You all know I'm trying to self-publish. This is a thing at least a dozen of my author friends have done, so it shouldn't be that hard.
Enter the Turtle.
I am not an autodidact (self-teacher). Thank you, Katherine Coble for an introduction to that word. I am a teacher. I would rather teach a man to fish than fish for him, but everything I know I learned from a teacher somewhere in my life. I don't forge new paths. I don't test every button or option in a program to see what it does. I don't fiddle with every setting because I can't remember how to replicate those results. I follow the manual.
Grace taught me the margins that have worked for her in the 28 (?) books she has published in the last six years. I discovered my ancient Word program doesn't convert to PDF specs that CreateSpace wants. I could just keep sending huge files to all my friends to convert for me, but I don't want to do that for the rest of my publishing life. I found a Friend who helped me find LibreOffice, free software that does convert to CreateSpace specs. Fabulous.
New hurdle: the LibreOffice converted files add 8 pages to the finished CreateSpace project and I can't figure out why, how, or if it matters. It does matter a bit because it makes the book bigger, which affects cost and cover size (a whole other learning curve). Are eight pages that big a deal? Not necessarily, but before I just sigh and accept, I'd kinda like to know what I'm doing or not doing that's causing it.
I'm not suicidally frustrated, like I was when Star of Justice was being prepared. The benefit of total control is I can walk away and sling mulch if I need to. But I really thought this would be easier - the number one cause of conflict in life, by the way: false expectations.
I'm going to keep trying, like Edison with his light bulb, and tonight I'll convert and upload the 18th (at least) attempt in the last six days to CreateSpace. Eventually, by accident, I'll stumble on the right magical formula to please the Machine Overlords, and with my newly acquired experience points, I'll move on in the Publishing level of the writing game I call The Swamp.
On a more satisfying note, God finally provided a dump truck load of free wood chippings on my lawn, so I have plenty of mulch to sling when it all gets too be too much.
Keep the faith.