Header and Page Number Issues in OOo Resolved

Yesterday I posed a question about header and page number issues in OpenOffice.org. How will I be able to add page numbers for book, but starting on chapter 1?  Also, how will I be able to add headers to the top of the pages that will allow me to add the author name and book name, without having that on the same page of each chapter?

The problem that I am having is that I am using OpenOffice because it’s free.  I can’t afford Microsoft Office so I’m using an alternative.  Unfortunately, my alternative isn’t helping me when I need it.  Oh sure I was able to type out my book, but when it comes to headers and page numbers I can’t figure it out.

I am using CreateSpace to publish my book in paper book format.  In order for me to do so, I have to format my document file for 5″ x 8″ and I must have headers and so on.  They have a very good template and I wanted to use that but I also wanted to figure it out on my own, or at least get some help which I never got.  I decided today that I would use the template and see how that would work and it’s working fine for me.

Then my next obstacle was that this template only has 10 chapters, my book has 41, so I will have to find a way to add more chapters and I did.  Copy and Paste.  I just copied the first 10 chapters and pasted them, then copied one final chapter and pasted that too and all of the formatting pasted as well.

But, now I face another issues, I can’t save my file because that removes the formatting lol.  The only way to do it is to just do it all in one day without saving anything.  I just have to copy and paste all 41 chapters one at a time, then when I am finished, save the whole thing as a PDF file.

I was hoping to have it ready to publish this Friday, but not making any promises, and unfortunately it’s probably going to take a few more days after that.  Hopefully next week, but again, no promises.  I am just waiting for feedback from people who are reading it is all.  I also want to publish some quotes from a couple of people who are writers who I sent the book to.

So here’s to next week, cheers!

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Header and Page Issues in OOo

I am still waiting for my book to return to me with highlights on what needs to be fixed so it’s not really ready to publish.  I have been working on learning how to do headers and page numbers for the paper book.  I am using OpenOffice.org and I know how to do headers, in fact on one page it says my name, and on the other it says the title of the book.  The problem is, I don’t want that to start until the first chapter and I don’t want that to be on the first page of each chapter.  Open a book, you will see what I mean.

I am also having trouble with the page numbers issue.  I mean, I can deal with not having i ii iii iv… etc, before the first chapter, I can have those as numbers, but I’d like to not have the page number on the dedication page and the copyright page.

I can write a book, I just can’t figure out the styles and formatting lol.  It’s very frustrating.  I would love some help if someone can reply to this because I don’t want to publish my book if it doesn’t look right, you know?  I would love it if CreateSpace would add the numbers and headers, but they don’t so I have to deal with all of that bs.  UGH!

*steps down from my soapbox now*

Final Edit Of My Book

My book is nearly completed.  I have finally finished editing it but I have to read it one last time to make absolutely sure that it is right before I publish it.  While I was editing chapter 40, it occurred to me that I may have left something out of chapter 20.  I went back and as I was reading a few paragraphs to find where I needed to add, I found 4 errors.  That means that I am not completely finished.

It only took me 2 months to write it, but it has taken me 4 more months to edit it.  I never knew that writing a book was so difficult.  It really makes me appreciate the hard work that writers and editors do.  I am constantly remembering things that I want to add, discovering discrepancies, spelling, grammar errors and redundancy.  Writing is hard ya’ll!  LOL.

I had a good laugh today because when I finished editing the book, I had lost 15 pages from the ODT (OpenOffice) file.  It was originally 182 pages and now it’s 167.  The epub file on my Book had 289 pages, but edited it has 302.  It doesn’t make any sense to me that I lost 15 pages in the ODT file, but gained 13 in the epub file.

What happened to all of those page numbers is that I had too many paragraphs because I split too many thoughts up.  I combined the paragraphs which made me lose pages.  I also deleted a ton of things, but then I also added some things which gave me 5000 more words.  I think that was why I gained 13 pages in the epub file.

My cover is finished and I have shared it with a few people to get some opinions.  So far I haven’t had too many complaints.  It was my 4th or 5th cover design job.  I liked the first couple of covers, but none of them really stood out as much as the final cover does.  I am really happy with it and that is all that matters.

I uploaded the epub file so that I could read it one last time on my Nook.  I hope I don’t find any errors, but if I do, I can jump on the computer and find where they are and fix them.  I have never read one book so many times on a white screen until now and it’s killing my eyes.

I have spent a lot of time on this book and have started feeling bad for my family because of how I talk about them.  But then I look at a picture of my step-dad and realize, I’m writing this because of him.  He never cared enough about me to stop beating me, or enough to not hurt my feelings with his words every day my whole life, so why should I give a rats ass about his feelings?  The arrogant nasty look on his face in all of his pictures is all the motivation I need to keep going.

I didn’t just write this because of him, I wrote it because I want to show what life was/is like for gay people.  What bullying does to gay children, whether it’s the parents doing the bullying, or the children in school or both at the same time.  I want to share my first hand experiences and give a message to the gay teens that it gets better.  I hope that it opens eyes and helps someone who may need advice on how to cope with it.

Anyway, the book will be published after Christmas this year so stay tuned for the blog post announcing it.

Thank you for reading.

eBook Conversion and Creation Made Simple

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to fix the James Potter fan books for my Nook. The James Potter Series of fan books by Norman Lippert based on the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series are only downloadable in PDF format from the website.

So what needs fixed? If I try to read a PDF file on my Nook, it turns whatever page that has an image into an image itself making it unreadable.

How can I fix this that will be less work for me? That has been the question on my mind for days and I finally figured it out tonight.

First I used Calibre to convert the PDF file to ePub file for Nook. Then I went into Sigil, I opened the ePub file that Calibre created.

Here is the tricky part that I didn’t understand at first. What I had to do was find the Prologue page, highlight the word Prologue then made it Header 2 and same with all the chapters. That will help the e-book reader find where the chapters are to create a table of contents.

The first letter of the first paragraph of the Prologue page and every chapter thereafter is missing. Why? Because in the PDF file that letter is bigger than all the rest so when Calibre converted the PDF file to ePub it lost those letters.  I had to figure out what the letter was then type it in.

Page numbers are all over the entire document which means I had to click Edit then Find and type in the first number (1) and find it then I could either replace it with nothing or when it found the number I could click it and delete it manually. Then 2, then 3, etc. Sometimes the number would be mixed in a paragraph and the rest of the paragraph was down on the next line so I had to bring it up.

Yes, it’s a huge pain in my rear but I really want to read these books.

There are a lot of .xhtml files so what I’ve done is when there is a new chapter I click the Sigil logo which is the create chapter button which basically creates a new .xhtml page. The previous page that I had just edited all the numbers out of is now its own chapter in its own file so I renamed that file to Prologue.xhtml. This makes it easier for me to go back to each chapter if I need to edit them further.

This is a painstaking process and it has taken me a couple of hours just to do 10 chapters and I have several more chapters to do tomorrow but I am willing to put in the work to get this done because I really want to read these books. It’s just too bad that the author of these great fan based novels didn’t think to create a file for every persons needs for e-book readers. .ePub is the most common e-book file there is, much easier than a PDF file. I mean seriously, who wants to stare into their LCD screen for hours reading an e-book?

I seriously hope that these books are worth the effort I’m putting into them.

Another thing about editing an e-book is that I didn’t know how to create a chapter that didn’t start with the word “Chapter”, I thought it HAD to have the word Chapter but apparently it doesn’t because these chapters don’t. Also the Prologue page isn’t called Chapter and now it shows up in the table of contents in the Nook for PC program.

So, I have a ton of work ahead of me tomorrow to get the rest of the first James Potter novel converted to .ePub so that I can read it.

This also helps me with my own e-book that I am writing. I wasn’t sure how to create the chapters and now that I have this new information I can do it without any issue and actually I think I might just write the darn thing in Sigil instead of using MS Word. I think it will make it so much easier to write.

I can also now write my Cookbook with diabetic recipes from the SparkPeople website that I can store in my Nook so when I need to find a recipe I can find it easily. What will make it easier is being able to make a chapter named “Entrée’s”, “Sandwiches”, “Salads” etc. instead of Chapter 1…

Thanks Sigil for making my life so much easier.