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Paperback proofs

The first ever physical copies of my first ever book đŸ˜±

Author holding up Duck and Dive paperback book proof copies

(Note, paperbacks are not yet for sale, but the ebooks definitely are.)

Overall, I’m pleased with how they turned out. I’ve got a bunch of little changes I want to make, then I’ll order another round of printed proofs. We’ll see how many rounds I need to do before they’re up to scratch and ready to be released into the wild!

Some of the changes I’m looking into:

  • Increasing font size and decreasing line spacing. The text looks a bit small and roomy in these proofs. I want the text to look its best and be comfortable to read, so I’m making these changes to bring them in line with the books on my shelf i.e. what readers like and expect! I found it challenging to judge how a physical product would turn out while working off a screen, and there’s only so much I could judge from my mock ups (scroll down for more on them).
  • Adjusting margins. I’m pretty happy with the margins as they are, but I want to offset them slightly to increase the gutter margin size. None of the text is swallowed up into the spine in these proofs, and it is all readable, but I want to make it that little bit easier to read so you won’t have to crack the book open quite so far.
  • Adding page breaks. I’ve added one after the dedication page so Chapter 1 doesn’t start on the left hand side, making it consistent with all the books on my shelf. And, depending on where the last page of the story ends up, I’ll look into adding another blank page before the back matter (notes, acknowledgments, etc), so your eyes aren’t flicking over to it when you still haven’t read the very end of the story!
  • Adjusting the spine. The book is a novella, quite short, so there’s not much room to play with on the spine. I’ve currently got the book title and author name on the spine relatively large, and because of printing tolerances, three of the five proofs I ordered look off centre. I’m considering reducing the size of the text so any wonkiness is less noticeable. I’m also playing around with adding a graphic of some sort. I started with only the text, thinking I wanted it as clear and crisp as possible. However, with the printed proofs in my hands, I think it looks too basic, like I’ve plucked it from a default template. So I’m thinking about a few options, and will see how it turns out in the next round of proofs!

The first round of printed proofs were a huge improvement on my mock ups, and I’m hopeful the second round will turn out even better. If you’re keen to hear when they’re ready for sale, jump on my mailing list (always the first port of call for announcements and other goodies!).

The rough paperback mock ups

If you’re interested, here were some shots of my first attempt at mocking up my paperback with our possessed home printer, checking for sizing, spacing, margins, etc.

Duck and Dive paperback mockup printout on home printer. Front cover and internal text.
Duck and Dive paperback mockup printout on home printer. Back cover and internal text.
Duck and Dive paperback mockup printout on home printer. Spine.
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