Friday, May 26, 2017

Draft Book Cover

I can't even tell you have many hours it took to get that picture on the cover, but it's finally there.

Michael, my editor, doesn't like the back-cover blurb,so we'll work on it when he returns from vacation. I think I favor K S R Berck for the author name, and it will fit on the edge without vanishing at the end.

Otherwise, I like it a lot, and the same style will work for all four volumes.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Art and Applied Geometry

I have spent at least 25 hours of this past week or so formatting The Hostage for CreateSpace.

It was (still is) intensely fiddly work:
 
Most obvious, I exchanged the save-a-space 'Chapter One, Chapter Two' etcetera for Mycenaean numerals (thank you, my friends, for doing your math in base 10, and using simple geometric shapes rather than pictographs).


 Found and corrected scores of formatting errors, such as tabs instead of indents, and indents that offset headings and time breaks that were meant to be centered.

Assured that internal breaks would not fall at the tops of any pages, so that before leafing over, the reader is warned that we are doing a time or place jump.

Experimented extensively with font, pitch, line spacing, and margins, adjusting for enough but not too much white space so that a page doesn't present itself as solid type, but also doesn't look fluffed; like it's trying to be more than it is. At 6X9 overall page size and 11 pitch, the book settles at 313 pages total, 307 of actual text. At 5.5 X 8.25, it is 355 pages, and that is still 32 lines of text per page, which is within the average. Most self-published books, I learned yesterday, run far closer to 200 pages, while most traditionally published books run from the high 200s and up. So this book can keep company with the grownups. All of this noted, I don't much like an overall size smaller than 6X9, because then the pitch has to be 10 which looks tiny on the screen, although on a book page it might be fine.


Asleep yet?

And an hour ago, of course, I finally understood how important gutters are and how I have to design them myself. And how to mirror pages in Word. So a whole lot of - okay, let's call it fun - messing with trying to keep the text page count above 300 while not running the inner margin into the dark, or making it look like a children's book.

FOOTNOTE:
And just now, oh shit, justification.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

And the Funny Part is ....

The first part that I wrote of this saga, in a hot burst that I have never regretted, or even had to edit much, was an anecdote about a hunter who kills a family of wild dogs that prey on his goats, but saves a puppy or two that he raises and trains to protect his goats and hunt wild dogs. The conclusion is:

"A tool is what it is. The moment it’s created, it’s what it was meant to be. But you’re not innocent of the deeds you perform just because Fate chose them. It chooses you, chooses the deeds, chooses the guilt, and that’s it. There’s a reason we kill the sons when we kill the fathers."






And what is this whole story about, if not that?



I knew this years ago. Now it's time to make it work