A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't Judge A Book By Its...Interior

After and Before 
The funny thing was I was quite happy with my interiors. I seemed to have avoided a lot of the associated hassles people spoke about when making print books for Createspace. I used Word and formatted the print versions myself, and I was meticulous, and I followed the guidelines exactly.

Then I accidentally received the judges comments back from a contest I entered and BAM! Apparently, I suck. I won't go into detail because that wouldn't be professional. I decided that while I might not be able to win that reader over, I was in a position to rethink my interior formatting.

So I did.

I'd been on a panel with Julianne MacLean last year and knew she used Createspace to format her interiors. So I approached my contact there and she (love her) actually offered me a freebie to see how I liked their service--it's hard to get a better offer than that, right?
After (Createspace) and Before (me)
Top-createspace       Bottom-Me

OK--while at first I wasn't seeing a big difference, I do like the way they did the Copyright page and my list of other books. Then I looked inside at the story itself...

After (Createspace) Before (me)

The difference seems to be in the margins and in the kerning. It's subtle and yet their version seems a lot more professional than mine. So, I'm sold. I did a good job (IMO), but their's looks like a 'proper' book. I haven't redone all my books yet, just the Cold Justice Series. Now my cover artist is adjusting the cover size so I can load these new versions onto my local bookstore's Cafe Press printing machine. Then I'm going to check out Ingram Spark.

So although it's a bit of a kick in the teeth to hear negative things, you have to try and use them to empower you in some way. It's easy to be bitter and life is too short :) There are other places that format interiors too. Ask around and find someone you like.

Now I have a box of books formatted the old way, LOL. Guess what? I'll probably use them for contests.

The End!
Visit Toni Anderson at her Website or on Facebook or Twitter.


Anne Marie Becker said...

Great info, Toni. Could the things you learned formatting with Createspace be a possible I SPY segment? Pretty please. :) I'm actually going to try to teach myself formatting for this next release. There was an article in the RWR not too long ago that talked about using Scrivener for formatting. Can't remember if it included print formatting. But I'm going to give it a go if I find the time. ;)

Maureen A. Miller said...

I'd read your books if they were jotted down on two hundred napkins stained with tomato sauce.

Rita said...

More power to you ladies! I dob't have enough brain cells to figure this out. Plus I really don't want to. :-)

Marcelle Dubé said...

I do my own formatting, too, Toni. I took an online course from Oregon Writers Network (OWN) that pointed out the dos and don'ts and then I learned InDesign and worked with Createspace. My little head just about exploded but I did learn and now I find it VERY satisfying to do my own covers and interiors. (If I had the bucks, I'd probably pay for a professional cover designer, but I'd still do the interiors. Fun.)

Good on you for taking a criticism and learning from it. We don't all do so as gracefully as you did.

jean harrington said...

Interesting article, Toni. Yes, the differences are subtle but important. Though that said, the differences you illustrate seem to be between good and "gooder" not between bad and "badder".

Toni Anderson said...

Anne Marie--it isn't difficult. For me it's the constant mouse action making my wrists hurt. Happy to give up any of that stuff for that reason alone! Sounds like Marcelle would be a better I-SPY person... :)

Toni Anderson said...

Maureen--lol. That can be arranged! Thank you for the sweet words :)

Toni Anderson said...

Rita, I figured it out when I had to. Now I'm happy to let someone else do it!!!

Toni Anderson said...

Marcelle, not sure if I'm graceful so much as bloody-minded :) But thanks ;)
I like knowing I can do what I have to do if I had to. I like understanding the details involved. I think you know way more than me on the subject! I love your covers BTW. Always have.

Toni Anderson said...

Jean--I figure if I'm always improving just a little bit, it's a good thing. :)

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