Remember when I mention that one of the things that’s handy about sequels is that you have to make far fewer decisions than you do for the first book in a series? That’s been on my mind a lot the last few days. For you see, I’ve been making piles and piles and piles of decisions for the next book, and it’s making me a little dizzy.
The decisions for KCC weren’t too bad. It was the first book I published, so I wanted to keep things simple. I was also absolutely determined that it would look like it belonged when it was set on the yarn store shelf, so I pretty much just grabbed some books I liked, showed them to my printer, and said ‘let’s do it like this.’
But this next book? This next book is a bit different. First, I feel quite a bit more confident in what I’m doing (seven books will do that…you’ll learn stuff along the way whether you want to or not). And second, well second I’m not quite so concerned with this one looking like every other book on the shelf. In fact, I’d rather it stand out a bit.
So I’m having some fun chatting with my printer about options. Now this can quickly get dangerous. Go look at the kids book section in your local book store and you’ll see the sorts of things that can be done to books. Glow in the dark inks, fuzzy bits, funny shapes, the options are nearly endless. But unless your budget (and the tolerance of your audience) is similarly endless, it’s probably better to restrain yourself.
I am (alas) limiting myself to just a few flourishes. Most of these are dictated by the format of the book, (hardback, which tickles me to no end). That in itself presents a lot of extra decisions. You’ve got endpapers and head and tail bands (the wee fabric strips at the top and bottom of the spine) at a minimum, and quite a few other choices if you want to have a bit of fun.
All of which is a very long way of saying I’ve been looking at sheets and sheets of these (paper choices),
and these (head and tail band choices),
and these (wee ribbon bookmark choices, I couldn’t resist).
And I am feeling just the tiniest bit overwhelmed.
Now I know it doesn’t really matter. Not in the grand scheme of things. I’m dreadfully picky about books, and even I have never decided I simply couldn’t buy a book I otherwise really wanted because the endpapers were an unacceptable shade of orange. But oh…oh wow do I love it when a book gets all those little details right. And getting to do it myself? Well that’s an awful lot of fun.
Images are from materials provided by my printer, Asia Pacific Offset, and are used with permission.