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.