Proof Copy of Black Earth: Dark Masquerade

I just received the proof copy of my latest novel, Black Earth: Dark Masquerade, in the mail. Proof copies always make me nervous because if there’s one little thing wrong with the book, another one usually needs to be ordered to make sure the correction didn’t send ripples through the rest of the book formatting.

This time around, it seems everything inside of the book is in good shape. My problem seems to be the front and back cover.

For some reason, Createspace neglected to include the bar code on the back cover.

I contacted their support team and they said they are going to speak with their technical support department about it and get back to me.

The other issue is the front cover. The intended image –

turned out like this –

You’ll notice that the proof copy has the bottom portion (very thin) of the Black Earth title cut off. That’s my fault because I didn’t enlarge the text boxes in the program I use to create the cover. That’s an easy fix though. 

The biggest issue is that the background went completely black, instead of having the texture and shading of the black cloth my wife used as the backdrop when she photographed the mask. I’m not sure what went awry in the printing process that would cause the whole background to disappear and turn completely black. Createspace’s support department gave me a cookie cutter answer about how small variances are expected. Thanks.

Fortunately, after showing the book to some trusted sources, we’re all in agreement that the front cover image looks great the way it is. The mask vanishing into the darkness actually goes with the title and adds a bit more intrigue to the cover. I know if my wife and I try to tweak the background at all it is going to result in many more proof copies being ordered and possibly weeks before the book can be released. I just don’t see the need to fix something that isn’t broken, or is broken but looks just as good as my original desire for a cover design.

So, it looks like I’m right on track for the book to be released both in paperback and ebook next Wednesday!


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