Tag Archives: binary

Setting fire to paper in the name of art

[Originally published 4 April 2013]

It’s all getting terribly exciting. I’ve finished revising King’s Ransom, and I am going to give it one last go-through before I publish it. Well, assuming I can work out how to publish it, that is. I’ve been having all sorts of issues with Booktango, so I think I am going to have a go with Kindle directly.

Meantime, I have come up with a new cover idea, and one which I think will work. It’s also using the binary codes for the letters of King’s Ransom, but with a flame burning them. Today was a lovely sunny day, and I spent a happy couple of hours outside on the terrace setting fire to print-outs of the cover design and taking pictures. Not sure what the neighbours would have thought.

If I can find a way of embedding pictures in this blog I will post them. Meantime, I need to do some minor retouching and cropping before getting back to the book formatting.

Updated May 23, 2013: Below are the photos:

Cover experiment 1 Cover experiment 2 Cover experiment 3 Cover experiment 4

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About to publish and be damned

[Originally published, as part of a longer post, 16 March 2013]

I’ve finished revising King’s Ransom, and I am playing around with other ideas. I’ve found a site called Booktango which offers free formatting for all kinds of eBook, and I am going to experiment with that for a while to see how easy it is to get the book online.

I’ve found that I want to keep tweaking the text, and I wonder if this will continue if and when I ever get the thing published. I say “if and when” but I am fairly sure it will be “when”. I’ve been a bit worried that I might be making myself look foolish among those who know and love me (“Why on Earth did Martyn think he was a novelist? Who is going to tell him?”) But I’ve decided that if that is the general reaction, it will be fairly easy to unpublish the book.

Meantime, I have decided that I need to start a new blog specifically for King’s Ransom. Apparently it will be helpful for promotion. More of that anon.

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Cover story

[Edited version of post originally published 14 January 2013]

Every morning, I go for a 5km walk with Barney my big blond Labrador. It takes about 45 minutes, and is a great time for mulling things over: work, jobs, the garden, political news – anything that’s on my mind. Recently I’ve been reading the guide to producing covers for Kindle books and on my walk this morning I started thinking about the cover for King’s Ransom, if I ever get round to publishing it.

Part of me thinks that it just needs the words on a plain background, but that doesn’t appear to be the conventional wisdom. Almost every Kindle book I’ve looked at has a pictorial cover related to the subject matter – sometimes rather tenuously. Design isn’t my strong point: like many writers I don’t have a strong visual imagination, although I do know quite a bit about typography – hence the thought that I would have a type only cover.

I’m not sure where this came from, but halfway through my walk this morning I had an idea which is a compromise between a picture and type: it would involve using the binary notation of the words “King’s Ransom” and trying and make something illustrative of that. One of the things I love about the internet is that you can find an answer to just about anything, and I found a site that converts to all sorts of coding – including binary.

I used the site to convert “King’s Ransom” to binary notation (1001011 1101001 1101110 1100111 100111 1110011 1110010 1100001 1101110 1110011 1101111 1101101, since you ask) and I think I might be able to use it in a way that would be more attractive than just the words.

Once again, watch this space.

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