Picture this. Sunday morning. Sun dapples our king size duvet. Silence reigns, until …
The author’s other half : ‘What are you thinking about, then?’
The author : ‘I’m thinking about templates in Word.’
I’m glad to say no divorce proceedings have been taken out – yet. But what prompted my bizarre preoccupation is a request from a member of Bristol Women Writers for help with publishing on Lulu, and the suggestion that a couple of us might deliver some kind of training session in a few weeks time.
It all seems simple enough: upload your MS to Lulu, click here, click there and hey presto, it’s a book! But formatting is key. And most of us do this in the kind of haphazard way that’s fine for churning out 300 pages of typescript, but will almost certainly fall down when constrained by the rigours of what is in effect typesetting. Lulu puts it in our own hands to be ‘published’ authors, but how many of us have the know-how to handle margins, gutters, page numbers and contents page, never mind the design skills?
Lulu provides templates of its own, but the one I tried out left a to be desired. I could provide one of my own, but wouldn’t it be better to teach others to do it for themselves? If they understand the concept, they are less likely to get stuck, and will be able to do a certain amount of trouble shooting. But how long will it take to teach the rudiments of styles to a dozen women with different ways of working and, most probably, different versions of Word?
I think this is the point at which I pulled the duvet back over my head. It was Sunday after all.
Apologies for this technobabble. Normal service will be resumed …