Spotlight on Writing

There’s a lot happening at Linderson Creations this month. Some of you might have heard that we FINALLY got our cover design for When the Rain Falls back, which was probably the highlight of my month. We had been patiently awaiting this since June, so it has been a long time in coming. Though it took a long time, we knew this from the outset and were willing to wait for a beautiful cover. After all, it’s taken us fifteen years to get to this point with When the Rain Falls, so a few more months wasn’t going to make a difference.

Our cover designer finally sent the files through, and it was as perfect as we had imagined. I flew into action, knowing there were a few final touches that needed to be put into place. I’ve talked about the interior design before, and I had it close to perfect. But I knew it had to be exactly on point before providing the final measurements for the cover, so I triple checked everything and ran it through my favorite filter—comparing the quality to books that are published by big name authors and professional publishers.

You come up with interesting questions during this process. Like how to deal with widowed lines and orphaned words. How many lines are acceptable on a fresh page at the end of a chapter? Clearly, one line on a page looks untidy and unprofessional. But were two lines okay? After surveying several books, I concluded no less than five lines were permissible.

So, I set about fixing it. In Scrivener, if you turn on the widow/orphan control, it fixes the issue. Sort of. The problem with it is it then creates a ragged appearance on each page, where the paragraph height at the bottom of the page in a two-page spread doesn’t match up. So, to create a squared-off interior, the only solution was to leave widow/orphan control turned off and instead minutely decrease or increase the character spacing, to force the lines to budge up into the previous page or spill over more into the next. It sounds odd, but it works, and you cannot notice the difference in character spacing at all. The other touchups were much easier and involved perfecting the front and back matter.

Since then, I am excited to be finalizing the print and ebook copies on a number of different platforms, including Amazon, Apple iBooks, and Kobo, with Ingram Spark still to come. And if the paperback preview for Amazon is any good at all, then I think I did a perfect job of the interior. I’ve proven to myself I can do a professional job with time and patience, and I’m proud of that. We’ve learnt so much over the last year or so. Not only about the craft of writing a good novel, but about the craft of producing one, too.

Personal Update

There’s not a lot going on, if I’m honest. Or at least, not a lot I can tell you. In this week’s podcast I allude to some stuff going on in my private life. It’s one of those awkward things that affects your entire life, and so it seeps through in freefall-style writing exercises. But it’s still too close to home to share right now, so I’m going to have to ask for a raincheck in this column.

For now, I’ll simply share something I’ve learned over the past few weeks: Sometimes you need to give yourself some extra love. And it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to ask for help.

The Perfect Book requires a perfect cover... and a perfect interior!