Since my site is making a bit of deal about my novel Cog and the Steel Tower, I figure I should mention where things are at. Right now I’m working through some last corrections and proof-reading. There are some little things to clean up before the final copy is ready to go. Needless to say, I want it to be as cleanly written as possible for its release.
I also need to work a bit on the cover for the printed copy. While I think it looks great on the screen, it looks too dark when printed on my paperback proof. Not an unusual problem since a glowing screen and a book cover are vastly different mediums. The tricky part is figuring out how to preview what the image looks like when printed. I suspect Adobe Photoshop could probably manage that, but I don’t happen to own a copy. Instead, I’m using GIMP (a free, open-source photo editor) which is more than adequate for my needs most of the time, but doesn’t do a great job with this particular task.
Luckily, I found a simple solution–printing the cover on my color inkjet printer. It turns out that what it prints is almost exactly how the paperback looks. Yeah, kind of an obvious solution, but I feel kinda guilty about printing stuff just to preview to it took me a while to give it a try. So far, I’ve been able to really improve how it looks, but I think I can do better still. Guess I’ll have to do a bit more printing.
To give you an idea of the issue, I adjusted the color curve to simulate what the paperback proof cover looks like:
Pretty dark and hard to see everything.
And this is what I’m after–how it looks on the screen.
I’m trying to find the correct setting of the color curve to compensate for the difference between printing and displaying on a screen. The tool looks like this in GIMP.
So that’s where I’m at with the book. Just cleaning up the last details to make it all ready for release. I’ll have to have another proof printed to verify the cover changes and make sure the formatting all looks right when printed, but then I’ll be ready. I’m shooting for the end of the month.