Self-Publishing: Two into One

The back cover of The Eagle and The Butterfly

The Eagle and The Butterfly was the fourth novel published under the Eregendal imprint, coming out in in 2021. It is actually an omnibus edition, as the book contains two versions of the novel: the original deeply mythical story, and an abridged version with a reading age of about 9 which concentrates on the adventures rather than the symbolism. The idea of creating a dual version was suggested by my then publicists at Netbiz, and it does have a certain novelty appeal.

I thought long and hard about how to include both versions without detracting from one by placing it at the back of the other, which would make it harder to find. My solution was to print the second version upside down and back to front at the back of the book. When the book is held face up it opens onto the original version. Turn the book over by its short edge, and the book opens from the back cover onto the abridged version. Only the barcode and price bar give the game away that this is the back of the book.

The layout took a little ingenuity to perfect for print. First of all, to avoid blank pages in the middle of the book, I adjusted the pages of each version to total a multiple of four. This is because the printer I was using through Lulu Press, prints in multiples of four pages.

The second challenge was to create a print master where half the document was upside down. After some experiments with different systems, I finally achieved the correct layout using Adobe Acrobat Pro, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.

It was still a nail-biting time when the first proof copy arrived in the post. To my joy, the layout had printed exactly as I had intended.

Happy self-publishing.

Maggie.

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