Wednesday, January 02, 2008

book options

blue steel

Larry Hayden pointed me towards a good review of various print on demand book publishing options. It seems that that reviewer favoured sharedink.com. I've looked at their books before at conventions and they are certainly high quality. very much in the portfolio or wedding album style, with a whole host of cover/binding options. The review is also not very positive for blurb.com, though I've been considering going with them. I think I need to put together a test book and get them to print it. The thing that does appeal about blurb is their client-side software for doing the book and text layout. I'm planning something that is probably half text/half photos so would really need some reasonable layout options. Blurb seem more biased towards that style of book than many of the other photo-centric options out there.
The flip side is I could do all the layouts myself and upload completed pages to various print on demand providers. That would require me to start learning about page design, layout software and so on. Interesting, but maybe just a side diversion from the real point ? I also found some useful resources on the blurb website. They have a book they sell, called how to make a book but you can also download the whole thing as a pdf and read it online. Sam Edge has written a helpful app note on colour management and soft proofing for blurb, that you can download here. There is also another note there on how to approach writing a book with a lot of text and using blurb's layout software. Jeff Curto has a good list of book publishing resources on his site, here. So - spend time worrying about layout, design, publishers and final look. Or get my head down and write the thing. I know which I should be doing. I also have a good idea which I'll end up getting caught up on for a few days.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon,
Am following this project with definite interest as there is material for 2 books on my hard drive right now, and it has been there for a couple of years... 2008 seems like the right time to change that.
For what its worth, suggest you go ahead and use the services for the first book. I started with the Adobe InDesign (according to the authors I talked to about options, its the gold standard in the publishing world ( see: http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign/?promoid=BONSS) but the learning to use the options effectively and freedom it gives you caused me to stall out on the creative side and haven't gotten back to it. Sometimes constraints and limited options help focus on what is important - the message you're conveying with your book. You can always create a second revision doing your own layout later, refining the presentation if something bugs you alot after you've lived with it for a bit. Hmm, the analogy that's coming to me is printing an image, tacking it to the wall and looking at it for a bit. Using a service, print the book, and then decide if further work is needed.
Good luck. Will be following your progress, and looking forward to seeing the hardcopy!

Kate

Gordon said...

oddly enough 'Sometimes constraints and limited options help focus on what is important' is a fairly succinct summary of what the book I'm trying to put together is about ;)

John M. Setzler, Jr. said...

I hope you spend a majority of your effort on the content rather than the details of the quality nitpicks of the book. I'm fully aware of your attention to detail, especially when it comes to photo prints, but remember this one bit of philosophy that I actually got from an accountant at some point in the past...

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

:)

The other simple consideration is that if you want to do this book as a personal project AND for public consumption, you might need to sacrifice print quality (to some degree) for retail price....

Good luck and I'm following here, so keep us up to date :)

Jane said...

Most photo correction software works just fine for designing books - Elements, Photoshop ACDSee etc...

If you haven't already done so you should check out Viovio.com - lots of options, good quality and their prices are awesome!

Steve said...

Sorry I cannot be more helpful with respect to book printing, but I do look forward to reading it. Good luck to you.

I have a friend that just published a photography book. I can touch base with him if you need more alternatives.