Just before Big Enough went to the printer, I learned there were a handful of blank pages at the end of the book. The book designer asked if I’d like to use them for promotion or a section for “notes”, etc. It seemed strange. Couldn’t we just remove the extra pages? I asked my editor and she followed up with this article about printing books.
From the article:
“Page count is typically a multiple of 16, because the printer prints sheets of 16 pages (called signatures) and folds them up to create book pages. If your page count is just one page over a multiple of 16, you’ll have 15 blank pages at the end of the book.”
So, I started wondering what I could add to the end of the book. I asked about a photo and the designer said there was a good place for a photo on the opposing page from my bio, but it wouldn’t use up any extra pages.
In The Art of Explanation, I added a promotion for Common Craft at the end and I think it worked well. But Big Enough is a different kind of book and I want it to be less promotional. Instead, I decided to add an author’s note that is meant to offer readers the next step and an invitation to connect.
The problem with printing these sorts of invitations in the book is the timelessness factor. What you print must stand the test of time. For example, I chose not to mention a specific social media platform. Further, I was advised not to mention specific platforms, like Amazon, as it’s friendlier to booksellers to remain neutral.
Here’s the note:
I hope you enjoyed Big Enough. Like so much of what we do, this book was an experiment and an expression of the independence we’ve sought for so long. It was self-published, which means we’re personally invested in its success.
I hope you’ll consider reviewing it online or simply telling a friend. By sharing a few words on book review websites or where you purchased it, you can help more people discover the book and feel the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped an independent publisher.
Again, thanks so much for reading Big Enough!
The thought of doing something like this crossed my mind early on, but I didn’t push it. Now that the note will appear in the book, it feels good. I like having a quick sign-off that thanks the reader and points them to a next step.