Guess what. You need to format the interior of your book too. A great cover is important to capture the reader and convince them to buy the book, but interior formatting is an art as well. Being a technology guy, I decided to purchase a program for the interior formatting work. I am using Vellum. Vellum makes the chore of formatting the interior of your book dramatically easier. Here are some examples of the things you think about when formatting. First, the opening sentence of the chapter. A drop quote is nice... Do you want it to be cursive, or block? Also, the first paragraph is usually not indented, where following paragraphs are...
Here's another example. Note how the first couple of words in a new scene are a slightly different font. Also, let's not forget the artistic mark between scenes. I'll want to do something fun with that.
You get an appreciation for the attention to detail it takes to typeset a book. Fortunately for me, computers have made that much easier. Vellum allows me to adjust many different interior formatting elements easily and consistently across the entire manuscript (which is now over 300 pages). Here's another simple example, block quotes. This quote is from my foreword.
So, there you have it. I'm doing interior formatting, getting a cover designed, and doing final edits. (I really need to wait until the final edits are done until I complete the formatting, but I've got my arms around what is required so that I can do it quickly when the time comes!)
For more on Vellum, see www.vellum.pub
Till next time,
I found one of the more difficult things to write for the book is the back cover blurb. I thought I'd share the draft text of the back cover here. Let me know your thoughts. Does it catch your attention in the first sentence? Does it make you want to read the book? I'd love your feedback.
Oh, and I now have an ISBN number... one step closer.
Till next time, Greg
In 2028, a mysterious group known as The Quantum
Contingent has achieved true quantum computing
capabilities. The Quantum Contingent have their sights
set on achieving immortality for a select few that will
chart humanity’s destiny.
Jack and Sarah, sibling spies, race across the globe at
a frenetic pace to stop this nefarious group and their
anonymous Founder. Jack and Sarah are part of Quotient,
a mysterious, independent, spy agency whose secret
advantage is also quantum based.
The Quantum Contingent takes place in exotic destinations
around the globe and features real technologies, extrapolated
for tomorrow, including cryptocurrency, drones, and SpaceX
rocket ships. It is a techno-spy thriller for today with pop-culture
references and even its own Spotify playlist, featuring a song
for each chapter in the book.
Greg spent his career in technology.
He did a TedX talk on AI and has
channeled his technology and global
travel experiences into The Quantum
Contingent. The cover is based on
the church of St. George, one of the
monolithic ‘rock churches’ in Lalibela,
Ethiopia. Greg is shown here outside
of this World Heritage site, which
serves as a key location in the novel.
See key location photos, technology
blogs, and more at: www.simpsong00.com.
Hello friends, I continue to put the finishing touches on The Quantum Contingent. I looked back at how it has changed over the last few months. The easiest metric is word count. From a cover-to-cover perspective, the novel progressed as follows:
The novel takes place across 10 different countries. In the U.S. it covers 8 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. I've tried hard to make the descriptions of each of these locations match the real locations. I used photos from my travels, as well as google maps to get layouts and movement through different areas factually correct. The descriptions of places like Ngorongoro Crater (featured in the photo at the top of my blog page) are accurate as well. One city that is described grew significantly between now and the timing of the novel, 2028, and that should be obvious to the reader. One interesting challenge was getting my characters from place to place during this globe-trotting spy thriller. I can only imagine the effort that goes into making a spy film!
Similarly, I took real technologies and simply extrapolated their capabilities into the future. I touch on many technologies in the novel as outlined on my technology page.
Surprisingly, some of the more difficult things to write are things like the blurb that goes on the back cover. Anyway, rest assured, the book is coming. I will make (or beat) my self-imposed deadline of one year post retirement (March 1st, 2022).
Let me know if you'd like to know anything else about the process, or would appreciate a deep dive on any of the technologies.
Until next time,
Greg's blog will cover some of the things he learned as well as some of the tech and locations he used in his new novel, The Quantum Contingent.