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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