Recently I was reading Old Broken Road, by K.M. Alexander, the second book in “The Bell Forging Cycle”:
Now, I know what you’re thinking, but this is not a novel about I-81 through Pennsylvania; it’s about a caravan attempting to make its way from the desert through the mountains to the coast in what, if I remember correctly from the first book, used to be the American Northwest. Now it has largely become a post-apocalyptic wasteland after “the stars were right” and something along the lines of The Great Old Ones returned to wreak havoc. The caravan’s usual (and more or less safe) route along The Big Ninety* being unavailable due to military blockades, they are forced to resort to the (allegedly) cursed, (allegedly) haunted, and (definitely) dangerous eponymous Old Broken Road. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
A gray mist settled over the town, much like the marine layers that hung around Lovat on summer mornings. It filled crevices and seemed to drip from the roof like rainwater, always at the edge of my vision and fluttering away when I tried to focus on it. The mist had an almost sentient quality to it. A creature of crawling chaos pulling itself across the town.
Hmm, crawling chaos? No idea who that could be …
Meanwhile, editing is … finished, yes, finished, on Father’s Books! (If you chose “Because he wants to be able to say editing is finished in the next one” in your local “Why hasn’t Jim posted a Teaser Tuesday in a while?” betting pool, then congratulations! You win … uh, the same thing you would have lost if you’d chosen “Because he has given up reading”.) So now we’re on to the layout and publication phase, which, long-time readers may recall, is harder than it looks. I’m starting with the Kindle edition, since that’s by far where the most books get sold, and the first thing to do is to get the Scrivener file in shape for a proper eBook and Novel export. I still have all my presets saved from the last book, of course, but does that mean everything exported just fine the first time? Or the second time? Or the third time? Pfft. What fun would that be? Here’s what it looks like right now in the Kindle previewer:
So, yeah, that’s got a few issues. For instance, I don’t really want the inside front cover to say “INSIDE FRONT COVER” at the top.
Plus I clearly have too much inside front cover text (I guess I like that scene a little too much), and I don’t really want my title to be inside a tiny little postage-stamp sized block. No doubt other formatting horrors await once I get past these, but I’ll get those straightened out. I always do.
The other thing I need right now? Cover art. Amazon and other platforms helpfully offer premade covers you can pick off the shelf:
However, much as I might like a free bowl of soup, I’ve already put out a call to Emilie Léger, the artist whose work has graced the covers for all my books since Shards, to obtain something suitable from her; stand by for a cover reveal in the next several weeks. But for now, since a book can’t be laid out without a cover, I’m just using the default cover that comes with Scrivener:
Aw, thanks for the vote of confidence, Scrivener. But I’m pretty sure you haven’t even read it.
* I-90 goes through Washington, so, yeah. I’d say they’re heading back to what’s left of Seattle. Although it is much changed by the return of the Great Old Ones, I bet they still have Starbucks.