Picture Poetry Books – progress report

I thought it might be of interest to share where I’m up to with revising The Cielonaut book.

The Cielonaut is a story in poetry and pictures of an ill-fated journey across the stars. The sole protagonist is a man (though gender is not of any particular relevance) who is the sole survivor of the take-off aboard a ship that is travelling at light speed, or thereabouts, across the galaxy. He is catered for, living-wise, but cannot steer the ship to control its destination and cannot return home. Home as he knew it no longer exists.

The only positive action he can take is to send little data bundles, aimed at the coordinates of space that he started out from. The data he sends are images of the universe, and poems.

I have very much enjoyed the process of creating this collection but it has given me a deal of difficulty, particularly the management of the pictures, which are sourced from the NASA Image and Video Library.

The Cielonaut – Image version 1 – 08/10/2021

The above image is also in square format, as I was trying to work out how to make the images stay where I wanted them, without actually tampering with the original. A long and complicated process that I’ve abandoned, now. Hopefully for better outcomes.

Below, I have the sme image from the new PDF proof that I finalised yesterday. To my eye, it (and all 60 images) are noticeably better. I’m not entirely sure I will be able to improve a lot more. Features that appeal to me are:

  • A little more subdued, allowing some detail where previously the colours glared.
  • Truer colour.
  • Rectangular images filling the page. This is important for goodconversion into a digital format. I’ve had a bug about this since I did the first Bakery Bears book and had to use the Kindle Kids Book creator for a fixed format picture book. What I am doing now is ‘fixing’ the picture where and how I want it, while allowing re-flowable text, as you would expect in a normal digital book. This is the approach I’ve taken, successfully I think, with the A Lake Sambell Walk digital book. It is important because even though the Kindle creation was very good, it is a limited product that can only be viewed on Kindle readers. I want to go wider than that with standard availability of my books.
The Cielonaut – Image version 2 – 08/10/2021

For the moment, I’m happy with the new version. I’ll order a physical copy next week when I hope to have paper copies of the final A Lake Sambell Walk, The Cielonaut and the Waiting for Frank-Bear picture-poetry books all ready for last looks.

It’s very exciting to be approaching and point with these projects. The Cielonaut, in particular, has been a long time brewing and I hold it near and dear to my creative heart.


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