February 17th, 2012

A publishing related teal deer

Okay, now that I've typed that, I think that someone totally needs to make "Teal Deer" into a book imprint. XD

Anyway, I've been trying to write a post for about three days now, but I woke up horribly congested on Wednesday and ended up spending most of it curled in a blanket watching cartoons and drinking tea. Yesterday was spent recovering and trying to get rehydrated, though I did manage to get an icon done!

I've been pretty busy with publishing tasks over the past week; mostly working on book formatting, but also refreshing my knowledge of ISBNs, reading about EAN barcodes, comparing puppet prices and the like. A Kindle Fire edition is out for testing, I should have an iBooks version in a few days, and then I have to see if I can put together a file that will work on a nook color. B&N seems to have restricted access to their nook kids formatting info, so that last one will be a challenge. The printer file just needs a barcode for the back cover before I send it out.

I worked in a print shop for a couple of years, and I've spent a lot of time around designers (and one very picky designer in particular), so this is far from the first file that I've sent to press, but I admit that I'm a bit nervous. I know I'm not entirely clueless, but it also means that I'm aware that there are a lot of tiny things I might have missed, and it is the first time I've had to format an entire book (not to mention the first one with my name on the cover!) so I guess it's understandable. I keep wanting to fiddle with the kerning, and am fighting the urge to rework the illustrations. And I pray to Titivillus that no typos have made it through.

We don't have the budget for a hardbound first edition, and the book apparently doesn't have enough pages for a secure perfect binding, so we're going to try a saddle stitch with 18 sheets of somewhat heavy paper. There should be enough of a bleed around each page to compensate for the creep, and this type of binding does have the advantage of being able to open flat without breaking the spine. I'm worried that it will disappear on bookstore and library shelves, but there isn't much we can do about that. Hopefully a few places will face it out, so potential readers will be able to see it.

In...I was going to type "other news", but it's actually kind of related :P — I upgraded to OS X Lion about a week ago so I could play around with iBooks Author, thinking it would save me the trouble of hand-coding that version of the book. The app is everything it's advertised to be...it's well designed, easy to use...and won't let me make a square book. The page size is locked to the size of the iPad screen, and there's no way to change it. A small part of my brain thinks I should find this frustrating, but it just makes so much sense that I felt like I ought to have predicted it, and couldn't help but laugh. The app will also not export body copy in anything but a dozen or so appealing and very readable typefaces. I don't know if it's because I'm so used to taking orders from a designer, or if it's because I've seen so many eye-searingly horrible results of clueless people with too many options, but I actually appreciate Apple's efforts to prevent ordinary people from unintentionally making unreadably ugly books. (The Lion upgrade, btw, was worth it, with or without iBA. I love the new Mail.app and the MailTags upgrade that the folks at Indev made to go with it, and a display glitch in ArtRage's canvas settings has now been fixed! Yay!)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.