Why We Going To Do This

Where I tell you cautionary tale that highlights why formatting your novel with LibreOffice is a good idea.

Just in case you still need a bit of a push to accept that your novel needs to be reformatted into an intermediate format in LibreOffice rather just exporting what you have and tweaking, let me tell you a cautionary tale.

Once there was this boy who had written the most perfect novel. So great was the wave of anticipated glory that accompanied his great achievement that he couldn’t help but get carried away by it. He’d been working for years towards this moment; nothing was going to delay him publishing. So he exported it, and knowing something about document formatting, he crafted it by hand. It didn’t take long, certainly not as long as fixing his original and writing a plug-in. Then he moved onto the next format and so on, essentially ending up with one master document per format.

He soon realised that, though it had been quicker to do the first formatted document, as more and more formats were added, this clearly wasn’t the case any more, but the real horror began when he realised that his perfect novel wasn’t quite as perfect as he had first thought and needed a few small changes. “No biggie,” he thought. “It won’t take long to go back and add the changes required to all the documents.” But halfway through he spotted another error then another, so he had to go back and correct those he had already corrected. By this time, our poor hero was starting to lose track of which documents had had which corrections made to them. Then he got a call from a journalist wanting a copy in format X to review.

Of course, as sod’s law dictates, format X was one of those that currently hadn’t had any of the changes added to it, so he stopped what he was doing and added the changes to version X, noticing, as he did, another couple of small changes, which he corrected in format X. With relief he sent off a copy of format X, only to have his relief turn to despair as he realised that he no longer had any idea which of the remaining documents had had which changes applied to them and which ones hadn’t!

In desperation, he tried to work it out from the documents’ modification dates, but he’d been tweaking the formatting of the documents as he’d been going along, too, so he didn’t know if a file had had its content or formatting changed. At this point he broke down in floods of tears, and wished he’d heeded my advice because, to this very day, all the versions of his book for the different formats have slightly different content!!!

No matter how perfect you think your book is, proof reading the different formats will reveal errors that you won’t believe you have constantly missed. Having one master document where you make all the changes to the content and where formatting tweaks are handled in plug-ins is the way to go, believe me.

Series Navigation<< What We Are Going To DoYou & Me >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *