Creating a correctly sized PDF

If you, like me, are a writer trying to publish your own works, you will, most likely, need to create a pdf version of your manuscript, particularly if you plan to produce paperbacks.  Even if you choose not to have your book printed in a print run, you might choose the print-on-demand service from Amazon, so you’ll need a pdf version.

When saving a PDF version, you need to make sure that the it comes out the right size. Saving a PDF from a Microsoft Word document will automatically default to an A4 page size, irrespective of the size you’ve specified in the page setup of the Word document.   It took me ages to find help on how to solve this problem so I thought I’d share it here to help others.  To retain the page size for your finished book:

1/ select all of the text (press CTRL + A on Windows or cmd+A on a Mac)

2/ Open the File menu & choose Print

3/ In the Pages section choose Selection

4/ In the bottom left corner, from the pull-down list, choose Save to PDF

5/ Click Print

Hey presto!  You will have a correctly formatted PDF version of your manuscript.

Waiting is the worst….

Waiting for the final paperback book to come back from the printers feels endless. It’s taken a number of false starts to sort out the manuscript so it is formatted correctly for printing, but we’re finally there.

I can’t wait to see it in the flesh. In the meantime, I’m well on with Fran Rides Again. This is a working title for the second book in the series. I’m interested to hear views on that as a title, so please do drop me an email at

And, it’s off…

The manuscript and cover design is now with the printers. Whilst I wrote the book in MS Word, I needed to provide it for the printers in pdf format. I chose the 125x195mm final book size and set the page size, through page setup, to these dimensions. Any reasonable person would think that the resulting pdf would have the same page size. But, no! The text all remained at the right dimensions but were placed on an A4 size page. As I work on a Mac, the instructions I could find were Windows based and didn’t work.

After a couple of hours of almost mindless panic (time is of the essence to meet the 16th June publication date!) and with my hair still in tact, I finally found a forum with the answer. And so, in the nick of time, the manuscript was delivered.

As soon as the finished article arrives, I’ll post a picture here.

Cover Artwork

So, the artwork is in progress. I have two artists producing a version each. Both have had the same brief but I think the resulting images will be very different. I’m excited to see them, though. This sample cover is using a first draft cartoon, but I didn’t think this one hit the mark so there are updates being done.

The first draft of the first cover cartoon
The first draft of the first cover cartoon

This is the last step before getting the book off to the printers. The release date for the printed book it 16th June. Pre-orders are coming in so, to be true to those who have supported me with purchases, I won’t release it on Amazon until a week later.