Running scared part 3


Having publicly admitted my techno fear ( I’m facing it by attempting to format my e-book.

I read the first two parts of Catherine Ryan Howard’s book ‘Self-Printed’, and made notes in my ‘marketing’ notebook (a new one as I seem to have misplaced the original!) I read the third part ‘Publishing your e-book’ …well, most of it. The more I read, the more alarm bells flashed in my head so I stopped…I needed to take this one step at a time.

The first job on the new laptop was to load Open Office, which I did and then spent a whole afternoon trying to open it. It transpires I have Windows 8 on my laptop and a wonderful friend kindly walked me through the opening process…who would have known I needed to access Windows (x86), via OSC:) as opposed to Windows!

I spent a further day backing up my old laptop onto my separate hard drive, with a view to transferring it all to the new one…I changed my mind. As both Windows 8 and Open Office 4 are new to me, I decided to keep it simple and so, on another day, I transferred the two documents I needed to format over the next few months…and then couldn’t open them! Another kind friend helped me round the problem and sent me a link to change the computer to recognise my documents…and I managed to do it without a hitch.

My confidence was growing, I had everything there in front of me ready and the book open at the correct page. I changed my document into draft, as recommended, and then the problems started…Catherine Ryan Howard uses Word on a Mac while I am using Open Office on a Dell. My attempt to make notes of her instructions so I would have bullet points to follow when I come to do it again, became a scrawl. With a user guide for Open Office 4 running on the old laptop, I managed to remove all the paragraph indent arrows but all my single and double line break marks as well! Then I read a section I disagreed with and knew I was in trouble…beginnings of chapters should start blocked, shouldn’t they? I text my friend as I bit back the tears…he was proud of me, starting this process and confirmed I was correct, giving me an idea how to solve it. I did but gave up for the day, feeling worn out and frazzled.

I’m a writer, a storyteller, a wordsmith but have yet to be a formatter.

Follow this blog to find out the next installment of Running Scared.



4 responses »

  1. I have Open Office and Word on the computer but won’t upgrade to newer versions of Word as I don’t know where anything is. Open office is annoying because it looks like word but itsn’t!
    I’m a convert now to Scrivener. It is not wildly expensive. You can add pages, images, edit stuff, save drafts, rearrange stuff, bin things and still have access to it all. There are various formatting options which I’ve yet to explore. You can also have a ‘storyboard’ with snapshots of what’s what, or who’s who as a memory-jogger.

    • Thanks Mel. Scrivener is an option but I was hoping the book I bought to help me format my books would be the answer! I will look into Scrivener but I would still have to format my ebooks from it and if that isn’t easy, I’m back where I started:-(

      • Urgh, that sounds like a right pain. I’m at the stage where I have as much research/notes as I do actual story written so I think I need to make a back up/second draft now of just the storyline so I can crack on.
        I’ve spent the last week and a half immersed in the culture of the early 1950s, and still have some reading to do. Understanding the thought processes/expectations/societal norms is quite pivotal to events.

        Next time you’re around or when we’re near you, we can perhaps have a look? I’m not brilliant with word but I know formatting documents from writing academic stuff.

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