Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
And now … announcing … Fascination is newly available in paperback!
And what a dandy edition it turns out to be.
Once again, I did the text design myself, using Word and following KDP’s extremely clear instructions. More in keeping with my early “buy-directly-from-the-author” edition, the paperback has some fanciful fonts for chapter titles, plus I was able to use a magical Fascination ball for section breaks. O joy!
Believe me, there’s something hugely satisfying about being able to design your own book. I remember getting the proof of Parts Unknown in the mail from HarperCollins and puzzling over their design choices. The lowly first-novelist doesn’t have any say in the matter, so it was what it was, but even now when I look at it I find myself scratching my head.
Now though. Every element was my own choice, from trim size to the style of headers and footers. And it didn’t cost me a dime.
I can’t tell you how much pride I feel when I fan through those pages. I can’t tell you because you’d think I’m a narcissistic creep, so let’s just say I’m mighty proud.
What’s more—this time I did the cover myself too.
Once again, KDP makes it relatively painless by providing a template tied to your trim size and page count. You can use it on free online imaging software like Canva, which I used, simply by importing it and making sure all your components follow the trim lines on it. Here’s a post by an experienced user explaining how she did it. (HT Audrey Driscoll!)
Maybe you recall from the earlier editions of Fascination that I acquired the front cover image from a photographer I found online, who graciously gave me permission to use it in exchange for a mention of his favorite artistic cause, the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, CA. You better believe I was happy to take that deal. I popped my title and author circles onto it for a playful-looking design, and man does it look great on the printed book!
As for the back and spine, I wanted to keep things simple so I used plain-colored backgrounds that tie in to the front colors. I used the same Fascination ball on the spine, like a publisher’s logo, and for the back I was able to locate a Creative Commons image of some actual Fascination tables. What a find! Snagged a couple of quotes from existing Amazon reviews of the ebook, and inserted my plot description to fit the space around the bar code (which is shown on the KDP template to make placement easy).
Between the text and cover, I think it probably took me two to three weeks of fiddling in my spare time, so this is not an ordeal by any means. Like the text design, the cover cost me not a sou.
I’ll admit, using a masterful cover artist like Max Scratchmann is probably a better idea for most situations, but in this case I had such a terrific source image that I couldn’t resist trying it myself. Lucked out. I’ll generally run straight to Max for future projects, but at least I know that I can manage on my own now and then, when things fall in line just right.
You can purchase Fascination in paperback here. It’s $8.99, and you can get free shipping through Prime or by spending at least $25. In fact, one way to spend $25 in one order ($34.96, to be exact) is to buy the paperbacks of Fascination, Town Father, Yesterday Road, and Occasional Soulmates together! I’ve recently lowered prices so that all of them are under $9.00.
Revisit this tantalizing tale of self-realization and vengeance today. Fascination, en papier.
You’re right, Kevin — designing your own printed book is like knitting your own sweater (something I couldn’t do to save my life, actually).