Things are frantic (I'm not going to be doing anything else book-related until May), and then The Weirld proofs arrived today--pant-pant! They look good, I think--I approved the large-print edition. I had already approved the regular edition, because the mistake was so bad, but looking at the hard copy...eh, you know, it's one of those things where it could be the print run itself--it's just a little bit off the spine--but then I felt like the title could stand to be moved too, so I changed it. I think I'll just let that go with a digital proof, though.
I got hard copies of both editions of The Weirld only to realize that there's been a typo on the cover of the paper copy of The Weirld this entire time: I misspelled "journalist"! Awesome! Anyway, everyone's just been buying the e-book, so you know, thank God for that--it will be fixed soon. (So, buy it now, I guess!)
Anyway, the interior corrections on the regular edition went through fine, and I'm going over the interior of the large-print edition (the cover needed some fixing as well, predictably enough).
Taking a step back, taxes are DONE (DONE!!!!!), so now I'm kind of hmmm-ing at the calendar. I've got stuff at the end of the month, but maybe I can take another stab at Trials in the meantime--I actually had a bunch of good ideas for it before I got swallowed whole by production.
This edit of the large print edition is done, baby! The book is in with CreateSpace, along with a less-typo'd version of the original edition (nothing quite like reading over something in a different typeface to make mistakes pop). Ah, I'm happy about that--of course, it will be interesting to see how the book looks when I have an actual proof in hand.
You know what's interesting? Obviously this book is only about half the size of the large-print Trang books, which really push CreateSpace's maximum page count. And as a result, while the Trang large-print editions must be considerably more expensive than the normal paper editions, The Weirld's large-print edition can be the same price. Not bad!
I did five chapters of the large-print edition of The Weirld--that went well, I'm definitely getting more efficient. Plus there were just a lot fewer of those spreads that were half-a-line off. I don't know what causes it--having an even number of paragraph breaks on one side and an odd number on the other? Having many more paragraph breaks on one side than the other? I'm sure a real book designer would know....
Anyway, just a few more days of this and I should be done! Between the three editions of The Weirld and revamping the two Trang books, I feel like I've been on quite the production treadmill!
Today was a bit of an eye-crosser. After looking at Chapter 9, I realized I really needed to get in there and make more text boxes like a proper book designer, so I went back through the previous eight chapters and fixed anything that really wasn't satisfactory.
I believe the source of the problem is the amount of space between paragraphs--I used an odd number of points in there, and I think that's why the two sides of the spread are sometimes off by half a line. (A line off would be simple to fix, because you can usually figure out how to put in or take out a new line, but half-a-line off means it's just never right.) Live and learn--hopefully next time I'll start with a more-efficient template.
Anyway, then I went and lined up the spreads for chapters 9-11. Then I realized I hadn't actually proofed chapter 9-11, so I did that. Mostly what I'm catching there are extra spaces I put after em dashes to make a line break properly in the original edition, but I also caught a typo that had made its way into both the paper and e-book edition!
I should note that because this is the large-print edition, I'm always lining up spreads by inserting more space into the shorter spread--I think that serves the purpose of a large-print edition better than crowding up the text lines in the long spread.
I started going over the large-print edition on the computer--I think it works, because at least I can immediately hop back into the Scribus file and fix whatever looks off. I've done seven chapters so far.
I'm a little nervous because I'm making aesthetic decisions, like I changed the chapter number because I thought it wasn't dramatic enough. I think I'll print out a full-sized copy of a couple of spreads just to ensure that I'm making the right call there.
It was kind of one of those days, with Scribus suddenly acting up with one file for no apparent reason. But everything worked out.
I received the "final" paper copies of The Weirld (in the meantime, I of course found a typo and realized I needed to tweak something on the cover), so I sent them off to the Copyright Office. I did the cover for the large-print edition of The Weirld. And after fighting with Scribus, I made all the chapters into PDFs and combined them into one big copy--I'll either read it on the desktop or on the phone. Whew!
I might as well put up the paper covers here, right? Here's the normal one:
And here's the large print--instead of just making it large, I did the borders because I felt like the fancy colored script would be harder to read.
If you're curious, those photos were taken at Yellowstone, although they're actually pastiches.
Yesterday was kind of a lost cause, but today I managed to finish laying out the large-print edition of The Weirld! Whoo! Now I need to proof it--part of me is thinking, Oh, God, just print it out, but of course I'm tired of working on the computer right now. So I think I'll wait until I'm fresh and then try proofing it as a PDF--I can always try reading it on my phone if the desktop just drives me crazy.
I finished the first eight chapters (two yesterday, six today) of the large-print edition. It's going OK, but there's a little bit of a hitch. Per the AAPH guidelines, you're supposed to have a certain amount of space between lines, as well as a line space between paragraphs.
The problem is that the amounts I chose don't quite line up. So, if you have a spread with a bunch of paragraph breaks on the left-hand side and long text blocks on the right, the bottom lines don't quite line up. I realized this a few chapters in, so going back and fixing the spacing would be a big pain. Instead I'm cheating by slightly stretching the text on one side and smooshing it down on the other--hopefully it won't be noticeable!
(And the nice thing about real layout software is that it lets you do that sort of thing....)
I was a bit torn about what to do next--obviously I've been doing a LOT of production lately, and I wasn't super-eager to do more. Plus I noodled with making the transition and realized that I would lose the italics. Again. I don't know why it's been The Revenge of the Italics lately, but it has been.
So I would have rather started in on Trials--I've made a bunch of notes and actually had a bit of a breakthrough talking over a story problem with my sister--but the way things are right now, I just don't have the time.
Today I started in on the large-print edition of The Weirld and completed a couple of chapters. It's going pretty well--I do have to go Scribus => LibreOffice => Scribus because the formatting is so different, but it's not too clunky a process. The main thing is that I wasn't sure what to do with the illustrations--obviously the chapter ornaments just get replaced with stars, but there are actual pictures, and it's not like they've been optimized for the visually impaired. I kind of went back and forth, but I've decided to have them all be full-page art and to have a black box around them. Hopefully if the reader just plain can't see them, at least the box will make it obvious that this isn't some messed-up page of text or something.
I had to take care of some tax stuff today (amazing how much more gratifying fiddly book publishing stuff is when compared to fiddly tax stuff). But I did get the near-final proof of The Weirld paperback--it's got an issue that is so teeny that I actually decided that I would change it and then approve it, sight unseen. (Risky!) Once it's up, I'm immediately going to buy copies to send to the U.S. Copyright Office, so if it's just God-awful I can change it again.
I also started up the Library Thing review copy giveaway--hopefully that will get me some reviews.
What else? I do want to start back in with Trials (and have actually had some good ideas for it), but today was not the day for it. I also don't know how the next week or so will be--I had to start antibiotics because of a root canal, and that can get a little funky. So today I spent some time trying to figure out how best to lay out the large-print edition of The Weirld--I think I'm going to have to basically copy-paste the text from Scribus into the word processor and back into Scribus....
I (hopefully) fixed the cover issues, and I have submitted the whole, improved shebang to Create Space--I should be able to order a second proof tomorrow if all goes well. I turned the first proof over to my crack team of illustrators, who were both delighted and chagrined to see their artwork in an actual book.
The e-book stuff is still fairly aggravating--I'm having to slog away editing HTML, and honestly it feels like Amazon has really made zero progress when it comes to books with art. I think I can make this work, and of course it still takes less time than a paper layout, but I also think it's been six years, and maybe they could have made this process a little easier in the meantime? Maybe?
Since yesterday was a little frustrating on the e-book front, today I worked on the paper book, giving the interior its final polish and working on the cover, which always needs a solid noodling.
I came home to...discover that CreateSpace had sent my proof to my old address (boy, it HAS been a long time since I've done a book, hasn't it!). I have now updated my shipping address with them, and hopefully it will come before long.
Tax stuff is pretty much wrapped up, with some exceptions that I'm sure will blow up in my face with delightful unpredictability over the next two months. In any case, it looks like I should be able to start working on the e-book fairly soon.
I ordered proofs! It will take a couple of weeks, and if history is any guide, I'll have to do fixes, but! An Important Milestone has! been! achieved!
And you'll notice that I've put up sample chapters and prettied up my home page--oooh la la! I even posted to Facebook and Twitter...trying not to notice that the last time I've put anything up on either was 2016. Yoikes.
The reality is that I'm quite a bit busier now than I was. Like, obviously the next step is to format the e-book and release it, but...that's going to have to wait a couple of weeks as well because I've got to go focus on the family business for a bit. I'm actually really happy that production fell as it did, because tax time is usually a bit too distracting to get much writing done, but I can do things like formatting or inputting copy edits between putting out the inevitable fires. It's nice to feel like I'm making meaningful headway even though I'm not writing.
And I'm thinking about what's going to happen after the book comes out. I still want to do a large-print edition--that actually should be much easier to do now because I'm using real layout software. (And I should note that at this point, I have actually sold a few!) But I'm just not going to have the time to experiment with lots of different kinds of marketing like I did in the past. Maybe I'll run some Facebook ads and branch out to Google or Amazon, or maybe not.
The more I think about audiobooks, the more I think that's just never going to happen, especially not me doing them myself. Maybe one fine day I'll hire somebody.
It will save you a lot of time & tedium if you make all your text boxes fall just inside the margins--so, like, if you've got quarter-inch margins, just set all the boxes to be 0.27 inches from the edges.
I had my shot yesterday, so I was a little apprehensive about today...which went fine from a productivity standpoint at least. I input the final corrections from two days ago, and then I proofread the layout through Chapter 20.
The problem was, what is now Chapter 20 used to be part of Chapter 19 (which now contains some of what used to be Chapter 18). I've been going back and forth on where exactly to break those chapters for a bit, but reading it today, I realized that I had a long chapter with a internal break, and in the course of the break we 1. change locations, 2. fast-forward through some action, and 3. change narrators. I decided that was really just too much for an internal break to handle, and that I had to make a new chapter.
Honestly, it is late in the process to make that kind of decision: It's added a page, meaning that from Chapter 20 on I'll need to change chapter numbers and page numbers (including turning left-handed pages into right-handed pages, and vice versa), and adjust how the newly-facing pages relate to each other. Let's just say that, if I were a publishing house, I probably would not be fixing this. But I think I can manage it without delaying sending things to the copy editor by much--and luckily I can delay my next shot until Tuesday if I have to.
Four more chapters down! Done through Chapter 20.
I did realize that I started one chapter on the wrong side (i.e. left page instead of right, or vice versa). I feel like I do that every book! But since I have to trash the headers anyway, it's much less of a bother than it could have been....
Yesterday was dedicated to yard projects (which will probably slow things later in the week as well), and today I had the nieces, but since they are older and able to sit and watch (and enjoy!) long movies, I was able to proof and input changes for two more chapters. Score!
Now I have to go get more paper!