“The final instalment is sensational! A thrilling narrative that does not disappoint.” Ashleigh Armstrong
“A great conclusion to the series” Brenda, Top Goodreads Reviewer.
A long time ago, Rab learned the secret of the planet he calls home. Now, after years of enslavement under the Feathers, Rab considers an escape with Cloud, hoping to find refuge with the few surviving Top-Siders who still live free in the west. But there have been dire warnings of a new breed of predator in the skies and the Kun, leader of the Feathers, has deployed his human captives to fortify the settlement’s defences.
When the child of Rab’s adopted son disappears and the Kun’s settlement comes under siege, an unlikely friend surfaces and events are set in motion that will shatter perceptions and radically shift the course of the future.
noun 1. a decorative design or small illustration used on the titlepage of a book, or at the beginning or end of a chapter. Macquarie Dictionary Publishers, 2019
I recently presented a session on The Well Crafted eBook as part of a workshop on How To Publish an eBook with Ken Vickery at the Bassendean Library. As part of my session I addressed the question of including Vignettes in an eBook. Vignettes can be obtained at a reasonable price from Shutterstock.com.
The problem with including a picture in an eBook, however, is that it must be able to be viewed on a variety of screens: from phones, to tablets, to computers, as well as on eBook Readers.
As a result we have now standardised on the image required for the printed version (300 dpi) for the Title Page (which is 590 x 270 pixels). The image for Chapter Titles is half that size (ie 295 x 135). For printed books each image has to be separately set.
When including the vignette in an eBook the following specifications are used (unfortunately this is slightly more technical and requires a little more understanding of the html/css interface/. What we are defining however, is as follows:
Width – this is the percentage of the page that is to be taken up by the image.
Minimum Width – this overrides the width and sets the minimum number of pixels, as the picture may be unrecognisable if it is too small.
Maximum Width – this ensures that the image doesn’t pixelate by getting viewed beyond up its original size.
For an eBook the picture only has to be included the once, and then linked to its location below the chapter number on each chapter page.
This is a question that I seem to come back to every couple of years. This time I decided to attack the problem properly.
The first paperback Hague Publishing put out was Barry Dean’s The Garden of Emily Washburn. This was sized at 5″ x 7 13/16″ (12.8 x 19.8cm), and from memory was based on a quick visit to our local bookshop to see what they were stocking. When it came time to put out our second book I thought I’d address it a little more scientifically and approached Google for advice on the most popular size for Trade Publications. The answer was a resounding 6″ x 9″, which is the size we’ve generally stuck to for the last couple of years. However, I have never understood why 6×9 is so popular, because it is really too large for comfortable reading, and particularly when a bookseller friend of mine has pointed out on multiple occasions that that format is not a popular size in Australia, and simply won’t fit on his shelves. So with the impending release of Leonie Roger’s Amethyst Pledge, the first book in a new trilogy, I thought I’d dig a little deeper.
After a couple of minutes work I was able to locate examples of the three sizes in my own bookcase.
In my personal opinion, the 5 x 8″ looks by far the better, so why are people using 6 x 9″. Well, unsurprisingly, it all comes down to cost, and the fact that our books tend to have more words in them than they did 20 years ago.
Wikibooks points out that smaller books lose disproportionately more space to margins, increasing the cost. A 6″x 9″ book has nearly 20% more text space. But a 6″x 9″ book costs only about 5% more than a 5.5″ x 8.5″ book. The result is a 15% cost savings.
In reality the difference in printing costs are negligible. As on 5 Nov 2019 Ingram charges $89.20 AUS for 10 paperback books of 230 pages 5″ x 8″, and only $91.55 for a 6″ x 9″ book of the same number of pages. Taking into account that the 6×9 book can hold considerably more words and there you have it.
In Australia we are also restricted to ensuring that the printed book is less than 1.5 cm, to allow us to post it at the cheaper ‘paper rate’ of $5. If the envelope goes over 2cm it falls into the parcel rate of $11.
I’ve now done some preliminary formatting of Amethyst Pledge and it looks like using the same font size, spacing, and margins as we did for the Frontier Series the 5 x 8″ format will still only require 220 pages, and as we can go to 250 pages we can probably tweak the size of the type up a bit to improve readability.