Thursday, 23 February 2012

Spinal snag and last chance

spine comparison
On Valentine's day, it stopped raining for a while, but we were indoors, quietly concentrating as Kate went through a series of possible variations to the cover for The Boy with Two Heads. When she flipped the two heads to look the other way and turned the tag-line 'You don't get to the Olympics unless you're the best'  into a 'sticker', we all said ‘YES! That’s it!’ 

But the printout showed that the wording on the spine was illegible from a distance. I had asked that we made it read vertically to be different from other covers on a shelf. With the small letters necessary for that and because of the dark and light stripes in the background photo, it didn't look good. So Kate made some changes that improved it, and at last the cover was done.

On the days that followed, Kate worked on the maps and Connie on the prelims. We decided to put the map of Ancient Athens opposite the first page of the story to help the reader during those first important scenes. The other two maps will be near the end.

I read through my Author’s Note and Acknowledgments again. I wrote these some time ago and so needed to alter a couple of details.
Sketch map of Ancient Athens

We also combed the main text for the final chapter spacing and any ends of lines where a dash or other punctuation fell on the next line. We have proof-read the text many times, and on the last read-through I only found one error – which doesn’t mean there aren’t others, of course ...

So all the pieces were ready and Connie could bring them together, check the page numbers and finish off the Contents page.

She uploaded the cover and text files yesterday to Lightning Source – and that’s it. All done, except for the final proof. We should know the publication date in a few days.

So there will be no more chances to change anything. And I can think of more than one sentence that I want to rewrite ... A lot of writers seem to have this knowing-when-to-stop problem – painters, too, I’m told. 

This experience of preparing for publication with Trifolium Books has followed the same series of procedures as my experience in the main stream. But these procedures have been speeded up and personalised, so that I felt in control of my own work. Sitting beside Connie and/or Kate while they tried out and discussed possibilities has been exciting and worrying and enlightening in turns: overall, a fascinating experience!

And I can’t believe it’s over ...

1 comment:

  1. It's not! I have the proof copy in my hands and there are just a few tweaks..... Never work with children, animals .... or perfectionists! It will still be out this week though!