Have you ever wanted to stick your finger in a light socket to see if it really hurts? Or what could go wrong when you rode a shopping cart down a steep hill in San Franciso? I don’t think it would hurt at all. On the other hand, I know I would crash into something soft.
Let me tell you, friends, life sucks the big one! As my mom tells me, “You never learn your lesson unless it hurts!”
My quest to publish my erotic stories in paperback has turned into Monty Python’s Search For the Holy Grail, except for the coconut carrying swallows (European or African). I’d always hoped to find the Castle Anthrax with “8 score young blondes and brunettes…, all between sixteen and 19-and-a-half…, cut off in this castle with no one to protect us! Oh…, it is a lonely life. Bathing…, dressing…, undressing…, knitting exciting underwear….”
I especially love that the castle was cold, and the girl’s outfits were so thin and showed every bump.
Sorry, got distracted!
My quest to publish all of my erotica in paperback form is about one-third completed. I’ve now published ten of my stories in print format. After having slain QuarkXPress 2021 and left it a quivering mass on the floor. I then advanced to Quark 2022 version, which appears to be somewhat more stable but still with annoying quirks.
But like Sir Galahad in search of eight score of young blondes and brunettes, I am bloodied but undeterred in my goal of publishing stories in paperback form. So the last several weeks have been a “learning experience,” as I’m oft to say.
CorelDRAW – I love this program for creating book covers, Twitter ads, posters, and the like. When you are doing print books, you have to create a PDF of the cover. This is one wide PDF of the back cover plus spine plus front cover. For example, below is one of my cover images.
The sticking point with cover design is that the spine width changes with the number of pages in the book. This book, Cuckold Hotwife Stories, is 340 pages ready to be stuck together.
Using Amazon’s handy dandy print cover dimensions calculator will determine your cover’s dimensions. For example, below is the template for my 340-page book. Note that the spine is 0.766 inches. If your cover does not meet their precise dimensions, it will be rejected. The dimensions are down to the thousandth of an inch and the program used to create the cover must generate the output file precisely.
With CorelDRAW I create guidelines which show the boundaries of the various parts of the book cover. This way when I layout the parts of the cover, nothing is accidently placed out of its assigned spot, which would cause the book to be rejected.
The beauty of Corel is that I can use a previous design and copy it for my next masterpiece. As the back cover object placement doesn’t change, I can simply adjust the width of the entire cover to the dimensions calculated by the Amazon cover size calculator.
Using Corel, I import the template image created by Amazon into a separate layer. Then turning that layer on, I can see how the guidelines need to be moved.
By turning the template layer off, it doesn’t show and is not part of the final output file. Once everything looks okay, I export the cover as a PDF for Amazon to use when it assembles my book.
QuarkXPress – A desktop publishing program that I love to hate. This is a commercial product that is not for the faint of heart. But, once you learn its idiosyncrasies, it will do anything. My current process to create a print book of an existing story is down to under two hours.
Quark uses “Master Pages,” which are like a template to create the final output. Using the source verbiage in Microsoft Word format, I copy an existing Master Page setup for the body of the story. Then simply import the document into Quark and it formats each page as necessary.
By using a specific set of templates for the front matter, body, and back matter it is simple to rapidly generate a book of any size. Any artwork that I need to create or modify can be developed with Corel. Quark has similar layout capability but I’ve always stuck with Corel as it’s the program that I know.
I’ve just upgraded to QuarkXPress 2022 and found that it corrected several issues that vexed me with the previous version. I was glad to see that they didn’t just blow off my comments and suggestions. One problem that didn’t get fixed is some type of memory corruption (I think). With Quark open and running PhotoShop, which is a notorious memory hog, the display in Quark will become screwed up and partially blank. My guess is that Quark uses a block of memory that it doesn’t protect and PhotoShop will intrude and corrupt the data. So far, I close PhotoShop when I’m running Quark to avoid the problem but hopefully this will get straightened out as it is a little aggravating.
I’ve upgraded my computer to 32Gb but that didn’t resolve the display issue with Quark. Hopefully, I can describe the problem well enough for someone to find it. It’s not a show stopper but simply an annoyance.
I’m Larry Archer, and I write erotic stories for the huddled and yearning masses. Foxy and I are swingers in real life. I write erotic stories based on the things we do and see. While the Lifestyle is not for everyone, it’s been fun for us. My smut is explicit and hardcore but with a somewhat plot. My porn novels are generally positive and fun, as this reflects how enjoyable swinging has been for us. If you’re interested in checking out my stories, I publish them at all the popular outlets.