Proofreading is time consuming, but is one of the most important final steps before committing a book to print or online publication. Misspelled words seem to get missed even with the most careful proofreading. TextSTAT is an excellent tool to help identify misspellings. TextSTAT produces a list of every word in a Microsoft Word .doc file and the number of times the word appears (a frequency list). By sorting the word list alphabetically it is easy to see if variant spellings of a word or surname have occurred since they are often listed near each other. For example the misspelling of surname “Ulmann” as “Ullman” may not be easily seen by a proofreader, but it becomes evident in a frequency list. Exporting the frequency list as a CSV file and opening it in MS Word allows you to use Word’s dictionary to underline in red the words that may be misspelled. Here’s how:
Download the free English version of TextStat from Freie Universität Berlin:
Unzip the software. Double click on TextSTAT.exe to launch the application. Click the “Run” button. Create a New Corpus. Add a Microsoft Word file for your book. Click the “Word Forms” tab. Select “sort alphabetically.” Click the “Frequency List” button. Export “Frequency list > CSV file.” Name and save the file.
Launch MS Word. Open the just created .csv file. Click the”OK” button for the automatically selected “Unicode (UTF-8).” Save the file as a .doc or .docx file. Add a space the first line–this turns-on the underlining of possibly misspelled words. Select all [<Ctrl> a]. Change the case to “Capitalize Each Word.” Save.
Highlight and copy a word that you want to check. Paste the word into the “Define filter” field of the TextSTAT software, under the “Word forms” tab, and click the “Frequency list” button. Copy/paste may not work with Windows 7, in which case you will scroll down and locate the word in the TextSTAT list. The result is the word listed in context for each use. Double click on each line to read more. Click on the link to the book file to open it and search for the misspelled word [<Ctrl> f]. Make corrections in the file as needed.
If your book is 8 1/2" x 5 1/2", the best box for shipping a book or two is the Uline S-11369. It is 9" x 6" x 2". The cost is about $0.50 each, depending on the quantity purchased. Wrap the books in unprinted newsprint.
Nobody likes to purchase a new book that has evidence of use—shrink wrapping books keeps them in good condition prior to sale. There are various shrink wrap plastics, but the best is Polyolefin. It shrinks without a lot of heat and does not contain plastisizers that smell, and possibly damage books. Use 7 1/4" x 10" shrink bags for 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" books that have up to a 1" spine. The DVD case bags from BagsUnlimited.com work well. Shrink wrapping adds about $0.06 in materials cost to each book.
A sealer and heat gun are required for shrink wrapping. Uline has impulse sealers in several lengths, ranging from $60-$210, and an industrial heat gun for about $60.
Insert promotional materials about available books, etc., at the back of each book before shrink wrapping.
Amazon has a beta plugin for Adobe InDesign versions CS4 and above that make it easier to export InDesign books to the Kindle mobi format. The plugin is available from the Kindle Direct Publishing Help page here:
Download the plugin. Make sure InDesign is not open, and run the .exe file to install. There is a Mac version, too. While you are at the KDP page, download the Previewer to permit easy viewing of mobi files as they will appear on various Kindle devices.
InDesign has a plugin for Adobe Digital Editions export to ePub format. Though you can convert ePub to mobi uisng Calibre, the results require a lot of editing to fix formatting issues. The new Kindle plugin reduces, but does not eliminate the editing required to produce a Kindle-friendly mobi file.