Presenting Game of Sails on Paper

I’ve heard from many fans that they aren’t interested (yet) in ebooks but really want to read my latest novel. And I also heard from a few local stores that a paperback GoS would be a great seller this summer. So I’ve decided to go ahead. What a great way to celebrate an Olympic year!

A celebration, but also a time sink. The past few weeks, much of what is usually my writing time has instead been spent on presentation.

While ebooks provide their own formatting challenges to make the reading seamless across a range of devices, paperback book design is both harder and more permanent. There are specific rules for page size and the order of important information like copyright and acknowledgments (though that seems to vary from one publisher to the next). And if you don’t get it right the first time, you can’t just upload a new file.

Unlike most authors, I’ve got enough design experience to format my own books. GemmaMedia, the publisher of both Oliver books, hired me to design the cover as well as the interior for both Oliver’s Surprise and Cape Cod Surprise. In the past four years, we’ve received many compliments about the designs. Glyphs, font choices, and whether to right-justify or center an author’s note are all items of interest for me, but that means investing a substantial amount of time into getting the details right.

The last time I formatted a paperback was two years ago, when I designed Cape Cod Surprise. I’d conveniently forgotten how time-consuming page numbering, chapter numbering, pagination and margin-tweaking are.

And when that’s done, there’s still the cover to finish. I love the ebook cover I designed for GoS, but it’s only the “front” cover. The all important back cover (home to so many important items like pitch, blurbs, and author bio) is the hardest part to get right. There are so many disparate pieces of text and information that all need to be integrated into a seamless and appealing sales tool.

So that’s what I’ll be doing as February winds down. Designing, editing, proofing.

So those new characters of mine who are waiting to be potty-trained? They have a few more diapers in their future.