Friday Write-Day: Progress on the Non-Writing Front


I have not made much progress at all this week… for NaNoWriMo. With less than 10,000 words written through 18 days, I think it’s safe to say I will not be hitting 50,000 words, or probably even 30,000.

One reason for the lack of progress on either WoEL or my mythology stories this week has been my general stressing over the details of publication. Up until I printed those manuscripts for The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, publication felt like a far-off dream, attainable yet just out of reach.

Now, it feels real. I know that this book will be published, but getting there seems more confusing than ever, and it sort of hit me all at once this week. (Things tend to do that.)

Brainstorms and Revisions

I spent about an hour the other night fussing over page layout and print size for my novel. I don’t even have a revised manuscript or a cover design! But that’s how I spent my Wednesday evening — perusing CreateSpace and Amazon publishing and self-publishing forums for standard book dimensions for fantasy novels.

I think I’m going with 5.25″ x 8″. That seems to be the standard for fantasy novels, judging from my bookshelf. So now I have my Manuscript: Beta document set to that page size with top and side margins of 0.75″, a bottom margin of 0.85″, and a gutter of 0.75″.

Does that sound right?

I have also done a lot of brainstorming for my revisions to The Warden of Everfeld: Memento. I’ve been using the voice recorder app on my phone to rant to myself about my ideas. Turns out, this is probably what I should have been doing all along. Driving tends to bring out my thoughtful, creative process, and my 30-45-minute commute to and from work every day is ample time to mull over and relay a couple of three-minute idea to myself.

Cover Design…!

Earlier this week I decided to check out UpWork, a network for freelancers in a variety of fields to find clients, and vice versa. My over-stressed and excited brain thought it would be awesome to go ahead and post a job proposal for the cover design for my novel…

I got 31 proposals! Is that normal? That doesn’t seem normal to me. So for the last two days I’ve been sifting through the proposals trying to whittle down my list. It’s tough. I’ve looked at some really good artwork, all of which I could envision as the cover for my novel.

This is all terribly exciting, because I cannot wait to see the early concepts/drafts the artist I decide to work with creates. But that raises another question… how the hell do I know how thick my book will be? I want the cover artist to create a full front-to-back design, but I don’t know the full length of the cover with the spine included, because I haven’t even revised my novel yet.

I’m prepared for a long-term project with many back-and-forth communications with a cover artist, but these are the ways I get myself into trouble. I’d love to hear from published authors who have already been through this.

At what stage during your publication process do you get the cover design ready?

Steve D

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