It is really strange to feel that, after a long time, the scans are almost ready to be sent to the printer, all done over the Internet, how different from the way things used to be. The text is now set up. I have small alterations to make to the front cover scan, and then need to do some serious proof-reading. One thinks that after so many versions enough combing of the text has gone on, but just this afternoon I noticed that I had typed MOONWUZO PRESS (an earlier version) instead of MOONWUZO BOOKS on the copyright page; and this could have gone off to the printers so easily, and even into the book. Making changes after the proofs are returned, that is changes due to one’s own errors, is an expensive business.
Tomorrow I will continue to print out copies of each page and mount them in a handsome hardback ring-bound sketchbook that I bought ages ago, more or less for this purpose. This will be sent snail-mail to the printers (just to give them something to check against when they are setting-up the book), the day before I send the scans. Then that is it, as far as the making the book goes; in spite of quite a bit of research into process of selling, in a practical sense I have almost been totally remiss so far about publicity, as I found it necessary to concentrate on one thing at a time.
In a way I have been putting off thinking about the next part of the process; out of nervousness, perhaps. But once the printed books arrive, I shall certainly be motivated to start getting them out there into the world. Once I get going on this, I should be OK, I got over any qualms about selling my work a long time ago, it is actually quite interesting. Selling locally, which I will probably do before an official publication date, is fine; and I have quite a few contacts.
I do like the story, which helps. It has been such a luxury to have had the time to do it the way I wanted, the time to experiment, re-do pages if necessary. The Midnight Hare has probably taken me rather too long; but maybe it just took as long as it needed.
This is a central image of the book, where one scene runs directly into another. Putting the normal margin round it felt wrong, so I have decided to put the two pictures together, even though they are different scenes. This is the only place in the book that I have done this. The reasons are twofold: the aesthetic feels better like this, and the emotional element of the story feels more direct. It is a problem to set up a double-page spread in this manner because the margin between the pages may not print exactly right – but there is a 3mm bleed tolerance; and also, since the book is going to be perfect-bound, there won’t be a staple in the middle, which would exaggerate a mismatch. So hey, that’s the way it is going to be.
I have now done the cover, complete with lettering, and it is in my especial folder on my desktop to be put in disc, and taken up to Spittal for a pre-print meeting, where I will check the cover for size; and also check the colours in other scans. I have made two copies of the cover scans, as it is easy to misuse them. For instance, if you set uptext using Acrobat, if you take the file back into Photoshop for any reason, the lettering gets stripped off. I can’t use Photoshop lettering for the final scans as the main printer won’t recognise it.
The scans are all done now, except for one double page which I have decided to print without borders, even though the design does not cross over the page, as it is a crucial scene in the book which the borders alienate somehow. The above illustrations seem to go together OK, though having painted the two separately there is this slight disjunct. However, I am going with this as part of the atmosphere of the book. There are old-fashioned elements which I am aware of, and which I actually like.
In a week or so there will be a pre-print meeting, when I shall find out how the colours reproduce on their machines. When painting on a white ground it was necessary to reduce the magenta (using Photoshop) but I think the colours work differently on the brown. I have put the words on to these scans in Photoshop, so as to get the spacing right; but once I have seen the printers, I shall move the scans over to Acrobat for putting on the final lettering. This will all come off the scans if I take them back into Photoshop, so it is obviously necessary to get the colours reading right before I create the final scans and put them on disc.
The first process is nearly finished, now I shall have to apply myself to the publicity and the selling process; but one thing at a time….