Any author will tell you that real life always finds a way to get in the way of writing. Just as I think that I’ve got my new balance sorted out and can settle back into writing, when life decides to throw in yet another interesting twist.
The major work that I had been writing for a closed group over the last year and a half had all been done and completed at the start of May. I thought that with it being signed off, accepted, and distributed, that I had seen the last of it and could devote the effort that led to 200,000+ words of specialist writing to something that would have a wider readership. And something I would find more interesting to write about, as well.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Because the tome (at 1,000+ A4 pages across two volumes, it’s not much else) has been so successful amongst its desired audience, I have been told that they want to turn it into a very limited run coffee table book for distribution as official gifts to VIPs and as an award for employees. Originally, the volumes were meant to be printed to standard 80gsm A4 paper, spiral bound, with a full colour card cover and clear plastic sheet protector over the front. As such, there was minimal use of colour in the text, and the colour that was used had been designed to work when printed in black and white. Not only that, but the cover had been designed to provide all necessary context in the absence of a spine or back cover.
Having sat down with the publishing managers, it looks like the tome is heading for a case bound special print run. I originally thought that it was going to be cloth covered or leather / simulated leather covered, which was going to remove the need for redesigned cover graphics, but again I was caught out.
It seems that the volumes will be full colour paper covered, with matte imagery and spot UV highlighting (probably on the text). That means having to redo the cover imagery, coming up with suitable spine layout for a spine that may be up to 2 inches thick, and coming up with a suitable rear cover.
For each volume.
The graphic design work isn’t too much of a hassle. It’s coming up with suitable synopsis text for the rear cover which might cause some problems.
Because of the size of each volume, I suspect the sheets are going to be oversewn, which means having to manipulate margins in the content but, when combined with the extra tape binding (in appropriate colour), and two ribbon bookmarks per volume, it’s going to have some impact and will last for as long as a book of that size can.
I am going to have to think about the content and imagery again as, with metallic coloured end pages and a full-colour print on 120-135 gsm satin paper (which one is selected will depend on the final book thickness), something written to be printed on plain A4 copy paper in black and white isn’t going to cut it. I might have to revisit my font choices as well, but think that I will be able to get away with what is already in place.
I have a pretty good idea as to how I’m going to make the content worthy of such a high quality full-colour run and will be revisiting all my existing in-text graphics to make sure they’re going to look good when printed to full colour (and in black and white for those who are committed to printing from the electronic files).
The downside to this rather awesome and humbling opportunity is that it means another couple of weeks worth of work to get things up to the required standard.
A couple of weeks worth of writing that I had been planning to allocate to something a little more fun.
That’s not to say that I’m not managing to get the occasional thousand words or so down from time to time, but it is more of a struggle. At least I know that I will have that time to write in the future, with things back in balance again.