The Proof Is In The…

Sticky notes a-plenty!

Sticky notes a-plenty!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Just a very quick post today – the proof copy has come back for No Quarter, the second book in my Ambeth series, and so I’m focusing on one last read-through before hopefully, publishing by the end of this week.

I would recommend to anyone using Createspace or any other print-on-demand service, to invest in a hard copy proof. Already my pages are full of sticky notes – corrections to words, sentences or even how the text sits on the page. While you can look at something onscreen and get an approximate idea of how it will look once printed, it does not compare to actually holding the book in your hand and reading the printed pages. I spend a lot of time going through my proof copy, not only to pick up any missed indents or minor typos that escaped my 80496th edit, but also seeing how the text sits on the page. I try and eliminate ‘widows and orphans’ wherever possible (not actual widows and orphans, because that would make me an evil person). Instead, I mean a single line of text at the top of a page, or the first line of a paragraph starting at the bottom of a page. I can’t completely avoid them but, by carefully manipulating the text, I can remove most of them.

I’ve also had a bit of trouble with the cover on this one, as my design has been cut off at the outer edges. When I measured the book, I realised that it’s been trimmed about an eighth of an inch too short, which seems to be where the problem lies. So I’ve emailed Createspace and am in the process of getting it all sorted out. Once again, another good reason to invest in a printed proof.

Righto, better get back to work!

33 thoughts on “The Proof Is In The…

    • Yes, it seemed a lot easier this time around, as I just copied the formatting across from the first book so it took about half the time to lay out. Plus I was more familiar with the process which helped – it wasn’t so stressful hitting the Upload button. However, I haven’t started the Kindle version yet – I have fingers crossed I’ll get through that one okay! 🙂

  1. Another great cover, Helen! Very eyecatching and love the colour. I picked up all sorts of issues in my book by checking a print copy, that just didnt seem to show up on screen.

    • Yes, it’s really interesting, isn’t it? It was the same when I worked in advertising – I remember one memorable occasion where an annual report, of which we’d had several thousand copies printed, was discovered to have a typo on one page. We sat in a boardroom for a day putting tiny stickers over it in each copy! So it is definitely worth looking over a printed copy before hitting publish 🙂

  2. Hear hear, Helen. Nothing quite like a physical check. First book I used createspace but this time it’s feed a read which Ali Isaac recommended and I think is superior in both quality price and spread. Have a look for book three maybe unless you are wedded to createspace,

  3. Great advice again! You’re def my createspace guru! Love your cover designs. I’m in the middle of the first book and will be ready and excited for the second. You go girl!

  4. Pingback: The Proof Is In The… | pursuitofanewadventure

  5. So true! Even reading printed drafts of my novel helps me pick up errors that I miss on the screen. A few years’ ago, my son wrote a novel (‘Two Dogs and a City of Cats’) and as a treat, I used CreateSpace to turn it into a bound book for him. We bought a few proof copies, and I saw what you mean about orphans and widows. Also, we’d forgotten about starting the first chapter on the right-hand page, so it began on the left. You don’t realise how traditional book presentation is, and it’s quite disconcerting when it’s not done that way.

    PS. I love your covers, by the way! And the titles!

    • Thanks Louise – I’ve been very lucky to be able to work with my brother on the covers – he was able to take my illustration and come up with a design I was really happy with. And the titles just seemed to present themselves – No Quarter is, I think, an apt description of what happens in this next instalment – I won’t say more than that, but I am wondering how it will be received.
      Oh, and I LOVE the title of your son’s novel – that deserves to be published, it sounds like a great story!

  6. First of all I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your
    mind before writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas
    out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are
    usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?

    Many thanks!

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