The GraciePress Newsletter

By J.R. Spiers (with help from Gracie)

The Gracie Press Newsletter - Once Through A Garden Gate



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The Gracie Press Newsletter - Once Through A Garden Gate
The Shoebox is the first book in the series titled Once Through A Garden Gate, and it will be available tomorrow, September 30th.
This special issue of our newsletter is to tell you a little more before tomorrow’s release day, BUT it is not to convince you to go buy the book as soon as possible.
You may want to wait until after Friday’s regular newsletter for the something you might like better. In short, don’t buy this book—yet!

Sometimes Printing Gets Complicated
The interior files for The Shoebox were too large to upload to either Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble Press. Full-page illustrations made the files really huge, but we really like having full page illustrations with every chapter. The only alternative was to publish through IngramSpark.
I was fine with that because my experiences have all been good with IngramSpark. This time was different, because the jackets did not print as expected. What looked fine on the screen of my iPad Pro did not look fine when printed. The colors were different.
I don’t blame IngramSpark for this. It’s more my own lack of experience. A computer screen produces color using RGB light. (That’s points of red, green, and blue light.) A printing press produces color by using CYMK ink. (That’s dots of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black ink.) Certain colors, particularly muted and darker colors, may look much the same on a screen, but when printed, they will use different percentages of each ink color.
After two costly revisions, I decided to go with a strictly black-and-white jacket. (That means no cyan, yellow, or magenta inks—only black ink.) After all, the hardback book has a gray “Digital Cloth™ Cover” that looks nice, feels nice, and should be sturdy.
Just A Side Note: As I was making this decision, I couldn’t help but think about the black-and-white TV set I watched until the picture tube blew out in 1980. Those were the days!
But I know this cover may not be what many of you are expecting or wanting. It doesn’t look like most other books for children. It looks more like a book for grown-ups.
Below is the final cover design for the hardback and paperback books printed and distributed through IngramSpark. Although shadows and silhouettes will play an important part in this whole book series, the cover definitely doesn’t have what you would consider a “traditional” appearance.
One More Side Note: When this final revision arrived yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of Wednesday Addams from the original black-and-white television series “The Addams Family” saying “It’s so nice and gloomy!”
The File For The Cover
The File For The Cover
Sometimes Book Decisions Get Complicated
And yet, the cover illustration does reflect how the main characters were feeling as their troubles with The Biggest Scary Thing built to a climax. It may also reflect how so many of us may be feeling right now because we are living through a global pandemic that still continues. (I do think the pandemic has subconsciously influenced my writing and drawing.)
Sometimes it feels as if there is a large, mysterious shadow looming over us. We may feel like baby chicks running with whatever we can find, carrying it towards what we hope will be a more beautiful future.
This drawing may resonate with people, and I hope that it does because I believe this book will bring HOPE. Those big white letters really stand out, even more than the black silhouettes. That is what hope does. Hope is a light in the darkness, and that is a good part of this book’s message.
The world may seem full of shadows, but where there are shadows, there is also LIGHT. And where there is light, there is also LIFE. And where there is life, there is always LOVE.
Maybe that is the message both children and grownups need to hear again and again throughout the world. There is always LOVE. Faith, hope, and love abide in this story and in real life.
But I also know that children may be unlikely to read a book that doesn’t have an appealing cover. It’s like eating certain vegetables. They may be good for you, but if they don’t look very appealing, you likely won’t eat them.
So Sometimes You Need To Do Something Different
Something different is what this Friday’s regular issue of our newsletter will be about. The version you see above printed and distributed by IngramSpark will stay the same with an older teen to adult audience in mind.
So we want to work on something different through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble. We hope it will be appealing to our younger readers.
Below is a visual preview. It’s the same drawing as what you see above, except with color. Can you spot the other differences and maybe guess where this is going?
Until Next Time…
We will be back again on Friday, our regular newsletter day, with more information about that full-color visual preview above!
Thanks so much for reading!
John, Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Emily, and Amelia
Did you enjoy this issue?
J.R. Spiers (with help from Gracie)

The GraciePress Newsletter brings you the latest news, stories, illustrations, special offers, and free gifts from Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Emily, and Amelia. They are the inspiration behind all of the books published under The GraciePress imprint.

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From A Small Backyard Garden and A Most Wondrous Place in Portsmouth, Virginia