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Progress Report on Better Buckle Up

bonus map page Better Buckle Up

Progress report.

I just uploaded the new files for the interior of Better Buckle Up to the printers.

After the problems I found with the last proof, all the photos have been lightened and brightened and the layout altered slightly. Fingers crossed it looks right this time. May 18th is only 20 days away.

20 days!


On the positive side, as I had to add extra pages to accommodate Lightning Source’s printing information, I’ve also added a new page – a map – as the final image. I’m really pleased with the way the illustrator has combined some the elements from the story into a final map. I tested the image on my grandson and found there was lots to talk about in the picture.

OK, I’m off to stress about 20 days.

Suzie x

Pre-order Better Buckle Up for 18th May

A story to make car safety fun

Better Buckle Up. A story to make car safety fun.

Proof copy of Better Buckle Up arrives

Progress report on the proof copy of Better Buckle Up.

I had mixed feelings when I received the proof copy of the book.

Things I liked:

  • The cover is great. The colours are vibrant and popped off the page. I also road-tested the super glossy cover with the sticky fingers of my grandchildren and it wiped clean perfectly.
  • The paper quality is fine. I’d opted for the Premium colour printing from Lightning Source on the heaviest weight paper but I had heard that POD books didn’t have the ‘feel’ of a children’s book. I needn’t have worried.

proof copy of saddle stitch book

Things I didn’t like:

  • Some of the interior pictures were quite dark. If every picture had been darker, I could have blamed this on the printing process but some were fine. On further inspection of the image files I’d sent, I decided the ‘darkness’ could have been predicted.
  • I wasn’t happy with the binding. The saddle stitch binding doesn’t lie flat properly and makes it look like a pamphlet rather than a book.
  • Blank pages at the end of the book. I hadn’t realized I needed to leave a page blank at the end for the printing info added by Lightning Source. Duh! And having a saddle-stitch binding meant the printer had added 4 pages all at the end which, in a book with so few pages, makes it look as though some of it is missing or I’ve added pages for notes or something. Totally un-children’s book-like. Yuk!

proof copy had pages added at end

Of course, the mistakes were all mine. I’m re-editing the pictures to brighten them and changing the type of binding from saddle stitch to perfect bound which should hopefully give it that proper book look.

Needing to leave a blank page at the end meant adding more pages so my first layout won’t work but the bonus is, I’m adding an extra final page spread. I’ve seen the first draft of the new picture and I’m really excited about it.

My rep from Lightning Source was super helpful and offered to alter the cover file from saddle stitch to perfect bound for me so I don’t have to upload it again but all these changes mean re-submitting and waiting for a new proof. I think they’ll be worth it.

And there are still 24 days to launch so I have time … don’t I? Ooh, take deep breaths and don’t panic!

Pre-order Better Buckle Up for 18th May

Better Buckle Up book cover has arrived

Better Buckle Up book cover has arrived.

book cover of Better Buckle Up by SuzieWPleased to report I’ve been working super hard and the book cover for Better Buckle Up has been finalized.


I am so pleased with the gorgeous, bright illustrations from PlainSightVFX and hope you’re going to like them too.

More pages coming soon.

Let me know what you think.

Suzie x


Illustrations for Better Buckle Up  have arrived
Illustrations for Better Buckle Up have arrived


Illustrations for Better Buckle Up have arrived.

Squee! I’m super excited because I just received the files with the illustrations for Better Buckle Up.

Can’t wait to share them with you guys.

What? You thought you were going to see them?

Ooh, just teasing, you’ll have to wait a little while longer 🙂