NOVEMBER 2020 – First proof copy of the new book has arrived. Feels brilliant to say that! There is still loads of work to do as it is these final weeks that take the project from generically good to what it was intended to be. With any piece of art, to the creator it is largely never ‘finished’, yet there is a point where it is ready to share. And my friends, we are very nearly there. The seventh, yes seventh round of edits is going to be kicking off soon. Will have to go back and check to see how many versions of ‘The Tao of Tula and Olso’ there was before I let it out the door. Probably a similar amount.
I immediately flipped through the test proof copy as soon as I could get it out of the packaging. The cover art was much darker than I intended it to be, largely due to the matte finish I selected for the book (Which is what my first two books have). As a result of how dark it is, you can’t see a lot of the texture and detailing. Warranting revision and another proof run to see if it can be improved or if I need to start over with a fresh design. I changed some of the file settings, modified a few elements, and then ordered a glossy proof copy of the print. As that will have a much greater visible color range, given that it is a clear coat finish. In natural light, the matte finish looks a lot better, but in low light, it looks pretty murky and muted.
So there will be a second round coming soon. I also went through all of the illustrations, which the scaling and clarity of was fine. But the print registration wasn’t dark enough, so they need to be resubmitted as well. Took a minute, but redid all of the design elements/illustrations, and can better assess the 2.0 version when it arrives in a few days. Still, momentum is picking up and Deb is working with me on the final round of edits to make sure the best version of the story is being released. She is absolutely brilliant with her editing catches and asking all of the right questions about the plot arc and devices. I’m learning so much about what works and what doesn’t and being really ruthless with what I cut and take out in editing. Is tough to delete sections, but the finished piece and what is best for the story and the reader is more important than my attachment for excessive witty dialogue or rampant adverb use, haha.
Photo above is the pencils I use for the illustrations, just a classic number 2 pencil, and a .5 mm mechanical pencil. Eraser helps too, haha. Will make a full post on how I do illustrations at some point I think, that could be cool to share. Wish me luck as I go through the final few weeks of design work and editing decisions. I’ll have an update for you soon with a release date and write-up about the book!