Recently, I did a bit of layout work for my first book 'Fragments of Light.' I finally got the new redesign of it in the mail - and I'm so proud! There was a lot of hard work involved, stress, and many mistakes along the way until I got it perfect. You might ask why I revamped the book, but there were multiple reasons why. Let me explain.
For starters, when I released 'Fragments of Light' (I will refer it to FoL for the sake of typing it out constantly), I had been rusty with graphic design programs. Sure, I knew Photoshop and Illustrator, but you don't layout books in those programs. From my experience many years ago when I did book and magazine layouts, I used Quark Xpress (yes, I'm that old.) Quark was the precursor to InDesign. Because of this, and lack of time I had, I had my book layout outsourced. It worked out, end of story.
This brings me to a few bumps in the road. Because the layout was outsourced, I had no access to the layout in case I needed to change it. Of course, the person who originally laid it out was always willing to change it for me when I needed something changed - like a typo or whatever. These occasions were rare (I think three in total?) But then it came time for Emerald's new portrait. I needed her new artwork in the book, and I didn't want to have to ask AGAIN to change it. I decided now was the time to learn InDesign, giving me a chance to layout my own books as well as give me power over the small changes.
I won't lie, it took me a solid week to figure it out. What made it easy was that since I had much experience working with Quark many years ago, I never forgot how to utilize it, because essentially, InDesign is a copycat program as Quark. But it took me time to get reacquainted with the tools. Not only that, I had to format the book almost EXACTLY to the page count as the previous book. If I modified the page count, I would have to have a whole new ISBN number, then it would screw up my reviews, Barnes and Noble would have to 'approve' it again...you get my drift. After a long and vigorous week, I managed to solidify the updated paperback interior.
So what has changed? The text stayed the same, with exception of a few lines scattered throughout the manuscript. No one will miss them unless you have my book memorized. I won't even miss them. Cutting a few lines helped with some of the pacing, which was more towards the beginning of the script. I updated Emerald's artwork to her new portrait, and added a few extra character portraits to the book, as many of these characters already have prominent roles in FoL. I also included the magic chart that was in 'Fragments of the Mind', and updated my author bio. And the best part? I still managed to get everything in the same page count. Pro right here! (Yeah right.)
If anyone wants to read more about my book, here's 'The Spectrum of Magic' website. The new paperback is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.