Archive for September, 2012

A Self-publishing Control Freak

I just finished editing Book 3 last night. Phew! Now, onto the covers so I can get this book out to my readers.

This is where my obsession for being the god of my make believe universe really kicks in. As a self publisher, I get to design my own covers for both the ebook and the paperback. Book 3, unfortunately, exists in a time and place that I don’t have any relevant pictures for. That forces me to rely on other people to provide something usable, and since they aren’t in my head (which is a good thing. It can get scary in there), I’m not completely satisfied with their offerings.

I know I’m being unreasonable. Control freaks usually are. It’s not that we’re not appreciative of the efforts of others. We just get irritated when they don’t do it exactly the way we think it needs to be done. The kicker is, we probably don’t excel that much more than the other person would. We just need to be in control of the given task to retain comfort and security with the situation. It’s a sickness to be sure, but since doctors and therapists are notorious control freaks also, I don’t see a cure coming anytime soon.

Because I’m also a graphic designer (one of oh-so-many jobs in my repertoire of life experiences), I have to privilege (or curse) of obsessing with the look of the book, hands on. I not only choose the images and typeface, I lay everything out, staging whatever is necessary in the cover shot. I tweak and nudge and measure. I scrutinize the covers from the previous two books to get the branding (yeah, I hate that word two, but it works) just right.

The ebook cover is one thing. The paperback cover is a whole new obsessive ball of wax. Now I have to worry about how well my decisions will print. Do my photos have a high enough resolutions? Is my white type on the colored background going to be readable? Do I have overprint problems?

There are times when I wish I didn’t know any better. I’d probably be happier and look younger if I could give just put my stubborn will to rest, let my life flow around me and allow others to make their contributions free of my self-righteous judgement. But you know….they’d just do it wrong.