Friday, March 28, 2008

Me and My Camera: The First Half Century

I sent in the order for my third Blurb Book today. This is very much an experiment because it was first published as an ebook a couple of years ago. The first two were soft cover so I’m trying the hard cover on this one.

It was originally assembled in Microsoft Publisher and converted to an ebook in PDF Exchange. Tracker software, the publisher of PDF Exchange also has a program, TIFF-X that will convert many different types of files, PDF, DOC, XML, PUB, to high resolution TIFF format.

I tried converting both the PDF files and the PUB files and on my screen I couldn’t tell any difference. I did include some of both in the book to see if it shows up there. In all it has been an interesting experience.

I am holding out hopes that this will work because I have a couple dozen ebooks that I have done in the past four or five years that I would like to have printed. However, from what I see on the screen I am not sure that the quality is holding up, especially in text and there is always lots of text.

I am working on a second book using this same method but it is on genealogy so it can suffer a little without being a big problem.

What I am looking for is more flexibility in the page layouts. Blurb is okay but fairly inflexible. If this doesn’t work I am going to give Mpix a try. Their software is extremely flexible but it doesn’t have the absolute positioning control that you have in publishing software. Theirs is the only software I have found where you insert the picture and text boxes where you want them and are not limited to pre-designed temples. My biggest problem with the Blurb templates is the limited size of the images.

I am working on a book on The Many Faces of Janet where I have included a border on the image for the full page bleed. I am not wild about full-page bleeds. I use them but for a portfolio type presentation the border seems more appropriate. By doing this I can get considerably larger verticals in the 8x10 standard, a 9x6 with borders as opposed to the approximately 7x5 they have available.

Today’s book is Me and My Camera: The First Half Century and covers the period from when I took my first photograph in 1947 through Janet’s stroke in 1986 when I dropped out of photography for fifteen years. Not quite a half century but by the time I returned to photograph a half century had lapsed and it felt like a half century while putting it together. It is pretty personal and some of the photographs may not be work friendly (none of which appear in the 15 page preview available on Blurb). If it works I will be jumping up and down and shouting. In which case I will bring it for show and tell, well show some of it and not tell all! With standard ground shipping they take about two weeks to receive and I will be very anxious by the time it gets here.

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