Friday, February 8, 2013

Birth of a Novel: formatting and book covers

This blog series following the creation of Duty: A Novel of Rhynan from idea to print book is part of an experiment. The first installment was Birth of a Novel: the starting point.

With Duty, I thought I had polished up the front cover pretty early in the process. By April 2012, I felt it was  pretty much finished. The image of a thoughtful redheaded woman caught my eye. I really loved the expression on her face. I played with many different cropping options.

Then when I revisited the cover again right before publication, my husband said he thought I could improve it more. I played with layering and effects. The end result was this:

Designed by Rossano Designs (Rachel Rossano)

Next was developing Duty’s cover blurb:

Duty to King

Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble who switched sides late in the conflict, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.

Duty to Others

Daughter of the late Lord Wisten, Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The villagers’ men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a winter of starvation if they do not find a solution soon. Learning that her cousin sold her hand in marriage to save his life doesn’t come as a surprise. She is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?

Duty to Each Other

Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and court politics. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other.  Failure could mean death.

Formatting took a bit more effort and wasn’t quite as fun. I determined I would up the ante with this release and include some fancy formatting. The print versions of Duty feature interior decoration that continues a variation of the leaf motif from the cover design.

A great deal of trial and error came with the work, including learning a new word processing program so I could get the page numbering just right. Finally the formatting technique was figured out, but the editing wasn’t finished. So, I turned to my next task, planning promotion.

Question: How picky are you about typos and 
grammar issues within books you read?

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