Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Can't Handle the Proof...

Because it's mine!

 Winter Storm Rocky couldn't stop this book from showing up yesterday. Already the Red Pen of Doom has come forth to mercilessly slay any final typos or comma faults it finds.

As exciting as it is to see something I've worked on for such a long time finally take shape, I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I looked at the first page of Chapter One. It looks so plain compared to the templates Joel Friedlander just released (where were they a couple of weeks ago when I really needed them?)



Before I approve the proof, I'm going to try playing around with the chapter headings some more. I should be able to add some white space without changing the page count. If I can get the drop cap working properly, it would be nice to get that back in as well.

How much attention do you pay to the layout of your paper books? Does it matter to you, or you can't see the page for the words? What elements, if any, do you notice?

9 comments:

Donna Hole said...

I haven't self published anything. But I do like a little white space on a paper novel that I'm reading. I like it to be easy to read, bigger print, lots of paragraphs.

The cover looks good :)

....dhole

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My publisher selects the layout and so far I've been pleased.

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks, Donna! White space is important, which is why I want to incorporate more of it at the start of every chapter.

I'm glad to hear you like your publisher's layouts, Alex! It's a lot more work than you might think. Templates must make the process easier.

DRC said...

I've probably spent just as much time playing around with the format of the book as I have creating a cover. It has to be perfect and chapters have to have a little white space above them to make them stand out from the other pages.

I've only self published on Amazon and Createspace, but sometimes this process can be tricky. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has ideas about the layout of the inside content :)

PT Dilloway, Grumpy Bulldog said...

My "publisher" paid little attention to the layout as they don't put much effort into any part of the process. The ones I do myself I try very hard to make them look somewhat professional. My book of short stories was really difficult to make the headings change for each story in the collection. Maybe that's why I haven't done more in paperback.

Danielle Forrest said...

Though people don't pay a great deal of attention to the formatting of a book, it is very important. You can tell when a book is formatted very well and very poorly. Not so much when it's average.

The proper amount of white space is vitally important, above all else. It messes with your head when it's wrong.

Chapter headings and drop caps, while not vital, bring an extra panache to a book that, while isn't consciously recognized, does play into the overall enjoyment of the book. It feels more professional, neater, and brings a bit of style to the otherwise drab visual landscape of a paper book.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I never paid much attention until I self-published, and now I'm paying attention every time I start a new book. I admit that partway through the story, I don't really care anymore. The first page of the first chapter matters. I think my chapter headings look too plain too, and I'm planning on working on that for my next book. My favorite book "package" is probably Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George - I really like the font, spacing, and everything about it.

Sandra Almazan said...

DRC, yes, layout is a tricky process. It must have taken me over a week to make a PDF Createspace would approve.

That's a shame about your old publisher, PT. Do you use styles for formatting? They really help make things consistent.

Sandra Almazan said...

Danielle, I agree white space is important. It may not be apparent from the photo, but I picked a decent size for type (I think it's 12 point Garamond) with slightly larger leading.

Welcome to the blog, Tyrean! I read mostly on my Kindle these days, so I don't pay as much attention to the layout of paper books. I'm tempted to check out that book you mentioned, though.

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