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Brilliant Deduction: the missing colophon

2013 January 15

My book is nearly ready. In fact, it is “ready” in the sense that there are copies “out there” for purchase and, in fact, some that have been purchased. Still, the “official” launch will be in February; next week I will do an “official” announcement of that. (Meanwhile, I am now announcing plans to announce a launch; never have I felt so much like a presidential primary candidate.)

I’m going to go ahead and start (or rather, continue) posts about the project, though. In terms of posts about the non-ebook version, I’ve decided to begin at the end, with the colophon that you won’t find in Brilliant Deduction:About the Type page (links to PDF)This is what’s known as a colophon, i.e. a page about a book’s production, mostly (in my experience) about the typeface(s) used. You don’t see them that much, but they turn up every once in a while in (what I like to think are) books of particular sophistication. As I like little traditions like this, and I’m interested in typography and I did all of the typesetting in my book and of course very much like to think of my book as a sophisticated work, I really really really wanted to include this colophon.

But I did not. What happened?

Basically, The Rules happened. I had my book interior all typeset, including this colophon on the very last page, and then ended up deleting it because my publishing and distribution platform ( seemed adamant that I had to leave the last page of my book blank. Maybe there’s some way to cheat this, but it seemed final, to me.

I could have simply moved the colophon, but it did not seem like it would work right anywhere else. Honest, I did not just delete it out of spite. As stated, I really really wanted to include this in my book, and felt bad about leaving it out; the colophon seems nearly like an endangered species and in failing to keep it in my own first book I felt (to mix metaphors) like I was letting down the team.

And yet, ultimately, none of the alternatives felt right. Brilliant Deduction has 332 pages all told; a multiple of four and with the way it’s produced that means there are no extra pages needed to reach a multiple of eight or 16. Moreover, 332 felt like enough; the result isn’t a huge book but 332 seems a pretty generous allotment. I’m not fooling myself that I’m Gibbon, here.

To add the colophon, I would have needed to add four whole additional pages, or else rework the pages I had, and (in addition to being a potential nightmare) it just didn’t seem justified. Basically, the index finishes on page 330; “About the Author” appears on the final right-hand page, and the other side of that just felt like the natural end of the book. Which is what I decided to let it remain.

Ultimately, I had reached the end of the book at page 332; I would have included the colophon on page 332 had it been practical but it was not, so I just left it out. My time on stage was over, the song had ended, trying to drag things out for a few more beats would have just felt awkward.

The one consolation during this difficult decision was that, hey, just because I have material left when I take my last bow and leave the stage doesn’t mean it’s forever lost. There’s always the after-party and this fabulous internet permits the greatest ongoing after-party ever! The actual colophon from the book can be posted to my blog, and I can even post a PDF for those who would like to print, trim and paste it into their own copy of the book.

Moreover, on this same blog I can (and intend to) post way more information about the design and production of my book than I would ever think of trying to squeeze in at the end of the real thing. It won’t ever quite substitute for the original, but… colophon 2.0 won’t be without its attractions. (I hope!!)

One Response
  1. January 17, 2013

    I’d searched Lulu for it a couple times before now, but nothing was coming up. But consider it now ordered!

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