Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Almost Ready for the Printer!

We’re making great progress on getting Wind of the Spirit ready to go to press! The text has been flowed and the final edits completed. I’m really getting excited about finally seeing this puppy in print! I’ve even ordered some gorgeous bookmarks to hand out. Wait till you see those. LOL! I only have a pdf, which blogger doesn’t accept, or I’d post that too.

Take a look at the images at the left that show the chapter opening pages. We’re using the graphic shown on the first one for the chapters that take place with Elizabeth in New York. The second one is what the chapters set with White Eagle among the Shawnee will look like. Each graphic then also appears in the running heads and the breaks between scenes of those chapters to differentiate the two settings. Didn’t Marisa do a great job with this interior?

All I have left to do is to check through the pages one last time before I create the PDF for the printer. I want to make sure I caught and eliminated all the widows and orphans—the first or last line of a paragraph that flowed over onto the top or bottom of a page, where it sits all by its lonely self. I’ve read several books lately where the editor obviously didn’t know that you’re supposed to eliminate those.

I hate to say it, but I’m seeing a lot of sloppy editing lately—everything from grammar to punctuation to logic. I don’t know if younger editors simply aren’t properly educated and trained or if publishers are increasingly expecting their authors to pay freelancers to edit their books, with the to-be-expected uneven results. I know the economy is bad and everyone is trying to save money, which in a lot of cases means either letting old-timers who earn too much money go and hiring neophytes or transferring as much of the cost of production onto the author’s shoulders as possible. Whatever’s going on, quality, at least in the Christian marketplace, is plummeting in my humble opinion. I guess I’m one of those old-timers. I have every intention of making sure both the writing and the editing of all our books are stellar.

Design is another area that’s suffering. There are gorgeous covers, mediocre ones, and ones that make you wince, but that’s always been the case. But now so many of the current crop of fiction releases I’ve seen have interiors that look downright ugly to me—fonts that are harsh on the eyes, clumsily designed running heads and folios (page numbers) that are way too large, leading that is too tight or too loose. At Sheaf House, we’re going to make sure that both the cover and the interior are beautifully designed and that the text is attractive and easy to read.

Okay, enough qvetching, already! Wind of the Spirit will go to the printer by the 19th at the latest, with delivery to the warehouse by mid February. It’s set to officially publish March 2, but once it’s logged into the warehouse, it’ll start shipping to retailers and will also be open for orders on the Sheaf House shopping cart. It’s already available for pre-order on Barnes and Noble and CBD, though without the cover for some reason. I need to see what I can do about that asap and also contact Amazon, which so far hasn’t posted it.

Stay tuned for more news!