe some ringed planet or something.


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