Progress report 1 – Things Evie Eats
Just as I was getting used to the days of sunshine here in Wales, this was the view from my window this morning. You can’t see the rain sheeting down in this photo, but believe me, it was torrential. So, as there was no sun to distract me, I spent the day with my trusty laptop.
For those of you who don’t know, my next book is called Things Evie Eats and it’s about a little girl with very definite ideas on what she likes to eat.
Most of the pictures for the book are finished. I am waiting on revisions for just two pages from the artist. It’s been months since I mocked up the first draft of the book, a blend of images from the web and my less-than-artistic stick figures.
Me v an artist
Spot the difference?
Yeah, I’ll probably keep with the writing.
I’m super pleased with the watercolour images but getting them into InDesign required some resizing which was problematic because the paper was textured and if I shrunk or enlarged the image the texture got bigger and smaller too. Worse than that, if I shrunk the image too much the texture didn’t fill the page. Either the image had to cover the whole page or I had to cut the it out. I decided on the second option, which I didn’t really know how to do, so the process involved much complaining about Photoshop.
But then I decided I actually liked the effect of the images on the textured paper better, so I had to put a blank page behind the resized images: involving more complaining about Photoshop.
As well as learning how to remove the background from images, I also figured how to make text follow a line in InDesign, … and discovered the gutters on the house need cleaning out because they look like a waterfall.
However, the majority of the book is now laid out ready for printing. Not a bad effort for a stormy Saturday afternoon.
P.S Don’t forget I have an autographed copy of Better Buckle Up to giveaway over on Goodreads.
Pre launch Panic.
Well, I’m looking at the countdown timer for the launch of Better Buckle Up and having a pre launch panic.
This was not the post I was expecting to write. I thought I had things organised so early on. But the print version has been beset with problems. I had to lighten the picture files as they were too dark and I changed the binding from saddle stitch to perfect bound, so that delay was my fault. But, having been told by the printer that the cover file would be OK for both types of binding, it caused problems with the trimming. I mean, they almost cut the bar code off! And it took a while to figure out why it was happening. So that delay wasn’t my fault.
Has it been fixed? I’m still waiting for UPS to deliver what will hopefully be the final proof of the print copy which will then be available in the next few days.
So, it’ll be a soft launch tomorrow. Just the ebook will go live on Amazon. It’ll cost £2.12 to UK readers, $2.99 in the US. Members of Amazon Prime can check it out for free.
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.
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!
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!