What to do when the baby comes and he’s … well, he’s ugly.

I was quite excited: the proofs came in the mail, the first time I had the chance to see my 2nd edition baby with my own eyes. I had struggled and sweated over the formatting of my book, because it’s the little things that really count when it comes to design.

My good friend, who had gone the traditional publishing route (albeit with a tiny “publisher” that paid no advance and structured the contract so it would never pay any royalties, either, but whetevs), didn’t have as much input into the formatting of his book as he would have liked. There were page numbers on all the pages, including chapter beginnings and blank pages. Not really anything terrible, but to a book aficionado, really amateurish looking. And this was with an actual legit publisher!

So, since I was going the self-publishing route anyway, it meant I could make everything just right, the way I wanted it. Only problem is, I don’t really have the skillful chops to do it easily. I can do it, but lord is it a tedious. Anyway, the great thing is that after doing all of this careful, painstaking work of making my book as clean as a Stephen King first printing, right? Just as nice as


No. Just no. Not only did the cover that I designed (see earlier post with that cover) look, um, different than I had expected, even though I had looked at the digital proof, the interior pages looked even worse. The print was tiny, kind of looking like it was a stamp badly pasted in the middle of an untalented numismatist’s collection book. Seriously, the type was tiny, formed on a mini-page surrounded by the giant margins of the actual page. Somehow I had screwed up the layout even though it looked perfect all the way through the digital proofing process. Seriously, I almost skipped the physical proof altogether, it looked so good.

Ah, well, long story slightly less long, I found the point in going from Word document to PDF and then to the printer where I had accidentally reformatted the text into a teeny baby version of the book. So the good news is that I can go through the whole process again and make it right. The bad news is that I have to go through the whole ^%&@ing process again if I’m going to make it right.

So what was the deal with the cover? As you can see in the slightly more proximate new cover below, I have traded the kinda “grungy” font that was a later version of the original font on the original edition from 2000. I really want to go with the American dream gone completely awry, and that is now expressed with the new, 1950s “American Promise” font in Brutalism format on the new cover.

I should mention that I’m writing this while high on dental medication and this lovely OTC thing called melatonin which helps me sleep gooder. I think I’ll sign off now. Love you guys.


4 thoughts on “What to do when the baby comes and he’s … well, he’s ugly.

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