Things are very exciting around here. I’ve gotten my proofs back from the printer (it’s CreateSpace, so this also serves as my final proofreading/approvals copy) and the results are mixed. I’m producing this book in two formats, for two audiences. The first format is straight-up text; the second is an illustrated gift version. Why? Because I think it’s smart from a marketing point of view. The illustrated gift version is quite lovely (I’m including the cover below) but all that loveliness costs money. To capture the more penny-wise folks I’m producing a small, economical, text-only version, suitable for tucking into a purse (or a diaper bag).
I still have to get the proofreaders’ reports, but from a graphic standpoint the results are mixed. I really like the gift book cover; the economy model, not so much. So it’s back to the drawing board on that one. The nice thing is that it’ll only cost me the price of a proof (which I’ll need, anyhow, once I make my text changes). The cover on the small book just isn’t gelling for me. And that brings up a really, really good point. You. Cannot. Trust. Your. Monitor. Don’t ever, ever sign off on a print job without seeing a proof–and if it’s a color job, insist on a color-calibrated proof. This cover looked lovely and soft and elegant on my monitor. when I held it in my hand it just looked lame. So, now’s the time to fix it. The gift book version is working, so I’ll go with that look as the basis for the small book art.
The other thing I don’t like about the little book is that it’s not little enough. I set it at 8.5 x 5.5, which I thought would look small and cute. It doesn’t. It’s not big enough to make a statement, or small enough to be charming. It’s just lukewarm, fit only to be spewed out of my mouth. Or re-designed, in this case. Thank goodness this is a short book. I went back into the CreateSpace options and chose the smallest trim size they offer–it’s a bit over 5×7.5–and tweaked my copy to fit that. It’ll increase my page count slightly, and therefore my cost, but by judicious layout adjustments I’ve been able to pretty much hold the length. Here’s hoping the next proof comes out better.
Speaking of proofs, CreateSpace is offering a great new pilot program, and they invited me to participate. They now offer an option to waive your proof. This option should address one of my pet peeves with the CreateSpace system–that they don’t allow me to bleed certain types of graphics off the page. My proofs look pretty good; a few of the images were layered improperly, but I can see them in the proof, and have already fixed them. It’s now a million times easier than it was before, when I just got a terse little note telling me my whole book was unprintable, which left me cursing and trying to fix the problem by guess and by gosh.
So anyhow, it’s been a good, productive day, which brings me to marketing, which I plan to get locked down this weekend. I’m doing something special to market this book. Instead of just selling the book, I’ve developed a line of mom- and baby-related products on CafePress. I’ve put together a gift basket’s worth of samples–a maternity t-shirt, baby shirts, blankets, and hats, coffee mugs, birth announcements, shower announcements, a journal, thank-you notes–all sorts of things geared toward the expectant mom and her baby. Add the memoir, and it’s a gift tailor-made for single mothers and mothers-to-be. I’ve got another book in mind for the baby, but I won’t go into that now.
So, without further ado, here’s a peek at the impending book cover–a literary ultrasound, if you will: