Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Book Arrived!

I picked up my book at the mailbox today!

It was exciting to see my own work printed and bound. However I have mixed feelings about the results.

The photos came out excellently. So did the text. My layout was great. The book quality was superb. So what's with the misgivings?

While I knew what size book I was ordering, when I got it I was initially disappointed. A 10"x8" book is too small for a coffee table. It's nice and all, but it's small. Also, I only produced a 40-page effort (on purpose -- it was a test) and it's very thin.

So: if you're doing a Blurb book,
  • make it bigger (both the physical size and the number of pages. Also the image sizes on the pages).
  • do order the premium paper. It's outstanding.
  • I think I worried too much about sharpening and finishing. All my pictures were National Geographic quality (OK, I'm not talking about the images themselves, although they're pretty good! I mean the reproduction).
  • While the printed jacket is really nice, I'm worried about damaging it. I think I'll hard-print on the cover of the next one.

So my next book will be (a) coffee-table sized, (b) have at least 60 (more likely 80) pages and (c) I'll create my own custom layout grids using a full page bleed size in PhotoShop.

While I'm writing here, I thought I'd remind everyone that the Wacom Bamboo Fun graphic tablet is very reasonably priced right now! Staples has it for $99 (the Fun includes a mouse and a software bundle). It still takes a bit of getting used to, but I'm at the point where I use it for everything. If you buy the one without the mouse, you need an extra USB port to plug one in. The Wacom mouse (by the way, it's pronounced "wack-om" not "Way-com", if you listen to the British voice on the tutorial) only works on the graphics tablet, but that's OK, it's pretty good.

And finally, we've set the date for the Pixel Painting Workshop: March 14/15 at Humber College. Drop me a note if you're thinking about attending and I don't already know about it. Details will go up on the photography.to website in a few days.

Have a geat New Year's, everyone. I wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in the year to come.

PS: Food for thought: I'm thinking about a trip out West this summer, in a car not on the bike. Maybe make Alaska? Anyone interested in coming along?