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Discussion in 'Tea Room (Book Chat)' started by CatInASuit, October 8, 2021.

  1. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    Just seen on one of the boards I tend to get pointed to for interesting fan fiction and noticed that one of the better (ok, one of the very best) pieces of Fanfiction was going to be printed.

    And now it seems the author is having trouble putting the work together and is possibly going to cancel it all.

    It's a real shame as it is a really good read. The fact it's a My Little Pony Fanfic has absolutely nothing to do with it, but shows that a good writer can do anything with a setting and make a great story from it.

    If you do get a chance the work is Tryptich and well worth the read. It's not a small work, but I'd recommend it.
  2. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    :((I was posting that in Writer's Lounge. :((

    How hard is ebook formatting on Lulu?::sick::
  3. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    We've done quite a bit of formatting for Amazon and for print as well.

    It's not generally difficult, but it can be tedious and when you're doing it for the first time, there are so many little things that you just don't think about, like where a page number goes, getting paragraph indents correct and so on.

    Lulu is POD so they will have a fixed template to use, you need to squeeze the book into. The hard part becomes when the words don't want to fit neatly.
  4. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    Culd you do it for her?::angelbook::
  5. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    I wouldn't even know where to get in touch, or even if the author would be interested.
  6. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    I don't have a fimfic account:down:. I just lurk::unsure::
  7. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Active Member

    I do have a fimfic account, but the site uses too much google for me. I can pass on a message if you'd like. How long would this take?
  8. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Active Member

    <modedit>Stuff</modedit> it, its quarter to eleven. Going to bed. Leave me dets, I'll relay them tomorrow.

    Mod Warning: Language! This is not The Dive.
    Last edited by a moderator: October 9, 2021
  9. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    According to the comments someone has sent an OpenOffice template which she is working through. If it works, then fine. Otherwise make the offer.

    Believe me, I know the desire to keep work out of third party hands, and it is always better to format your own if you can.
  10. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    How hard would it be to do::unsure::? Its 3 million words:(.
  11. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    Just realised I can't spell Triptych. ::rofl::

    3 million words is a lot. But once you have the initial formatting done, it becomes a matter of having a higher spec PC to be able to grind through it.
  12. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Active Member

    Message sent.
  13. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    In detail? Easy. Just time-consuming.

    Open Indesign or Publisher, etc.
    Set up template for the page.
    Stream 3 Million words into frame.
    Hit auto extend to generate a lot of pages.
    Go through, cut sections for chapters.
    Format chapter headings prettily.
    Insert any images.
    Insert pages ahead for frontmatter.
    Insert pages behind for read matter.
    Stream content into PDF/.eps format.
    Review to ensure formatting is correct and computer has not gone nuts.
    Send back to client.
    Client sends to their publisher.

    Skipping editing, proofing, spell-checking etc, because life is too short and that's not the formatter's problem.
    Cover? Photoshop, photoshop, photoshop (or PSP, Corel, but you get the idea).

    It just takes time.

    CIAS has fancy code ways of doing it. Being CIAS. And smug.

    ETA: And since @PuzzleRaven just messaged, if it was really hard, I'd be a bit late with this breakdown.
  14. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Active Member

    You know, if you offer free formatting you're going to get your hands bitten off by everyone?
  15. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    It was actually easier doing this sort of thing for Amazon which can use HTML. I had a lot of presets I could use to speed things up.

    Docs and PDFs are a little more difficult, but Lulu has templates to take a lot of the work out of getting it to the right size. The tedious work is going through page by page to make sure it all looks right. It's 500k words, which is a lot, but it would break down nicely in to 50-odd 10k chapters. If you are lucky you can do the lot in one go, otherwise you do each chapter separately and combine to one giant file afterwards.

    And yes, there should always be a final eyeball of the finished content just to make sure nothing has gone horribly wrong.
  16. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    If I start getting asked for lots of free formatting, I start asking for coffee and pizza deliveries ::coffee::
  17. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    That is why I don't.

    That should say 'convert', not 'stream'. I apologise.

    Trans-atlantic pizza deliveries probably cost more than paying for a formatting service.
  18. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    :baffled:I guess 3M was all the stories:baffled:. @tirial w/could you do this one? @PuzzleRaven, anything back? I have Discord, but I don't want to link my real-ID to my here-ID. :(
  19. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Both CIAS and I agree that, in this case, if we are asked, yes.

    It isn't a case of effort, it is simply having the right tools.

    It is always better if an author can do formatting themselves because that ability opens a lot of doors but, as there is a time limit and funding for future works on the line, this project is a rare exception.

    I sincerely hope she gets the templates she was sent working.
  20. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    I did check and I still have the tools to get formatted PDFs created.

    But, just to confirm what @tirial says, I'm not going to even approach this unless asked for and certainly not going to tread over any author's copyright without their express permission to do so.

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