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Thinking Ahead

Image copyright Fred First

Sorry I've become somewhat of a one-trick pony of late. I have lots of stories that could be told from work in the clinic, but there's this thing about confidentiality that sort of shoots that in the foot. Even so, some good characters and dialogue go into the archives that, who knows, could find their way into fiction some day, should I ever breach that gap and find myself wandering there. Seems unlikely at this point, but I admit to some temptations that way.

I am a thousand details away from having this thing printed, even as other responsibilities around the house and in the community begin to rise to the surface and demand attention and care. But it's time to start thinking about how, when and where to promote the book so that I don't end up with those extra coffee tables I was talking about yesterday. One thing I need is PayPal set up, and I'm wondering about doing that on another page than Fragments--a page with excerpts, endorsements, and some nice book-related images.

Do me a favor: click over to Near-Time where I've put up a "news item" (which functions like a blog post, complete with comments potential) just to start thinking about alternative spaces for the book. Feedback appreciated!

Meanwhile, InDesign has got me stymied over a small detail: I can't shrink the spaces between paragraphs. Try as I might, nothing seems to make this happen. I'm consulting someone with more experience who can help me over this hurdle, which quite derailed any forward motion for much of Thursday. Sigh. For want of a nail...

Update: Forget commenting on Near-Time: Note: Members of the public will be able to comment only if they have an account at Near-Time. Phooey. That tosses this idea out the window.


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Hey Fred--It looks like the comments aren't turned on at your near-time space. It looks nice though!

I haven't used InDesign. But I use Adobe's Photoshop and Pagemaker, and I can often find instructions for how to do something by Googling "How to, so and so, Photoshop," or "Photoshop, make collage," etc. Often there are several free tutorials, each showing a differnt way to do it.

I'm confused. I thought I could go to that place and then come back here and comment - but there is nothing there except the template - no copy or otherwise.

Space between paragraphs in InDesign: Check your settings in Type menu, Paragraph ... they may be defaulting to extra space between. Set to zero. I'm very impressed with your quick aptitude in this monster program. Can't wait to see the book "in print!"

Ta da! Well I love the book cover design, title and sub-title. Thanks for the preview.

Fred, from past experience with both PageMaker and In-Design you need to stop think of your text in pages. Start thinking of each paragraph as a text block, then manipulate each block as needed.


my mom teaches a lot of elderhostel classes and workshops on appalachian history and culture and her students are always asking about good books and music from the area. i'm sure she would be up for having some of yours available as she has a small collection that she takes with her for students to purchase. i think once the word is out, you won't need the extra coffee tables!

You definitely want a separate web site, even if it is simply http://shop.fragmentsfromfloyd.com, something your DNS provider should easily be able to do.

I love the secondary title (whatever you writer folks call that). You're probably decided on your title but you might consider something with less seeming finality than Slow Road Home. From a marketing perspective something that captures the longing one may have for, as David would say, Re-Inventing Yourself. Something like "The Roads We Build", "Road of Dreams", er whatever. Something that sets someone up emotionally for the setting and your reflection. Just an idea. I like "Slow Road Home" alright but for me psychologically Slow Road Home speaks a little too much of the frustration of a road that took too long to bring you to your destination. Or you're talking about the pre-story of what brought you to your new home. I'm just throwing out thoughts for what they're worth.

I love the photo, the font and the vibe. If you could get an artist to embellish the actual road in the photo with some brush marks or something, that may be appealing?


I'm not familiar with InDesign, but in Dreamweaver, if you hold the shift button down while you hit enter, it makes a smaller space than if you just hit enter (which causes a 'paragraph' space instead). This silly detail caused me not a little consternation... good luck!

Near-time appears to be down at the moment.

Well, Fred it is a great cover design. Guess you'll sort out all the rest of the problems. But, we're delighted to see the project moved to this level. Keep on going, buddy...

What a wonderful photo!! When I first saw it I was thrilled. I don't remember seeing it before. The title hits me just right, too. And I love the photo wrapping around to the back cover.
My reaction to endorsements is skeptical unless they are by famous authors. I would have one or more top quality excerpts from the book, and a brief description of your purpose, etc.
Once again, I am amazed at the speed of your progress!!

I've been out of the loop lately, so you may have seen these already, but here they are just in case:

Self Publishing:


I recommend NOT creating your text in photoshop, rather do it in indesign. it will be much sharper in print.

the reason is that photoshop saves everything as a raster image instead of vector.

here's a little raster vs vector info:

also when you're creating your cover image, remember to account for "bleeds":

Hope that helps, and if you have any questions that I might be able to help with, shoot me an email!


My goodness, Fred, the picture is outstanding, the title is perfect, and the sub is entreating. What more could we ask for? As for the fear of having to store extra copies in your barn, or some such, surely that won't be a problem after a few folks have a copy of that long awaited missive in their hands. Word of mouth will sell those books.

Don't listen to Amy! The title is lovely, indicating (to me at least) those moments when, for once, you're not in a hurry and take a "long-cut" home instead of the superhighway. And the cover photo is perfect just as it is. As for endorsements, networking can do wonders...a friend of mine had a book of poems about the West being published by a small press. A friend of his actually knew Larry McMurtry (who almost never does endorsements) and sent him a copy of the manuscript. It worked and he got the endorsement...which led to a translation contract with a major publisher.

Hi Fred,

Congratulations on the book. The cover looks great. I just wanted to clarify a few things regarding Near-Time. It looks that you have your public content restricted to items placed in the Public category. It doesn't look like you have categorized any articles as Public, though, since none are showing up. You can change the setting such that all news articles, regardless of catgeory are made public, if desired.

Regarding the need for public commenting, we do plan to enable open commenting. At this stage we don't have the requisite spam controls in place, so decided to restrict it. This should change soon. Let me know if you have any questions.

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