My two-week formatting/cover gauntlet

Monday started the two-week formatting and cover gauntlet I am running to finish my next book THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN.I have been working with Streetlight Graphics for several years now. I can’t recommend them too highly. See their work here at


Here’s what I’ve done so far. My formatters started with the CreateSpace paperback book formatting first. I’m used to doing the Kindle e-book first, but the order is no problem. I made up a list of eight things to double-check on the initial finished manuscript they returned to me.

1. Problems I saw while simply rifling through the file.

2. Page numbers. I checked to be sure all the page numbers were there and in their proper place.

3. Headers. It says The Cowboy’s Baby Goes To Heaven on one page and Gretchen Lee Rix on the other.

4. Chapters. All Chapter numbers have to be accounted for.

5. Front material.

6. End material.

7. I check to make sure every page starts in a logical manner and ends in a logical manner. This is my shorthand solution to reading the novel all the way through ONE MORE TIME. If the last sentence on a page continues onto the first line of the next page and seems to be the correct one, then there’s no way anything was lost or transposed on the rest of that page.

8. The indented margins. I take my cursor and put it at the first indented margin that isn’t part of the first paragraph of a chapter and follow it down to the bottom of the page. Then when I get to the next page (this is for paper books), I move it to the other appropriate indented paragraph and then down to the bottom of the page. Everything on the left hand side of the book should align perfectly.

Obviously, all of this takes time and most of it is quite boring. Plus you can get a twinge of carpal tunnel if you try doing too much in a hurry. When I get the corrected draft there should be no reason to repeat much of the above, though it would be smart to do so.

I can’t wait to see what the cover is going to look like!



Photos by Roxanne Rix.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: Well, I’m reading several books still, but I haven’t finished.




My books and stories can be found at

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