The instructions from IngramSpark and KDP for formatting a book can be confusing to say the least. If it weren’t for other self-publishers posting about their own experiences concerning what worked and didn’t work for them, I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I’m at today in my publishing journey.
The least I can do is add to the general knowledge.
Last week I posted Part 1, which covered the overall setup for a paperback manuscript using full bleed. The overall setup I talked about works for a KDP book.
Today, I’ll touch on IngramSpark. All of the setup stuff mentioned last week is used, plus some. The issues I ran into with Discarded Dragons started to show up when I ran the Preflight on the PDF. (Preflight flattens images and formats pictures for a specific printer. It’s not needed for KDP. I’ve found the PDF/X-3 SWOP format works for IngramSpark).
When I ran the preflight, I started to lose parts of images and page numbers. (There’s supposed to be a claw in the image to the right and a page number. ) I don’t know why this happened, but I can say what fixed the problem.
I found that I couldn’t rotate images inside of Word. If I wanted an image angled, I had to set it up outside of Word and then insert it into the manuscript. Flipping images or cropping them seems to be fine, just be aware that if you used a close wrap around the image with your text, your wrap boundary will not flip with your image.
The picture at the top of this post shows the wrap boundary. If you flip the image, go into the Wrap Text tab you see at the top of the image and select Edit Wrap Boundary. The red line will appear with those dots. Drag those dots around your image again.
The second issue I ran into was saving to PDF darkened my images, then the preflight darkened them further, and then the proof from IngramSpark darkened them even further until I lost details on my images. The image below is from the preflight, so you can imagine one more darkening and I’d just have black dots.
My fix for this was, before the preflight stage in the PDF, I right clicked on the images, selected Edit With and went into photoshop to lighten the images. As a side note, it’s really easy to lighten too much, so lighten lightly =)
These are the big things I learned in formatting Discarded Dragons. I’ve received proofs now from both KDP and IngramSpark and both look awesome! I can’t wait to share.
Thanks for stopping by!
(To run Preflight in PDF – Tools tab at the top of your PDF screen – Print Production – Preflight on the right side of screen – find PDF/X-3 SWOP – Convert and Fix)
Discarded Dragons will be available September 1, 2021. Pre-orders will be open here on the blog the middle of next month.