Susan Grossey

Welcome to the Worm

One of the odd things about self-publishing (and, for all I know, traditional publishing) is that you have to spend a lot of time working backwards.  A book consists of an inside and an outside: the text and the cover.  And the order in which you prepare them is rather specific.  (Of course, for authors whose books are traditionally published, the publisher takes care of that – the author provides the text, and the wrapper and the time-frame are not really his concern.)

I now find myself with most of the inside done, so I can concentrate a bit on the outside.  In order to get the cover designer underway, I have to give her various bits of information: the title and any other cover text, the images I like (to inspire, not direct, her), the ISBN and the cover template.  Ah.  Now, to get an ISBN I have to create the book on CreateSpace (the self-publishing house that I use) – which means that I have to give them the title.  The final, agreed, absolutely-not-to-be-changed title.  So after weeks of dithering, and saying things like “95% decided”, today I have to pitch my tent, stake my claim, stamp my foot and say yes, the title of “Plank 3” is “Worm in the Blossom”.  Scary.

And what of that cover template?  A cover, as eny ful no, consists of a front, a back and a spine.  And the width of the spine depends on the number of pages inside.  And the number of pages depends on… the final text.  Aaaargh.  So the cover designer too will have to work backwards: she can assemble all of the elements of the cover, but won’t be able to pop them into the template until later, because I won’t be able to create that template for her until the formatted text is finalised.  I’m just thankful I’m not writing a novel with flashbacks, otherwise the confusion of a novel set in the past, with flashbacks, and published backwards, might push me over the edge.  Backwards, of course.

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  1. designnadine Avatar

    It sounds exciting, all those final bits to get the book ready for publishing! But yes, lots of decisions to make for you. I just have to patiently wait till I can order the paper version 🙂

  2. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    I’m always slightly nervous that I might forget something crucial, but thankfully my lovely cover designer is very familiar with the process – and if I forget to put in the text, I will notice when a blank proof copy arrives!
    Best wishes from Susan

  3. Graham Avatar

    Dear Susan

    It really adds a fascinating dimension to hear about all the little things that go into your books, and that we are still learning new things as we reach the third in the series. I would never have thought about the width of the spine needing to be factored in, even though it makes complete sense once you explain why.

    It’s a big thumbs up from me for deciding to go with “Worm in the Blossom” as the official title!

    Best wishes


  4. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    Dear Graham
    I know – I love fitting it all together like a puzzle! Yes, the spine width is very important; books that are very thin (often slim volumes of poetry) suffer because their spine is not big enough to put large print on, and so people can’t read them on the shelves.
    And I though you’d be pleased about the title! I did toy with “The Worm in the Blossom”, “A Worm in the Blossom”, “A Worm in a Blossom”, “Worm in a Blossom” and “Worms in the Blossom” – but a long-suffering friend tried saying and remembering all of them, and concluded that “Worm in the Blossom” was both easiest to say and most memorable.
    Best wishes from Susan

  5. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    I gave up with CreateSpace and hired an expert! I’m not cut out for the modern age.

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