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KICKED IN THE HEAD BY A FOOTER

KICKED IN THE HEAD BY A FOOTER

I’ve read a ton of articles on self-publishing since I decided to join in the fun and games a few years ago with my first book, Crossing The Line. Now the sequel’s in progress, but it’s slow going since I’ve had to start a rewrite on the second half after losing the content. 

In the meantime I’ve finally finished the Alaska book – Coffee-Drunk or Blind. Proof is ordered and on its way! 

Oh this will be easy I tried to convince myself as I sat at my desk. I’ve already done it once. How soon we forget…

Self-publishing is not the easiest of tasks. Maybe because I’m not as technology-wise as it takes. There is a learning curve on each step, and apparently, I didn’t retain that information the first time around. 

It seems the more you edit, the more you need to edit. Especially, after you insert your manuscript into the createspace template on MS Word. 

Headers and footers in the interior jump wildly and sometimes disappear altogether when you fix an error, or two, or three. Let’s face it. There were many errors that were more obvious in this view. 

That’s easy I think as I start adding back a header,  which then also adds said header to a page it shouldn’t be on. This happens when you forget to unlink your sections. 

That’s another issue. Adding and deleting sections were a nightmare but it had to be done. That’s when my page numbers went wonky. So now the never-ending task of numbering pages correctly began. 

Getting to the end of the template, my heart rate increases as I’m assuming I am finally near the finish line. One more time, to be safe, I start at the top to make sure pages, chapters, numbers and headings are all in order. 

What!? I blink. There it is, about one third through, on page 155. There’s a header where no header should tread, plus it’s on the wrong side of the template! This page should actually be blank with no header or footer. 

So the process starts over again, and again, and again. Yes folks, I fought with this for about two weeks. I would think the file was corrected and submit the interior for review, and then find a mistake in the online interior reviewer. After four long processes, I finally was satisfied with the interior. 

Then I got the wild idea of adding pictures to the content. After all, a true story of homesteading in Alaska, decades ago, deserves pictures, no matter how poor the quality is. I had already submitted my book cover after weeks of playing around with it, and it had passed on the online reviewer, so I was pretty sure interior pictures could pass the inspection too. 

Of course you know – or maybe you don’t – your book cover template has to fit the total pages of the book so the spine will be the correct size. I really didn’t want to have go through another book cover process! Did I have enough blank space to add pictures without adding extra pages? Hmmm…

After researching extensively, how this process is done, and after four or five edits, I finally got all my pictures inserted into the original page number interior file. Don’t ask me how I managed that! 

Those headers and footers will be the death of me. My headstone will read, “Kicked in the head by a footer”.

So now what? I submitted the interior and cover for review and after 12 hours of impatiently waiting, once again, Coffee-Drunk or Blind was ready to be inspected in the online file reviewer. 

All looked fine as best as I could see in an online copy. The very best way to make sure your book is as you want it to be is to order a proof copy. This will put the actual book as it will be published – if I ok it – into my hands. 

‘In transient’ is all I know. This week it should show up in my mailbox and hopefully the cover looks as good in book form as it does on the computer screen. The interior file I can deal with. I just don’t want to have to alter the cover. 


Don’t let anyone ever tell you self-publishing is a piece-of-cake. It’s not. The process is both torturing and exillerating as a friend commented to me on Facebook. 

I’m not out of the woods yet, but yes,  I’d do it again

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

12 responses »

  1. Congratulations on getting to this stage! Bummer about losing content but you’ve made it through and keep up the fight towards publishing! X

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  2. MS Word will keep header/footer formatting exactly as you want them regardless of page content. And using section breaks throughout the document allows different header/footers between chapters. Plus adding a table of contents at the beginning and an index of key words at the end is a snap.

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    • Well you are a lot smarter than I am Jerry, or you know just where to put those section breaks so your headers and footers will remain just as you want them. I did finally get the knack of adding and subtracting on the pages I needed to add or subtract on. I didn’t want to add more pages because I didn’t want to have to remake my book cover to accommodate them. Here’s hoping it all lined up correctly! Waiting patiently…

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  3. Elle, after reading your incomplete blow-by-blow foray into self-publishing, I’ve come away feeling grateful that I’ve never managed to create anything worthy of a book. Otherwise, I feel practically certain I could never complete the journey, and would probably take my chances braving the wilds of Alaska, instead. On the other hand, I feel many of your readers are going to be thrilled that you’re not me (not to mention you as well), and are looking forward to the release of Coffee-Drunk or Blind. 😀

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  4. Perhaps an investment in Scrivener, would be an idea? I haven’t used it enough to say definitively, yet it is a wonderful organizational tool. … No need to reply, Elle. Good luck with all that. How s the sewing going? Cheers Jamie

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  5. I’m heading towards that stage myself and kind of dreading it. But with a pioneering spirit and perseverance you managed it, so despite the pain, you give me encouragement! Thanks, Elle.

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