Tag Archives: writer’s workload

Three projects, one day, 24 hours: progress

Five to 9…what is that? A sixteen-hour day? And I’m knocking off early: normally would work till 11 p.m.

LOL! Back when I was a working stiff in the magazine industry, one of my editors used to say that freelance writing was grand because it allowed you to pick your work hours: any 18 hours of the day you please!

With the teaching antics temporarily in abeyance, several whole days have presented themselves for productive work.

And lacking too many interruptions, I’ve been able to do a little on each of the three projects in hand: Writing a new (more or less erotic) novel (shaping up to be a romance!); building a prospectus for the nonfiction Boob Book coping with decisions women have to make when confronted with a breast diagnosis); putting the completed Fire-Rider novel online in serialized form.

So: yesterday I wrote one of the appendices for the Boob Book: how to read a scientific paper. Next segment: a chapter on the screening controversies. Wrote a little on the new book. And spent several hours fiddling with the new template I hope to use for the 19 serial novelettes.

Half of today was consumed with a business meeting and a doctor’s appointment 25 miles from home: lots of time disappeared there. But between 5 and 6:30 ayem, I did squeeze in a paragraph or two of the new-old novel.

Later, back at the Funny Farm: it was back to the project of fitting Slave Labor into the proposed print-on-demand template. And ta-da! by the time the sun had been down an hour or two, the whole (little) book was pasted into the template, formatted in styles, and saved as a PDF.

The result is not bad. Not great, but not bad. It’s marginally professional. The problem is, of course, is that no matter how carefully you choose your fonts, Word is not quite up for the job of typesetting. BUT…for the purpose of cranking 5000-word penny-dreadfuls — many of them scribbled on order by flunkies willing to write erotica at an astonishing 2 cents a word  (!!!!!) — perfection is not a requisite.

Without Adobe Acrobat Pro (which I can’t afford), you can’t generate crop lines, so the PDF doesn’t make it obvious that the template is for a 5.5 x 8.5 trim size.

Joel Friedlander, the guy who cooked up this clever scheme, insists that many PoD printers can handle PDFs that have no crop lines. I’ll believe that when I see it. But if forced to it, probably my sidekick can extract a copy of Pro from her employer, the Chinese government, or the guys down at the FedEx shop will have it. One is never without resources.

Friedlander also has a cover design template, of all the astonishing things. You enter your image on the righthand side, figure and adjust the spine width, and enter your back cover copy on the left, in text boxes. Et voilà!

He proposes that one get an image sized to wrap all the way around, and in a video shows how to do that. Very nice, but I have a front cover image that I’ve already paid generously for, and it ain’t going away. So I figure either to leave cover 4 white, or to fill the spine and back cover with a color compatible with the dominant color scheme in the present design.

It’s going to be extremely interesting to see if this works. They say with the new digital PoD printers, which really are glorified computer printers with some capacity to perfect-bind whatever comes out, open all sorts of doors.

And now…I’m done in!