Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside, that counts.ROBIN WILLIAMS as THE PEDDLER
Right now, I am in the midst of the biggest and most complicated project of my life.
Bigger than any project I ever undertook in my schooling (which was unsuited to prepare me for what I am doing now) and bigger than anything I ever did while in the employ of others. My current endeavor is the kind of thing few people even attempt. And if it achieves even a degree of success, it will almost certainly change the trajectory of my entire life.
By doing this, I have stopped following the script written for me by others. And, in doing so, have kind of rejected society. Growing up, it seemed like the world I lived in was stacked against the idea of an individual becoming their own person. Entrepreneurship was vocally approved of, but nearly nothing was done to prepare people for it.
And though I have said this before, to become an author is to become an entrepreneur. I now find myself not only as the writer of a book, but as its producer.
And with the audiobook fully produced and finished. It is now time to do the text version’s interior.
The Art of Book Design
Most readers never consider the difference between a manuscript and a book. Long after a manuscript is finished, with every jot and tittle set in stone, the actual, finished book still needs to be constructed. Accomplishing this is the work of a qualified professional.
To illustrate the point further, here is what a manuscript page looks like:
And this is what the same page looks like in a finished book:
And just because you are in possession of the former does not mean you automatically have the latter.
The task of transforming manuscript to book is known as “Book Design”, and this art incorporates things like typesetting, front cover design, back cover design, and spinal design.
The example page above was typeset by an artificial intelligence. Though rare for traditionally published books, many self-publishing authors opt to have their manuscripts typeset by an automated process, as it is more cost effective (in this case, absolutely free) than hiring a professional typesetter or book designer.
In my current situation, I find myself in a bit of a pickle, because I would prefer to hire a full-service book designer, but I don’t yet have all the materials I would need to give this designer.
Illustrations are Incoming
I am currently working with an illustrator to give my novel, Advent 9, an immersive, graphical component. The finished illustrations must be given to the typesetter before they can translate the manuscript into a finished product. The cover art, also, must be incorporated into the book’s final design, and I will not receive that until June at the earliest.
To complicate matters further, I am going to launch a Kickstarter for this book once it reaches a sufficient state of completion to where I can show it off to the reading public. As part of that Kickstarter, I may include stretch goals that allow for the creation of even more illustrations than are currently planned.
This may delay my ability to give all the necessary materials to a professional book designer. Which is a shame, because the Kickstarter will be much more appealing if I can show off truly finished pages.
It is a frustrating paradox.
A Professional-looking Product
When the Kickstarter launches, I intend to give away a portion of Advent 9 for free, both in text and audio form. It would be nice to have the finished form available for this giveaway, but I may have to settle for an almost-finished version—something like the following AI-generated page:
But then, once everything else has been decided, I can go the rest of the way. Until then, I will thank you for your patience. When this is over, we’ll all have quite the story to tell.
Which is the point.
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