So, I sent my book in to be printed about two weeks ago and just got it back last week. It is really nice to see it in it’s printed form, but…
Probably the best way to discuss the result of the printing is to come out and say it, it’s too small. The book actual measurements are 9″ x 7″ which, if you’re like me, you think that the book is an average size. If you’re not like me, you realized immediately that it is small. So small that 1, I’m embarrassed of it, and 2, I have already started to reformat it to a 12 x 9 size. Seriously, when I unpacked it from the envelope that it was sent in, I mentally wondered, “what is this, is this a book for an ant?” — zoolander quote. Okay, so it’s small, too small, but what to do? I’m not happy with the size, but to redo the layout takes quite a bit of time. As I mentioned, I have already started reformatting, but the scale of the undertaking seems to be massive.
The first thing I had to do was to figure out the correct new size. Too big and it would be cost prohibitive to print. I also was concerned that I needed to ensure that I picked a size that available from the printers. I could do a custom size, but it would just be more of a hassle. I eventually decided on a 12 inch wide by 9 inch height for the size. The reason for my choice is that I printed off a ‘dummy’ back in the summer on standard 8.5 inch by 11 paper and I liked the way it looked, so making it slightly larger should be fine, maybe even better.
The second thing is the actual work of reformatting of the layout. At first I thought it was going to be easy. I mean, how hard can it be? Change the page size in InDesign, move a few text boxes, maybe a few other things and in about 2 hours I’d be done. Not even close, I started almost the same night I received the book in the mail and it took me probably about an hour just to wrap my brain around the process that needed to be accomplished. The problem that I’m worried about the most is that I have to decide how large to make the text boxes and images. At first I was thinking that I’d just keep the same size text boxes with the same amount of text. but the layout now is much larger. One column of text in the old size now looks tiny in the new layout. I could add more images, make the images that are there larger, or just make the text size larger.
Although I haven’t made a final decision I have started the process of moving everything around to keep the same look as the old look. Once that’s done, I’ll decide if I have to change the layout. Just getting it back to the same layout has been a chore. It’s tedious since everything is based on numerical values. The gutters, columns, images, locations of elements can’t just be placed where I want them. I have to figure out the location, store the x and y value, find the pages that have those elements and make sure that they are changed. With 176 pages this takes about two hours per element. The other day I started on the page numbers, after about two hours I still wasn’t done. I was close, but I realized that there were several that I placed just a ‘hair’ off. Not a problem right? No, serious problem. Now I have to go back through all 176 pages to ensure that all the page number are correctly positioned. This will take another two hours at least. I’ve probably spent about four hours so far on the reformatting, and I’d say that I’ve done maybe ten percent of the work, maybe five. Let’s do the math.
“if ken starts reformatting his new layout on page 1 at 6pm, and by 10pm, he has only completed 17 pages, how long will it be before he is done?”
a) He will never be done.
b) He will eventually finish, but nobody will care.
c) Forty extremely tedious hours.
d) Forty hours to finish only to realize that he made a huge mistake and has to restart and gives up.
If you said ‘d’ then you are correct.
Well, I think that’s it. I just wanted to let my faithful reader know what is happening with the book. I know it’s early, but my 1 reader should be coming by early next year. Damn, you got me. I don’t have a faithful reader. I’m just writing this post to tell someone what it going on, I don’t know who that someone is, maybe just a spammer or bot, but someone. :|