20 July 2021: Anatomy of a Template

Today’s mission is to continue working on the “master template” for all books going forward. This includes new titles yet to be announced, the remastered Building Series books, and the Director’s Cut of DoubleZero. The 96-page, A5 format is not only an aesthetic choice for me, but a calculated production decision. As a one-person operation, having a single template (or set of templates) that I can use streamlines things. For you, it means all of our books line up neatly and look nice on your bookshelf. So I want to take a moment and dig into the anatomy of a template.

The first thing is making sure that it’s going to work for all digital formats plus print. I like that we’ve been able to offer epub and MOBI (Kindle) versions of the books, but I also recognize that they’re not perfect. Fonts and styles tend to change slightly from one format to the other. Rather than being an afterthought, I want the ereader formats to look as good as PDF and print.

My main focus is on having a template that will meet the requirements of the printer, so we can start offering print-on-demand quicker (and eventually, simultaneously with digital releases). To that end, I’m being incredibly nit-picky with the Affinity Publisher templates I’m creating. If I get it perfect once, every other book should be a breeze to product.

Anatomy of a Template

The other part of this is boilerplate copy. The formatting on the legal notices. Back matter like the Open Game License, company bio, and any other standard info blocks. Some of that will be line-specific, but it’s still a matter of getting it right once so it can be reused as needed in other titles.

Of course, none of this means that production will be as simple as cut-and-paste going forward. There will still need to be tweaked and adjustments made on each book. What it will do is allow me to release an attractive, professional-looking product that still conforms to the lo-fi aesthetic. All of which is, ultimately, superficial. It’s the utility of the books that matter most, but writing and editing are whole other conversations for another day.

You can purchase all Dancing Lights Press titles at DriveThruRPG.

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  1. Pingback: 21 July 2021: Using the Open Game License - Dancing Lights Press

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