Style Proofs

We have jumped the gun a bit and have escaped to a warm and sunny place in Italy. I’m not saying how we did it but we have. No longer physically in lock-down seems to have unlocked my brain too so here I am writing a new post for my blog.

Before we left London, I received the style proof for my latest publishing endeavour, a collection of stories called Tales of Dusty Death.  It’s too early to give you a glimpse of the cover but I thought some of you, who might be considering self-publishing, would like a peep behind the scenes.

I published the memoir The Baby Box through Matador, after considering at least 3 different companies offering a self-publishing service. For many reasons, Matador won with me. (See blog post Last Thoughts on Self Publishing)  I have no regrets although one or two matters will be handles differently this time.

Tales of Dusty Death will be a reasonably short volume but that’s fine with me. I want these stories gone so I can begin a new series.⸙

The first stage of this kind of publishing is to understand the pricing and charging system; to consider if the writer is happy with the cost he will bear and to agree a nominal publishing date. Mine is in October.

After I had paid the first instalment and handed my precious manuscript to Matador’s team, I received a style proof. This is made up of the first 12 or so pages. I’m asked to agree the typeface for the pages, what kind of typeface I prefer for the titles, the way the words are set on the pages, margins etc, the numbering of the pages and which glyph I prefer.

The glyph is the symbol which denotes a break in the narrative, whether in time or space. I’m not keen on over-noticeable symbols or darkly printed ones. The printer helpfully used several different styles of glyph, each on a different page, so that I could see the range chosen or ask to see other examples of glyph if I want to.

■■■   ♦♦♦♦   ♥♥♥   ⸙⸺⸺⸙     ⸙⸙⸙⸙    ⸛⸛⸛⸛

(These are not the symbols offered to me as the options on my PC do not include them.)

I chose one offered by the printer. My husband chose another. I opted for his. It was neat, not obtrusive, just a line with an arrow effect.

The next stage is the full text proof where I’ll probably find all sorts of small errors. We’ll see.

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