Monday, August 22, 2011

Steps to Publication #3

It’s dizzying, how quickly things move in the production arena, compared with the creation arena. After spending years on the writing and editing of WATERSPELL, I’m seeing the books come together with lightning speed.

First above is the final cover for Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock. Under it is the first revision of the Book 2 cover.

Compare the first draft of the Book 2 cover (posted earlier) with this one, and you’ll see that the design folks at the Accurance Group are very good at following instructions. And fast. They took my long list of changes and whipped them into the design in under 12 hours.

(I’m guessing that my designer is in India. I e-mailed my change request on Sunday, August 21, at about 5 p.m. Central time, and the revised cover awaited me in my Inbox when I got to work this Monday morning.)

I’m taking the Book 1 and Book 2 covers to a meeting of my Critique Group tomorrow, for the opinions of my friends and colleagues. Some may say the title ribbon on Book 2 should be red, to match the (deliciously ominous) red in the clouds. But the color green appears in the clothing of a major character in Book 2, and a red touch adorns the clothes of a major character in Book 3. So I believe I’ll keep the green title ribbon for Book 2, and reserve red for the title background of Book 3.

Book 1: First Galley Proofs

Also awaiting me in my e-mail this morning was the 380-page galley proof of the typeset Book 1. At first glance, it looks good. My wonderful husband, Gene, has volunteered to proofread. After so many passes through the manuscript, myself, during the revision stage, I do not believe I could manage another read-through without my eyes crossing. (Did I mention: I’ve spent years on this project.)

One omission pops out at me immediately: They neglected to insert the copyright page, dedication, Contents, and epigraph that I provided in a separate file named “Book 1 front matter.” The lesson is: Put all text in one file, or something’s bound to be overlooked.

They have provided a “Galley Edits Correction Sheet” with which I am to communicate my changes to the text, and I get three full revision cycles, so I do not expect to have much trouble getting the missing “front matter” inserted where it belongs.

Another thing that pops out at me is that this is not “fine” typesetting. There’s no kerning. And long words that fall at the ends of lines are not hy-phen-at-ed. So any strings of longish words result in      wide     word     spacing,     with     lots     of     white     space     between.

That seems to be the norm in the digital age. When reading on my NOOK 1st edition (where I enlarge the type to almost the biggest font they’ve got) I often     encounter     wide    word    spacing    that could have been eliminated by a little judicious hy-phen-ation. I guess we’ll all get used to it. Or maybe the pro-gram-mers will come up with an easy way for hyphens to magically appear where they’re needed on one person’s display screen or device, but disappear when they’re not needed on another reader’s screen or device.

(In digital publishing, short words yield the best visual results. That’s a good in-cen-tive to Keep It Simple, All Ye Scribes.)

Updating My Various Websites

Over the years, I have created (then sort of abandoned) three websites. My first one resides at It looks old-fashioned now. I used site-creation software that, by today’s standards, is obsolete. I need to troll that site for anything worth keeping, and move the material into one of my more current sites.

For my next attempt, after that early DIY site that I haven’t touched since 2009, I rented space at I’ve done better with that one, keeping it slightly more up-to-date. I desperately need to redo its Home Page, however.

Newest is my second site, which I’m devoting exclusively to WATERSPELL. Since it’s shortest and simplest, I’ll work on it next, in hopes of getting something together that won’t shame me when all the hordes of eager readers flock to my site to learn more about the brilliant author of WATERSPELL. [LOL]

A Handy PDF-to-JPG Conversion Tool

The cover files from are coming to me as PDFs. I need the .jpg format for uploading to this blog. So I’m using a fast, free conversion tool: pdf to jpeg online converter.

Once I have the full covers in jpeg format, I use my photo-editing software to crop off the back cover and spine, leaving just the front cover with which to illustrate my Web pages.

All this techno-work is putting different demands on my brain, exercising the parts that don’t necessarily come into play when I’m writing and editing. I’m sure it’s good for me.

Stay tuned: I’ll post all the riveting details as my indie publishing adventure continues.

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