I received the proof copy of my first book in the mail yesterday. It was pretty exciting to see something I’d written in a bound paperback book form. I had expected my review of the proof to be mainly looking for typos and checking the formatting. I had hoped I might not even need to order another proof. However, once I started looking at it, I realized it’s going to need some major fixes.
First, when I set up the header, I hadn’t noticed that I had dropped the text quite so far. There’s a pretty large gap between the page header and the actual text on the. I found the cause of this; I had used a table in the header to get things laid out the way I wanted, and had neglected to set the height of the rows. That was simple enough; however, it had a ripple effect which caused the page count to drop by several pages. To fix this, I had to adjust the spacing. (Doing a new page count would also mean redoing the cover, which I want to avoid if possible).
The next thing I noticed (or rather, my wife noticed) was that the indenting of paragraphs was a bit bigger than most books. Fortunately, that was an easy fix, though it also affected the page count and left on chapter ending with a single blank line at the top of the page. I’m leaving that for now, though, since it may change as I fix other problems.
I’m only a few chapters into the read of this proof, but I’ve already found several typos and a few places where I just want to change some wording. My wife is also going through the book, and she is also finding things. I still think formatting the book for printing and getting a proof was valuable. Sometimes seeing the words in the final format helps to highlight errors.
Anyway, this means it will likely be the last week of September before I can get this book for sale. Whatever changes I make the to text have to be done in two places now: the print version and the ebook version. Plus, I’ll have to order another proof copy. This takes a few days; I ordered this one early Monday morning and got it Thursday. That’s quick, but it does add some delay.
Assuming everything goes relatively smoothly, I’m guessing I may get the book for sale on September 27th or 28th (just in time for my birthday!). Then I’ll be able to start my next book in earnest.