The Geek Guild: Week 3

Now onto week three, The Geek Guild is one step closer to the Emerald City.

We’ve begun to master the hidden tricks of InDesign to format our book. Though intuitive once discovered, these can be tricky to figure out. The lynda.com videos really helped. John also suggested a hashtag that is a good place to ask questions if stuck with eProduction (#eprdctn).

Organization

We created a ‘work back’ schedule to keep us on track and outline what needs to be done in the coming weeks.

Production

We finished flowing the text into InDesign, and marked our next step as finalizing typography for both the ePub and printed work. Images will then be inserted into the document and played with as necessary. Images were drawn from the web to embody the “classic book” style the team decided on, rather than the commonly known movie version. Placement was determined by the images found and the story.

Final formatting in InDesign will be employed this week and we will begin working on the conversion process and remedying any quirky bits of formatting found after the export.

We will focus some time on the differences needed in the ePub vs. physical publication. These may include the following:

  • page numbers
  • copyright page
  • images/captions
  • table of contents
  • titles pages

We will also attempt to figure out how to manage the design and layout to facilitate the ePUB production process as smoothly as possible. Simply tacking a digital workflow onto the end of an existing print workflow is not efficient and there is no “easy button” for exporting a clean ePUB file. Ideally, when a title enters the publishing list, both print and digital formats should be planned out at the same time — content and design can be optimized every step of the way in order for the digital export to go smoothly. We are working on a plan to best do this with the least amount of changing of the original document. Though this is the case, it seems that we will need to create two InDesign documents (one for print, one for ePub) to optimize the forms.

Brittany will create a simple wrap-around jacket from the design summer created. To determine size, we used a website to calculate the specs.

InDesign

Even though line breaks were altered in a word processor, some line breaks still had to be fixed by hand.

Font choices were made for the ePub—Adobe Caslon and Myriad Pro were our choices. These two type faces work well together with Caslon being smooth and easy to read, and Myriad Pro being modern and a good contrast to Caslon. We are still determining if the physical book will have a different font choice.

After exporting the working document from InDesign to an ePub file, we tested the document on Firefox. It worked! And it is also responsive, working on different sized platforms.

There were some issues with the image output, but this was remedied through changing the export options.

Marketing + Packaging

Brittany is looking at the best ways to package the physical book. This will likely be a mock-up of a book jacket wrapped around a dummy book.

We have also decided to redesign the cover to adhere to the original classic look of L. Frank Baum’s book vs. the movie imagery that is commonly seen. This will also position the book in a unique way which will likely help with marketing.

A foreword written by Baum’s (hypothetical) granddaughter will be a new addition to the book. She is a well-known author. Brittany will write this piece for inclusion in both the ePub and physical book.

Emily looked at copyright and wrote copy for this page for both physical and ePub versions. A webpage which outlined what should/shouldn’t be included in an ePub helped with this process.

A marketing plan was created. Along with this, a stand-alone website was launched.

Consistency

We needed to find a way to have elements across our two documents consistent. This included creating character and paragraph styles. We also decided to use a drop cap and simple header for each chapter to keep the look consistent across both mediums.

To do (the final stretch!)

  • Create a table of contents that works well in both the ePub and physical version
  • Add page numbers – upon the first trial, this was difficult due to the positioning of the numbers being different on each pages and the length of the manuscript, will try to remedy this by creating two separate files for print and ePub versions
  • Re-try export process after making some tweaks in the table of contents, copyright page. Use Adobe Acrobat to combine the files and insert page numbers here. Placement will likely have to be adjusted.
  • Figure out printing costs, specs, process
  • Create promotional poster for launch party
  • Re-create book design to reflect newly employed aesthetic choices
  • Update social media platforms with new graphics
  • Ensure book cover works as a small icon for eBook store
  • Proofing both documents

Problems

  • Problem with carriage returns and page breaks (to ask John)
  • Redesigning table of contents for the print edition to be more streamlined and intuitive
  • Image – text won’t wrap around portrait-oriented images – will watch section of a Lynda.com video re: articles and maintaining formatting with images (to ask John)
  • Figuring out widgets on WordPress site – Tumblr? Pinterest?
  • Deciding where to place page numbers
  • Issues with formatting in Chapter 3
  • Captioning images and getting this to translate into the ePub format

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