Monday, June 11, 2012

Of Title Pages and Maps: Author Proposes, CreateSpace (and Word) Disposes

       I've always had in mind a fictional gimmick that I thought would be quite effective.  My intent was to have my name as author appear only as minimally as possible in all the volumes of "The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head."  It would appear in the copyright and maybe on the credits for illustrations and maps and (probably only as initials) on a brief acknowledgment of my debt to Robert Graves' Greek Myths.  I wanted the title page and cover to read like this:

The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head
A Series
Volume I
The War of the Stolen Mother
Di'fa'kro'mi the Remembrancer
Translated by
Prf. Kaitrin Oliva
       And that was it.  I wanted to maintain the fiction that this was really a work written in the 30th century by an alien intelligent termite and translated by a Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology of that time.  But I'm pretty sure there is no way to accomplish this without a lengthy discussion with CreateSpace's Member Support people, some of whom are rather dim bulbs in the imagination department, if I dare to say such a thing.  And I really doubt they could accommodate me in any case -- the rules are too cut-and-dried.  I'm sure they would say, you can publish under a pseudonym, but that's silly -- I'm neither Di'fa' kro'mi the Remembrancer or Kaitrin Oliva; they haven't lived yet!  And I want the books to be listed on publishing sources under my name.
       So I decided to compromise and put on the t.p. and cover just the series title, volume number, title of the individual volume, and my name as author -- just the normal stuff that will certainly satisfy CS requirements.  However, this morning I went into CS to set up the title information -- and I can't find a field to insert a series title!  I'd have sworn they had one, but I guess not.  They have a place for a volume number, but I can't call this a multivolume novel. 
       So now I've compromised again.  I set the whole thing up under the title "The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head" to which I will append the volume number, the way I did with "Termite Queen."  Then I'm going to use the individual volume titles as subtitles.  It will appear on the Amazon listing and allow for an Amazon search under the subtitle; I just checked it out using the subtitle of "Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder."  So my cover and t.p. will read as follows:
The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head
Volume One
The War of the Stolen Mother
Lorinda J. Taylor
       Then inside the book, right after the dedication, I'm going to have a fictional facsimile t.p. with all the information about Di'fa'kro'mi and Kaitrin and an imprint with a 30th century date.  The book itself will follow -- Table of Contents, List of Characters, Translator's Foreword, etc.
       Then I thought, where should I put the map?  I was going to put it at the beginning of the 30th century material, but I think it will get lost there.  So I've decided to use it as frontispiece, before the 21st-century title page.  I think that will add a lot to book's appeal.
       I worked on the map this morning and adapting what I'd already drawn didn't turn out to be as easy as I had expected.  (What else is new?)  This map has a horizontal orientation, since Ki'shto'ba and its Companions are traveling from east to west at this point.  So I'm having to turn it and print it sideways, on the left-hand page before the t.p., facing the t.p.  But the darned Word drawing program wouldn't let me rotate it!  I realized it was because you can't rotate a text box, and my maps are loaded with text boxes!  I don't know any other way to put on the captions, pointing out the names of the fortresses, rivers, etc.  The Word Art part of the program just doesn't work well on my current version of Word; the older version that I used to have was much better in that regard.
       So I had to delete all the text boxes and then rotate the page.  Now I'll have to put the boxes back in with the text flipped to run sideways.  Furthermore, I have to change the colored map to black-and-white, because I think it will raise the price of the book too much to ask for a colored illustration.  So I can't color code anything -- for example, in order to differentiate the fortresses of the Shum'za from those of the Da'no'no Shshi.  I may have to vary the symbols.  So you can see I still have a lot of work.

       Now a surprise:  I've decided to print the original colored map here on this blog, on a separate page.  You can go right now to that page and view it!  When I get the b & w one done, I'll add it so you can compare them.  [I had a devil of a time getting the thing to hold its formatting while I turned it into a JPEG!  And would you believe it?  I typed every letter on that map in Times New Roman and it converted part of them into Arial or something similar!  No way to fix it!  Not that it matters particularly -- I kind of like the Arial.  Anyway, on the actual book, I'll just be using copy & paste to put in the drawing.  What this means for Kindle I shudder to think!]

       Addendum to the above, added 6/12/12:  I finished the black-and-white map, but when I inserted it into the template, it completely rearranged the text in the text boxes!  But now I've figured out why it does that.  If there is a default paragraph form in the document into which the material is being inserted, it reverts to that.  Therefore, all the text came out with indention and spacing after paragraphs.  So what I'll always have to do is wait to format the text boxes until the piece is actually in the document.  But it's taken me nearly all day to do this!
       Consequently, I'm not going to try to insert a copy of the map in this blog.  I know it will alter it again and it's not worth taking the time to fix it.  You can look at the colored map and wait for the print book to see the black and white one.

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