An interesting and very fulfilling month it was! Book two, Animus of Hauden, became available in print this month after I managed to successfully navigate all the requirements from Lightning Source. In addition to getting minor business details for Clarice Publishing squared away, I also had to tackle the learning curve on Adobe’s Indesign software in order to properly create the interior and cover files for Lightning Source. This was a much easier and quicker task than I had envisioned, and I was very thankful that my day job in computer programming and general technical knowledge allowed me to tackle these tasks without issue. Lighting Source’s documentation proved adequate, mostly in regards to their Postscript printing and Adobe Distillation settings, and with the exception of a minor issue with the cover barcode, everything went without a hitch. The barcode issue was entirely my fault, very easily corrected, and I had no delays with Lightning Source because of it. Also, my LS Client Representative was very helpful in answering the one question I did have concerning a portion of the metadata for the book – I had read various complaints regarding the difficulty in dealing with LS at times, but to date, I have none to report. I have the proof copy of book two in hand; I have placed an order for some additional copies that are now in transit on a UPS truck; and the listing for Animus of Hauden has started appearing on Amazon and B & N – I assume I’ve done everything right, and any details that I may have missed can be corrected with book three.
I would like to talk a little bit about the process of laying out the interior text of the book. There were a lot of little things in book one, Heart of Hauden, that I did not quite like or discovered were wrong after doing my own research on interior book design – research that was very limited actually, as a few Google searches always found what I needed very quickly. In a nutshell, it really came down to the age-old adage that if you want something done right, do it yourself. While firing up Adobe’s Indesign may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I found that there was no substitute for the ability to lay things out exactly as I wanted them. I was able to lay out the Appendix into a much more reader-friendly format, add some clipart that I think provided a degree of professionalism, and lay out the body text using a font and line spacing that I felt made the book a little more appealing and readable than the first one. While imagining the story and crafting the words is still the most rewarding aspect of writing, being able to create the cover and lay out the interior has given me a much more complete sense of accomplishment. I can now hold book two, Animus of Hauden, and know that the entire creative endeavor was under my control. This is very satisfying in a way that just penning the story and having someone else design the cover and lay out the interior can never be. When I now say, “Here is my book,” I mean it about as literally as it can be.