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Old 06-28-2014, 02:25 PM
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Yorky Yorky is online now
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Creating a Book of your Art

Members may have followed my A59 Project paintings. I thought you might like to share my experience in creating a book of the paintings. I had lots of advice from David De Armond (manfrommerriam) who has recently gone through the same process in Kansas. Thanks Dave

I photographed all my images and saved them as uncompressed jpeg files. At first I created a one off conventional hardback A4 size landscape book with Photobox.com, taking advantage of a special 70% off offer. However the cost of printing further copies was totally prohibitive.

I eventually discovered a UK digital printer printed.com who could produce perfect bound books (paperback style with a spine) in small quantities (10 up) at a very reasonable cost which worked out at less than £8 per copy for a quantity of 20-210x210mm 60 page books in full colour with laminated covers - cheap enough to give as presents. Perfect bound books are found under brochures on the printed.com website.

Producing the book file in an acceptable form for the printer proved more problematical. With Photobox one merely has to upload the picture files then use them with the online software to lay out the book with pictures and text.

The digital printer however wanted a complete book file and preferred CMYK colour separations etc. Eventually I discovered that they would accept a standard pdf file tailored with cut marks and 3mm bleed on full page images.

As I use Paintshop Pro to edit my pictures and CMYK isn't available I used standard jpeg files. Picture files were sized to the printer's 300dpi requirement before inserting into the document. The printers said there may be some variation in the colours with simple jpeg files, but as the colours are arbitrary I decided to take the risk.

I eventually created the book with free Scribus desktop publishing software which is quite sophisticated and allows editing throughout the creation process. Cut marks and bleed options are built in to the software. The Scribus native file format is .sla but books can be exported in .pdf format together with the fonts and picture files which is what the printer accepts. I used the default pdf format (there are various options).

Apart from the cover all my pages had a 10mm and 15mm white borders so full bleed pictures weren't required. The margin on the spine side of the page was set to 15mm so the pictures wouldn't be hidden in the gutter, the other margins were set at 10mm. In order to standardise the page layout I set the margins and text guides to be visible whilst creating the pages:



The book contains 50 paintings but with a frontispiece with copyright information, index, front and rear fly leaves and counting both outside and inside of the cover it came to 60 pages. I opted for 300gsm covers gloss laminated on the outside and with 130gsm silk pages. The resultant file was 1.2Gigabyte in size and proved impossible to upload and neither would it fit on a DVD. The solution was to save the file to an SD card which took seconds, then post the file to the printer by recorded delivery for checking and production.

Despite the first SD card being lost, when they finally received the file they rang back to say the file was satisfactory and would start printing on receipt of my order. I believe they did the print the same day but delayed delivery until I had returned from the Dundas Meet. I was delighted with the result:





So, having gone through the process, I found that it wasn't as difficult as I anticipated and I encourage you to give it a try.

Doug
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:07 PM
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raxu raxu is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Wow Doug, congratulations and thank you for letting us know how you did it! Sooner or later you might need to found a consulting agency, to get paid for all the advice you can offer .
Great result!
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:41 PM
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Dougwas Dougwas is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Your book looks great, Doug. What a neat idea. Thanks for the explanation.

Doug
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:55 PM
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rickyhpierre rickyhpierre is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Looks brilliant Doug

Ricky
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:13 PM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Great book and process Doug! Congratulations!

Using something like dropbox.com will ease the
exchange of large files for people doing their books
in the future. I think that they give 2GB free and then
upgrade your amount of memory based on recommendations
to friends, apps downloaded, sharing on twitter, etc.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:17 PM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Yes a good idea Carlos.

PS It just occurred to me that uploading 1.2GB of data to Dropbox at my slow broadband speed would take hours.

Doug
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:19 PM
M.L. Schaefer M.L. Schaefer is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Doug, as usual, you have provided us with a wealth of new information PLUS your paintings are soooo beautiful, a pleasure to view, thank you!

p.s. Perspectives are so great!!!!!!!

Margarete
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:39 PM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Doug,
Wow, great explaining and great experience. I paint birds, well over 60 of them now, and I write poetry. One day I would like to get a book made along the lines of Field Naturalist and when the time comes I may need some help with the terminology and process from this end. Thanks Doug. I'm encouraged and feel brave. The universe is working. A loving project for sure. Your book is fantastic, one of a kind. A great gift to leave as a legacy, mine too, if I ever get mine done. lol
.
rgds
Sandee
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:45 PM
ameliajordan ameliajordan is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Looks great Doug!
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:14 AM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Doug,
This was a wonderful project you created from start to finish. What a terrific idea to have it printed as a book.

I've added a link to this thread in The Watercolor Handbook under the Resources section.

Sylvia
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:22 AM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Thanks Sylvia, I thought the explanation might be useful to others.

Doug
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:11 AM
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Queenoftorts Queenoftorts is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Thanks for sharing your process! It's a good idea to preserve your projects but it looks like it can be surprisingly complicated. I'm glad you found an option to print more copies affordably - it looks too nice not to share.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:48 AM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Thanks for sharing, Doug. I just need to sit down and paint 50 things that I am proud of and then we are good to go.

My art teacher, recently retired and has over the last couple of years produced 3 self-published books covering his 60+ years of work. He used a state-side company called blurb.com. Compared to yours, as he had a different target audience (sales versus gifts), he had larger books done, they were hard cover, printed dust jackets, and more expensive, but they did turn out very professional.

Blurb does have less expensive offerings, but I personally have no experience with them. They also have their own software tools for book building. I have no affiliation with Blurb. Just thought it was another resource people might find handy.

-Scott
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:15 AM
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Congratulations on publishing the book Yorky, and thanks for sharing all the information.

deb
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:35 AM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Creating a Book of your Art

Well done, Doug. Congratulations on your fine work.

For folks in the U.S. who may wish to follow in your great footsteps, there are several on-line self-publishing businesses which are worth investigating. I used Blurp for my first book and was very satisfied with the results.

http://www.blurb.com/book-makers (I have no connection with them). A search on my name will turn up my book, "Seen Anew: The Brandywine Valley" and it may help illustrate what can be done.

Sling paint,
Virgil
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