March 21, 2008

I have books

I have books! Boxes of actual, physical copies of my book. Zenith publishers have been great to work with and met every deadline we agreed to. See how they work at You can buy a copy for $28 plus freight from the same website – click on new releases or search on the book title or my name.

The cover looks fantastic, with colours richer than those in the image on this blog.

Now I am in marketing mode, not my favourite activity. However, needs must. The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland and Unity Books in Wellington will carry copies. I’ll work on expanding further into the independent bookstore network. My focus at the moment is libraries and my own networks, which are extensive, I can hook into several email lists and will be in the next newsletter from The Women’s Bookshop, which goes to 4000 subscribers.

I’m having a launch next Sunday at 4.30 here in Paekakariki at the local community hall. Writer Renee will launch Take It Easy. To help cover launch costs I will sell, for $10 a copy, some of my previously published books.

February 16, 2008

the cover & Launch

Here is the front cover.The artist, Seraphine Pick, was very gracious about me using her painting as the image. The blurb on the back, which was sooooo hard to write, reads:

Isobel is confronted by a decision from her past that she thought she had dealt with. Now she wants to understand her actions and that means digging back into her past. Surely she was fighting for her own sense of who she was, not just reacting to an arid childhood. A wobble in the foundations of her relationship with her partner Iris intensifies as Isobel seeks understanding of herself and of the meaning of family.

I tried very hard to make it cliche-free.

A date has been set for the launch - 30 March, here in Paekakariki. Renee, friend, writer, playwrite and poet will launch it and many of my Paekakariki friends will be involved. My partner Prue will MC the event.

We have a time line that is designed to get books in hand by Easter, which gives a week, more or less, with public holidays involved, before the launch date.

February 9, 2008

Production progress

This is the logo Jill and I have worked out for pjpress. Inside the box the black and white can be reversed. I'll put the cover on the next post, when I have a version with the new blurb text. Setting up a page on google pages, a kind of faux website as far as I can tell is my next step. Learning these new techniques is what I find hard, probably because I don't really understand what I am doing, I am just following instructions that don't necessarily mean a lot to me and my brain works best when it understands what's happening.

Very soon I will have a proof-reading printout, which my partner and a friend will proof-read for me - have done a copy edit - and then it will be ready to go to the printer who will provide a printed proof copy, which will be the moment of truth for how it actually looks as a book. I am planning a launch for 30 March, here in Paekakariki where I live, more in a later post on that.

January 19, 2008

layout, fonts and more

Holidays are over, layout is underway, cover designs are going back and forth between m e and Jill, who is doing the design work. There's a logo for PJ Press, too.

For me, because the details of designing and laying out a book are the least known aspects of this project, having Jill involved is essential. She knows the technical business of what used to be called typesetting and now is computerised. Selecting a font went differently from how I expected. I had a couple I liked, maybe a bit old-fashioned, but had the right feel - Garamond and Bookman. When I saw them in a page sized as for the book I wasn't so keen. Jill came up with Bembo and bingo! there it was. In fact, what we are heading towards is using that one font, in different sizes, for everything, including the cover, which Jill tells me is unusual. But so far I like it. The text will be in Bembo 10pt, with spacing between the lines as Jill has worked it out for readability, 5mm para indents.

We have gone for a simple page layout, page numbers centred at the bottom, no headers, chapters numbered but not named, each one starting on a new page. The book has three parts, each part starting with a quote so each of these will have a full page. There is a lot of detail to decide on. It matters, I think, and the end result should be that the reader doesn't especially notice any of it.

The cover is looking great. Pink (a kind of a melony pink from the artist's image) and grey sound bad but are looking good. The hardest part is the words for the back cover. As soon as I start writing something the cliches flow in a great torrent. One of the main plot points is not one I want to reveal on the cover, it's an unusual, possibly shocking, decision the protagonist made in her early life and to talk of a 'secret' in the blurb straightaway suggests sexual abuse, which has nothing to do with it. I've read lots of advice on how to write this and none of it is helping. I've just emailed version 3 to Jill but who knows if it is the final one.

My next job is to go to the sales website and work my way through that.