My book is a real book now!

A few weeks ago I wrote about publishing my book with Create Space. I got my proof and when I first pulled it out of the envelope, it was, OMG, my book is a real book now!

My book - Image by Amaia Li

My book – Image by Amaia Li

I like ebooks. I published The Night of the Moon Serpent first as an e-book, and I felt proud when I saw it in my family’s and friends’ devices. But having my story as a book in my hands, printed on actual paper and bounded between covers; it is a whole different feeling. It is as if for the first time it hits you that you have really, really wrote a book. It is Wow! It is worth all the hours I put formatting the book for submission, and going over and over it until everything looks perfect.

Well, I’m almost there. I probably could have saved myself some sweating and having to purchase a second proof if I had done a few things differently. For example, don’t take the template for granted. Yes, it saved me from having to figure out margins, page numbering, and heading styles for the different sections of the book, but it also came with a default font that I later realized was not, in my opinion, suitable for my book.

On my laptop screen and at 120% magnification, Garamond at 11 pt. looked great, but when I got my proof, the font proved to be too small and “washed out” for my taste. That’s when I regretted not having tested it by printing a paragraph or by running a comparison like this:

Fonts - Image by Amaia Li

Fonts – Image by Amaia Li

to see the actual size and look of the font before ordering my proof–no, I should have done it even before I had the cover made because you need to know how many pages your book has, so that the person who’s doing your cover can calculate the spine thickness. In other words, when it was time to change the font, I couldn’t have a larger one (or I would’ve ended up with more pages) because my cover was already designed for 100 pages.

The solution was to pick a font I liked and in a size that would give me the same number of pages I already had. The winner was Constantia at 10 pt. I would have loved to go 11 pt. because children’s and middle graders’ books usually have larger fonts, but I had to work with the cover I already had or pay for a new one.

The second proof looks much better with the new font. Now, I’m doing one more— and hopefully, final review— and I’ll be very happy to click the “Approve” button on the Create Space dashboard.

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