Oct 18

Photos by Taylor (Ben Powell Photography)

So… I received my first proof copy of the book. In real, bound, legit-looking paperback.

Ish just got real.

The first draft of my manuscript is still going through heavy editing and revisions right now, but I was getting really antsy without being able to do much, so I decided to order a preliminary copy of the paperback to ensure that A) I liked the book dimensions I chose, and B) I actually know how to format a book properly. So far, so good!

I went with the 6 x 9, primarily because CreateSpace charges production costs by the page. I was originally planning on going with a 5.25 x 8 ratio, but the page count would have been over 360 at that size, which meant I would have had to price the book unfavorably high in order to make even a few measly cents. Fail. I thought that 6 x 9 might be too big, or feel bulky, but I actually really like it! The ratio of height: width is good, and it’s still sleek enough to fit in most purses, I’d say.

The paperback formatting process is actually quite straightforward. CreateSpace converts your Word document, so you just have to make sure everything looks the way you like (and ensure you’ve followed their guidelines in terms of margins and gutter and whatnot). I printed this copy with .75″ margins, but I actually think I’m going to increase them to 1″. Too many words on a page = harder to read. Plus, this proof is only about 250 pages, which at 6 x 9 doesn’t feel particularly impressive. I think I’m going to try to hit closer to the 280 – 290 mark in the end, still staying under 300 (for cost).

I also need to give a little more thought to the interior font. I went with Garamond for this proof, which seems to be a pretty popular choice for YA fiction (Hunger Games and Twilight were both printed in this font). However, Garamond in italic isn’t the best, so I’m a little torn. Preliminary research also suggests Minion as an option, which I like, though the spacing between lines really increases the pagecount. Decisions, decisions. (You can see examples of top suggested print fonts here or here, if you’re curious.)

Regardless of all the little details that may or may not change, I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilling it is to see your words in actual print. My initial reaction was literally, “Whoa.”

I mean, it’s, like, a real book! I still have a long way to go with the edits and revisions (my editors and I have made it about a third of the way through so far), but it’s still pretty damn exciting. And I have an absolutely amazing cover in the works, which is equally, if not more, exciting to see come together as well! So yes, please imagine a flippin’ sweet cover instead of the dinky little placeholder one I whipped up on CreateSpace’s cover designer.

Man, this really is getting… real.

Which now means all the fears that have been roaming around inside my brain are starting to run a little rampant, of course. I have to literally slap myself in the face to stop myself from being too self-deprecating roughly 3x a day.

Confidence, right? Confidence!


  1. When does the movie come out?

  2. Yes! Confidence! You + Cass = Phenomenal.

    I can’t wait to get it into my grubby little fingers. Bring on the dystopia!

  3. That is exciting! Happy for you Gretchen, I look forward to reading the rest of the chapters!


  1. Cover | Gretchen Writes - [...] I am flipping out with excitement over the cover. I just ordered another proof copy of the paperback in…

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