Guess what I found waiting for me on my porch when I got home last night?

book

First impression: the cover art is dull and dark. Like, way dark. It looks much lighter in these pictures than it does in real life. So I went into the artwork file and upped the brightness, vibrance and contrast all around. It looks blown to hell on the screen, but comparing the printed cover to the original digital file, I think it needs to be. So here’s my advice to any other newbies out there – over-saturate.

The quality is pretty good. The cover has a slightly powdery feel and picks up every molecule of finger grease, but I compared it to a few other books I own and that’s fairly typical of matte covers. And I definitely want a matte cover – the glossy would just look cheesy with this flat style artwork. The cover stock is slightly thin, and I suspect it will curl easily, but that’s part of the trade-off when going with a cost-efficient option. Someday maybe I’ll do a special hardcover edition.

I’m happy with the paper quality, although a few pages seems to be printed slightly paler than others. Everything is still perfectly legible and readable, so that’s probably just me being super picky.

One kind of weird thing – I ordered two copies so I could check for consistency, and they both have a weird natural split on page 157, halfway through the book. It’s not a big deal, just a wee bit strange.

So now I’m running through one of the copies with a red pen to mark any changes I need to make. I’ll be done with that in a couple of days, and then it will be time to send the (hopefully) final version to the printer for one last proof! The only thing I’m concerned about is the cover art, so I want to make sure my adjustments to the color translate well before I sign off.

Overall, I was kind of surprised at how ordinary it felt. I opened the box, saw the books inside, and rather than soaking in the excitement of it I just went straight to work examining them for changes. When I looked at the words on the printed page, it didn’t feel any different than looking at them on the screen – which I have done over and over and over.

At some point after I published “Grime”, I had a sort of epiphany. Maybe it was seeing just how much stuff is already out there, how many people publish stories every day, but I suddenly stopped being scared of it. I stopped assuming this was going to be life-changing. It’s just a thing that I made, and I’m putting that thing out there into the universe to see if anybody’s interested in it. And I plan to do it again. And again. And again.

In other news, I’m at over 200 requests on my Goodreads Giveaway! That’s already better than I anticipated, and it still has 16 days to go.

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