I do not have much of an “eye” – or rather, I have a very unhelpful half an eye. In other words, I can tell when something looks wrong, but I can’t tell how to make it look right. So when I read that a very kind man called Joel Friedlander has designed a set of book design templates, I decided to treat myself. It is simplicity itself. You choose the template that appeals to you (for me, it was Crimson), buy and download it, and then drop your own text into it. It comes with all the styles and page layout that you need to make your book look professional, and not like something you’ve mocked up in your back bedroom with a set of potato stamps and a photocopier.
So I have just started this process. The cutting and pasting is one of those odd tasks that is both boring and difficult – like the waltz. So you have to concentrate but it is very easy to let your mind wander – and before you know it, you have two chapters ten and no chapter eleven. And you need to do this on as big a screen as you can muster, otherwise your eyes go googly. I am now halfway through the C&P part of the operation, and am writing this blog as a brief respite. Once the text is all in place, I can start checking for widows and orphans (not the ones in my story – those first and last lines of a paragraph left on their own), chapters starting on even pages, headers not carrying over and all the other horrors. I fully expect to go slightly mad.