Gutterballs; Or, I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Edition Was In

No, not this:



After hearing back from Amazon’s KDP service that they didn’t normalize my margins to 0.5″ (I had set the interior margin, or gutter, to 0.75″ in the upload), I prepared a new interior file for them, this time with an 0.9″ gutter and an 0.35″ outer margin.  The above is a picture of a book printed with the new margins, which looks much more acceptable.  Getting out the trusty ruler and flattening the book out as much as I can want to, it appears that the gutter is now 0.75″, which is what I wanted originally.  My conclusion, based on an admittedly small sample size of three books, is that the KDP printing process is shaving off anywhere from 0.15″ to 0.25″ of the interior margin.  I can live with that variation, as long as nobody has to crack the spine to read the first word of each line.

I also made a slight modification to the wording on the back cover.  I actually did this before adjusting the gutter, but my original sample copy was generated before the new cover was processed:

The front and back covers do not, in fact, have the kind of color variation that it looks like in the pictures.  Interestingly, I took both pictures in the exact same spot, less than five minutes apart, so I’m going to blame this on the iPhone and whatever it does to process a picture after you take it.  For those who are keeping track, the front cover color is much more accurate than the back cover color.

While I’ve been waiting for print copies to arrive, I took a few days last week to do something that’s been on the agenda for a long time:  Reformatting my three old (circa 2008-2009) ebooks from Lulu from PDF into ePub, so they can be sold through the iBooks store, Kobo, etc.  After trying a few different applications that purport to convert PDF or HTML files directly to ePub — none of which worked — I bit the bullet and did it the hard right way, by loading the files into Scrivener, splitting them apart by chapter, and compiling them into ePubs.  Success!


ePubs! Including a former #1 Kindle UK fantasy novel!

And look, there’s the new one!  It’s only available for pre-order because I set the “on-sale” date of the ePub to 4/1/2017, when the KDP enrollment expires, but there it is!  Although … hmm … a couple of things seem to be missing …


Where are the two “Strings” books?  I don’t know!  They’re also through Ingram, just like Television Man, yet are not in the iBooks store.  They are, however, in Kobo, BN, etc.  So the first thing I’m trying is taking them off sale and putting them back on sale effective 1/22/2017 — sort of the self-publishing equivalent of CTRL-ALT-DELETE, I suppose.  And if that doesn’t work, I’ll be getting in touch with Ingram support.  Do I expect to sell many (or even any) books through the iBooks store?  Nope.  But I want them there nevertheless.  Because if there’s one thing we learned from Netflix, it’s that you can never be on too many platforms …

2 thoughts on “Gutterballs; Or, I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Edition Was In

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