Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Due to a wedding in the family last weekend in Colorado, half of my formatting for Zap Dragon has been accomplished in the car while traveling cross-country. That’s as fun as it sounds. I never noticed all the little bumps in the road until I was trying to fine-tune the placement of illustrations!

Anyway, you’d think by book five I’d have this formatting thing down. But as with every other book, there’s always something new I learn. Since I’ve learned so much about formatting from others who posted about their experiences, I like to share when I run across something new.

Most of the formatting for Zap Dragon has been exactly like Discarded Dragons. So if you’re interested in a far more in-depth discussion, hop over to the posts from 2021. Let’s Talk Details Part I and Part II

Like in 2021, I’m still working in Word to set up my manuscript and I’m again using full bleed images. For those of you who don’t know what that is, full bleed simply means the illustrations will print all the way to the edge of the pages. The difference this time is that my illustrator asked if she could do hand-drawn images instead of artwork done on her tablet. I agreed.

Smudging at the edge of the image

I knew this would add some work for me simply because I like to use cream-colored pages in my books. Since the illustrator works on white pages, I have to delete her background. What I didn’t anticipate was how much of the small details would still come through. This is good when Esther’s illustrations are super detailed. I don’t lose any of her drawings. It’s not so good when there are small smudges or dots on the paper. When I inserted the images into the manuscript, those small imperfections made the wrap boundaries around the images…well…weird. The wrap boundary is the margin the text follows around the illustrations. I set the boundary on all my illustrations to a “tight wrap” so that the text flows around the image. (The exception to this is with full-page images. They’re placed on their own pages and separated from the text by page breaks.)

As you can see in the pictures, despite setting the formatting to a tight wrap, I had some really odd spacing.

Weird Spacing
Wrap Boundary

Thankfully the fix for this is simple. By right-clicking on the picture, I can select “Wrap Text” and then “Edit Wrap Boundary.” An outline with those little red dots appears around the image. That’s the wrap boundary. It’s then a straightforward task to drag those dots to the desired boundary that I want the text to follow.

That’s it. If you’re using hand-drawn images, just be aware you might have to edit the text wrap boundary on all the images you pair with the text.



P.S. The last round of editing before setting up a physical proof is currently happening on Zap Dragon. As you can tell from today’s post, the formatting is also almost finished. The finalized cover won’t be far behind, so a proof should be in the works soon. As soon as that’s finished, I’ll be back to editing HMII.

6 thoughts on “Technical Mumbo Jumbo”

  1. All those little details… Of course when you put it all together is sure comes out Great! Looking forward to the finish and sitting down with another good book.

  2. All I can say is “shooooooo”. Like Dory, just keep swimming and end is in sight and that is exciting!!

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