As you long-time followers know, I suffered a bad experience with a contractor through eLance. I spent six weeks fighting, weeping, struggling, and hair-tearing to get my book out on both the Kindle and hardcopy (via Createspace). In the end, I had a bunch of rubbish files that had been rejected by the various quality control scanners.
I ended up doing Kindle myself, which wasn’t that hard once I sat down with it. I could generate the files and then use an emulator to read it. I finished that up in about a week, which was 3 weeks quicker than my contractor.
But CreateSpace was a trickier deal. This isn’t just a straight file conversion. This involves bleed-over, spine-thickness, graphics resizing, all sorts of things I couldn’t get around (nor, it seemed, could my contractor).
I contracted DBS (Dedicated Business Solutions) to have a go. I was so conditioned by my prior experience, I could hardly bring myself to open their first adobe file. When I did, I was quite happily surprised by the quality I’d gotten. The things I’d specified were there. They also added some general solutions (like the winged-god-separator under my wife’s dedication, a really classy touch). There was one formatting issue, a minor adjustment to the map placement, and we were done. That easy.
Then they turned around and reworked the cover to fit. That took them a couple of days and all it needed was a minor color change in the title.
Yesterday I got the proof back, which I opened with a constricted chest (so much had gone wrong before). But it was prefect, bloody perfect. The graphics, the character placement, the cover, the heft, the feel. This was the moment writers love, that first look at this new thing they’ve brought into the literary world.
So to you writers who are thinking of going this route, who don’t want to fiddle-fart with the tricks and trials of self-publication – go see Ron Peterman at the following link and give him your biz. These guys are wonder-workers!