Updated: Jul 2, 2022
During these crazy times we are living through, it becomes impossible to have a traditional book launch and book signing occasion. Alternatively, I made a bookmark which I will send if you have purchased the book. So, if you would like a bookmark, please send me an email with your postal address so I can send you the bookmark. This will act as a signed copy of a book which makes it exciting for me, I hope for you too!
A lot of thought process has gone into the cover of the book. I am not a big fan of a busy and a sophisticated cover. I enjoy simple, neat, clean and minimalistic covers. An idea of a pencil sketch crossed my mind, and I reached out to my artist friend, Kiruthika M to discuss some options. Finally, we brought about an amalgamation of South Indian art pattern and Persian art pattern. I am from the South of India and the art pattern which forms the border of the zodiac is the South Indian temple art design. The art inside the zodiac wheel is the bordering the design at the center is touchy Persian art pattern. The rest is Kiruthika's magic!
Deciding the colour of the cover and the design of the cover was not a simple process for which I relied upon my friend, Rok Koritnik, who is even more minimalistic than me. We tested some ideas of presenting the wordings and art, but ultimately this turned out to please both of us. There was really no second choice than Faux-Light Chocolate Cosmos (#521630) for the colour of the cover. Concerning the font colour, I did some research on perfect contrasting colours of the background and found Faux-Almond (#F0E1CC) to be the most suitable font colour.
Rok had already made the rough cover design. I just replicated the same in a power-point file and hired a freelancer on Fiverr to render the cover for me. If you are self-publishing an astrology book and if you don't have the resources, Fiverr is the best place. And I was happy with what I got.
Initially, after implementing the modified version of Firdãriã, I wrote examples after examples because it is important to show with examples in terms of how the little tweak works. Out of nowhere, I came across the Latin manuscript of "Kitab al-Bari' fi Ahkam al-Nujum" (A Complete Book On The Judgement Of The Stars) by Abu 'l- Hasan Ali b. Abi 'l-Rijal (better known as Al-Rijal). I decided I was going to include the Fridaria portion from the manuscript. Quickly after realizing that reading medieval Latin is way out of my scope, I hired a freelancer (Thanks to Sharon Knight), Guiseppe Catanzaro who specializes in the medieval Latin alchemical texts. Once the translation was done, I put in my honest effort to ensure the context is astrological and as a result, I extensively used the Latin-English dictionary. I also did a comparative analysis of the existing texts on Firdãriã.
Self-Publishing, Expenses and Takeaways
I never had the idea of handing the draft to a traditional publisher. Although the other book I co-wrote with my friend is being published by a traditional publishing house, I didn't think of a traditional publisher. There are advantages and disadvantages of choosing either of them, but I wanted more freedom and chose to self-publish.
There are so many self-publishing options available today, but two of the most popular self-publishing companies are Amazon KDP and Ingramspark. I created an account on Ingramspark and quickly realized it was not my cup of tea. The one major difference between Ingramspark and Amazon is the upfront fee for uploading the book. Amazon KDP charges nothing to upload the book and publish. Life is more easier with Amazon KDP.
Self-publishing means the other departments of publishing a book such as editing, formatting, design/layout and cover design are to be handled by the author. If you choose a traditional publisher, the publishing company takes care of all this. While self-publishing, the authors need to take care of them all. We may not be proficient in all these skills and hence, we may have to hire experts from the respective fields. All this depends upon the budget we have to publish a book.
I gave the above expenses list because I hope this will help someone. I might spend a few more to ship the bookmark, but still the total expenses would not cross $600. If you want to hire an editor, it is an entirely different story altogether because editing is a costly affair, but it is super effective. However, in predictive astrology, if we can deliver the technique properly in words, that should be it. It is also difficult to find an editor who also knows astrology. I would never take that risk, but that's just me.
One major downside is, if we do most of the professional work by ourselves, the job might not be so perfect. For example, I formatted and edited the book. I hope it reads well, but an editor could have done it way better and a professional designer could have designed the layout better is undeniable. Some people think this reduces the quality of the work, but to me, it opens the floodgates for every common aspirant to write a book on astrology. If the readers don't like it, they don't like it. But at least the voice is out, and that is an encouraging thought!