Friday, 14 December 2007

City of Masks proof

The City of Masks proof arrived from CreateSpace just now - impressive, considering that it was shipped on Tuesday (and I ordered it on Monday). Especially impressive this close to Christmas.

The cover looks great, title, cover illo, C-Side Media logo, even the spine text is correctly aligned, despite CreateSpace's dire warnings about the risks of putting text on the spine of a book under 130 pages (it's 128).

However, something's gone wrong with the ligatures in the interior copy, and the letter combination "fi" has dropped out almost everywhere it occurs (also fl, all apostrophes, and probably some others). It looks fine in the PDF I have here. I've just sent a support request; hopefully they can help me out.

I was going to do another proof in any case, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I'm now planning to dual-publish at CreateSpace and Lulu. Lulu has much better pricing once you start buying in bulk, but getting distribution through Amazon with Lulu is relatively complicated, costs extra, and has certain limitations, so publishing through both at once makes sense. Unfortunately, when I was doing the original CreateSpace setup I picked the size 8.5 x 5.5 inches, completely arbitrarily - and Lulu doesn't print in that size. They both do 9 x 6, which just involves putting an extra quarter-inch all the way around the pages, so I should be able to do that without too many issues. (EDIT: No, I can't. CreateSpace doesn't let you change your mind about the trim size after you've ordered the first proof. Damn!)

The other reason I need to revise it is that I put a URL on the cover and in the front matter for a Wordpress blog, before I'd thoroughly investigated the functionality available at I was relying on a description I'd read that said "Wordpress can do such-and-such", without realizing that while Wordpress the application can do a great many things when hosted on your own site, Wordpress the site is very sandboxed and paranoid and will let you do hardly any of them. In particular, you can't put HTML in your Wordpress blog which includes a form, so I can't include a signup form for my mailing list on the blog. That's a dealbreaker for me; people are much more likely, in my opinion, to sign up from a simple form than they are from just a link. So I'm going to be using as my promotional blog for the book.

I'm planning to record myself reading the book and release it as a series of podcasts, then sell it as an audiobook. I may even, if I get myself organized, release the podcasts on the corresponding dates to the dates in Gregorius's journal (most of the book is told through journal entries). That would be kind of fun, and would give me a deadline.

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