|Perpetua (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It's all quite exciting. For a start, I find layout therapeutic, a load of rote tasks performed with the assistance of a glass or two of Bombay's finest and some quinine-laced fizzy stuff. Page down, change headline to 22 point Perpetua, body font Palatino Linotype first para no indent, second para 0.5cm indent.
I've been messing around a lot with font sizes, templates and margins and think I've got quite a good combination going now, so I'm trying to reformat all of my print books to meet the new grid. Slightly more space and a slightly larger font/leading. After much soul searching, Garamond is going and Palatino is this year's body text bikini model.
Like people give a hoot? Yes, I think easy on the eye is good if it's unobtrusive and the reader finds it more comfortable. Do I care too much about type? Oh, yah. Seriously. Perpetua, and I'm sure you'll think I'm odd saying this, is my typographical Musar; the Orrefors of the world of letters. I have long admired the odd life and achievements of eccentric stone cutter (and enthusiastic rutter) Eric Gill - the William Morris contemporary who gave us the London Underground's typographical identity, which persists today, as well as WH Smith's logo - and Perpetua was, to my mind, his finest lifetime achievement. Seriously.
Sorry. Sidetracked again.
Check spellings, get annoyed at Microsoft's daft blue-lining of things that are patently right. Catch SNAFU, wince, change.
Then the MS, updated to reflect my Createspace edits. Lose all the italics in the book, damn, spend an hour replacing them using the Createspace file as a reference. Fine. Review some of those itals and lose a couple. Find an awful literal sitting there in the text snarling at you like a drugged-up bullfrog. Excise the bastard like one of George Bush's colonic polyps. You'd have thought I was experienced enough not to have to deal with these things. Oh no.
The manuscript is now complete and uploaded to Createspace, Amazon KDP and Smashwords and so A Decent Bomber is available for pre-order from Amazon as a Kindle book, from iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and many other brilliant, decent even, ebook platforms. It publishes 'officially' on November 5th, but every pre-order means another heave up the rankings on that day, so I'll be irritating everyone I know between now and then to pre-place their orders. The Createspace book, the paperback, will go 'live' sometime in the next week.
I won't, once again, be doing a conventional print run. It's simply not worth it. Olives took five years to make back its Dhs15,000 investment and I still don't have a final report from the distributors, despite the book having sold out before last year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
But I'm happy. Truly happy. Two years in the writing, albeit with very many breaks and stops, A Decent Bomber is now a novel I can say has merit and personality enough to be a readable thing.
Which is nice...