Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Solution

Yesterday afternoon was spent researching a way to send the massive file of all the photos and illustrations for the book back to the book designer, once I finally finished making revisions to all of them. Originally I loaded the book including all the images on a thumb drive and mailed it up to him. Obviously from a time and money standpoint I would prefer not to use that method again if I can avoid it. I thought the free answer was going to be to upload all the photos and illustrations to my Mobile Me account, which I have had since last year and never used. Any uploaded data is stored in the "cloud" and you can give others permission to access your account. Sounds perfect, right? Unfortunately, Mobile Me does not support tiffs, which is the format the designer asked me to reformat all the illustrations into. Bummer!

My daughter suggested uploading my file to the ftp on my website, That would be great if I even had a clue what that was all about. I did a google search on it and realized that once again I was in over my head. My husband also suggested that I bring the file to his office and upload it to their ftp on their server. But that would mean giving the designer access to their server, which I wasn't 100% comfortable with.

So here is what ending up working. There is a website called I first zipped my file folder (super easy in Windows - just right click the file, click on zip and you're done!) and then went to the yousendit website. Because my file was in excess of 100mb (which is the "free" threshold), I incurred a charge of $9.99 to send the file. But that is less than a new thumb drive plus the postage to mail it, not to mention the mailing time delay. It took about an hour for the file to upload and be sent, and I got an email confirmation that it went to my recipient. I haven't heard back from the designer yet, so hopefully everything transferred okay. If it did, this will be my preferred method of sharing information, especially since I think most items that I will ever need to send will be under the 100mb threshold.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Note to Self

Just when you think the ball is in someone else's court and you can take a breather, SLAM - back it comes at ya. The book designer informed me that I needed to convert all the color photographs to black and white, and to change all the illustrations from jpgs to tiffs. That is in addition to changing all 160 items to 300 dpi. Yee, haw! So my note to self is that if in the future I decide to use any photos and/or illustrations in a book, to first check with the designer to see what format everything should be scanned or copied to before I do anything else. I have had to redo a lot of steps on this project.

I finished all of the changes this afternoon; now I just have to figure out how to get all the images back to the designer. They are too large to email, even if I zip the file, so last time I sent everything to him on a thumb drive. I could do that again, but I am hoping to find a solution that involves an e-transfer instead. Hopefully the designer has an answer, although you would think he would have suggested it last time.

Tonight I am giving a presentation about publishing to an adult education class on writing and publishing a non-fiction book. I have done this in the past, and it is always fun to hear what book ideas people are working on. It is so great to be writing in a time when you can actually get your books into the hands of readers without being held hostage by the traditional publishing industry.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Let's Give 'em Something to Talk About

Saturday night I was part of the panel discussing publishing at the Borders store on Brentwood. In honor of Small Press Month, the St. Louis Publishers Association sponsors these 2 hour workshops at various Borders stores around the area. (Though we may need to find another location next year. Will there be any Borders stores left here?) Anyway, each speaker has 30 minutes to discuss their topic and take Q & A. My assigned topic was self-publishing versus traditional publishing. Bob Baker had presented this area the previous Saturday in Sunset Hills, so I went to that workshop so I could see what he covered. Because of his background and success in self-publishing, I knew that his presentation was not going to work for me. I started from scratch and covered the pros and cons of each type of publishing. I think that it went okay.

I love attending these things because I always learn something myself. At this session I found out that even if I were to print dad's book through Lightening Source I could still have a local printer do 25 copies or so for me to sell. Otherwise you have to buy your books back from Lightening Source, which sort of rubs me the wrong way. So I'll price the book both ways and see what happens. The beauty of using Lightening Source is that they will get your book into distribution since they are owned by Ingrams, the largest book distributor in the world I believe.

Speaking of dad's book, the designer has sent me two sample layouts to consider. But both of them are in the 8 1/2 x 11 format, which makes me think he did not get the email telling him I want it to be 6 x 9 or so. I have sent him an email through our Workroom in elance, so we'll see what he says next.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Designing Men

On Monday a hard copy of From Buckeye to G.I. and a thumb drive containing the book with and without images was mailed to the book designer in Iowa. I also included a separate file with all the images in it. Yesterday I received my Library of Congress number for the book (they actually sent me a password to get into my account on Monday), so I emailed the designer a revised copyright page containing this number. Today the designer sent me an email stating that he thinks the book would be better in an 8 1/2" x 11" format as opposed to the 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" size I had requested. He is concerned that the documents will not be legible in the smaller format. My reasons for the smaller book were as follows: it is a more accepted size by readers, bookstores and libraries and the number of pages in the larger size format will be too small (probably around 50 pages).

Clark also wanted to know if I was printing the book in color as he said a lot of my photos are in color. Actually, only the later photos that I took of the forts and monuments were in color, or so I thought. Wrong... Apparently all the newsletters I scanned were interpreted as color by the computer because of the yellowed paper. Ack! Now I have to edit all the "colored" photos in PhotoShop! And there are a lot of them. I thought I was going to be able to take a break from this book while the designer was doing his thing, but apparently not.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Picture is Worth 1,000 KB

The corrections from the editor have all been input - at least the ones that I am electing to change - and I have made certain all of the 151 pictures, newsletters, forms (anything that is a jpg) are labeled on the hard copy of the book for the designer. I have also placed the corresponding number in the file of images I will send to him. The reason this is important is because he wants me to strip all of the jpgs out of my manuscript before I send him the book. I want to make sure he know where to put them all back in once he has the Word document placed in InDesign. Tedious work, this. I am very ready to get this book out the door!

While reviewing the book, I realized that I have not applied for a Library of Congress number for the book. This is not a necessity, but if you think your book will end up in a library, it is pretty important. I have an account set up with the LOC since I secured a number for Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed(room)?, but I have not been on their website since I did that in November of 2009. Well, in October 2010 the LOC came out with a mandate that you must change your password every 60 days. But I did not get the memo about this. I cannot log into my account now. I sent them an email asking how to get around this, and they advise that it can take up to 5 days to receive a response. Great! (Insert sarcasm here.) I'd like to have the number before I send the book to the designer, but I won't hold it up because of this.

I realized that I had not written a timetable when I was working on my last book. I am rectifying that with this book so that I don't get caught up with some of these details on the next one. In the meantime, I'm stripping pictures...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feeling Comma-tose

I dropped a thumb drive containing my dad's book off at the editor's home on February 25th, as planned. She indicated that she would need two weeks to do her editing, which was fine as I was leaving for a week's vacation that day. In fact, I got an email from her while on my cruise that she was done with the editing, and that the thumb drive was ready to be picked up. I headed over to her house on March 6th to pick it up.

From the email correspondence I had received, I knew that this editor was going to be way more thorough than the editor I had hired for my first book. And indeed, she was. In addition to the normal items I figured she would be looking at, she also gave helpful suggestions about moving some items around to make the story flow better. Also, I always thought I was the Comma Queen, but she likes commas even more than I do. I probably won't add some of the suggested commas, even if they should be included, because to me they look wrong in the sentence. Particularly in sentences where I already have an abundance of commas due to dates and listings of items.

But the main thing I am struggling with is how to show numbers - numerically or spelled out. There are a LOT of numbers in this book. I have researched this online and have gotten conflicting information. I don't really like the way the editor has indicated I should do them, even knowing that she follows the Chicago Manual of Style. It just seems weird to me to have numbers in the same sentence handled differently - like I couldn't make up my mind or something. I guess these things will be the author's prerogative.

Other than the numbers game, I have incorporated the changes into the manuscript. Now all that is left is to do the indexing. I have emailed the designer to see if he can begin laying the book out before he receives the index. It seems to me that I can't really index if I don't know what page the name will appear on. Right?