Formatting image heavy books

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Formatting image heavy books

Post by yukitan » January 2nd, 2014, 9:13 pm

Hi, I'm not sure if this is the correct place to posting this, but I am attempting to format an art book for publishing and I need some advice.

The book is very image heavy, with text introductions throughout. However, most of the tutorials and links that I can find on the internet are limited to textual publishing using Microsoft word, publisher, etc. From what I read, it's advised that I use either a hybrid processing programme (pages, etc) or a layout programme (indesign, quark express) to have full control, but it's only one book that I will be formatting, and I don't see the merits of purchasing an expensive programme which I will only use once.

Does anybody who has experience in this have any advice?
Or in your opinion, would it be best to leave this to a publishing house to handle instead? The main reason why I am trying to do it myself is because of cost.

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Re: Formatting image heavy books

Post by polymath » January 3rd, 2014, 2:38 pm

InDesign is the current industry-fashionable publishing software. Yeah, it's pricey to purchase, since the program comes with a Creative Suite, hence, CS-6. Layout is much more finitely controllable using InDesign than most any desktop publishing program. InDesign, though a desktop program is the publishing industry standard. Word, Publisher, etc., do not allow as much fine tuning. Illustrations may not line up as desired in other programs, both left to right and top to bottom justification, then there's captions and their complications. The exception is Corel's Draw, which also is part of a software suite, though at about half the price.

Both CorelDraw and CS InDesign are used for industry publishing, CS being number one. CD was the favorite in the '90s. Quark came next. Then CS now and for the foreseeable future.

Both CD and CS are available as cloud programs. Rent one or the other monthly or on a year contract to do term-limited work to save money or for budget purposes. And Barb's your aunt.

I am expert in CD, expert in CS, and proficient in Quark. I have CD native on my desktop, CS-4 on an office system. That job ends next week though. CS-6 isn't appreciably different, not enough to justify ugrade expense. I may use cloud CS-6 in the future, For now, CD serves my needs. The only reason I can see to rent the cloud for CS is if a client insists on CS native design files. The end product delivered to a print bureau is nonetheless a highest resolution PDF, from which a job shop printer or publisher prints. Acrobat Distiller isn't as functional as CD or CS, though for the cost, it will serve. Its progam purchase and cloud rental terms are competitive.

Cloud computing is meant to perpuate a revenue stream. I guess software designers don't like when a consumer purchases a progam and doesn't need an update or new app for years after. Appreciable enhancements are not common or of much value anymore, though. I can't see how they might imrpove upon their programs. One difference though, is as operating systems uprgrade, like to Windows 7 and later, older publishing prorgrams may be incompatible. Mine are. I use Windows XP because I can\'t justify or afford to acquire new softwares that would cost me thousands of dollars. Thankfully, XP systems are still available now and for the near-term future as aftermarket hardware.

Letting the publisher take care of book layout depends on the publisher's practices. Traditional publishers will completely lay out and design a book. Smaller presses require press-ready copy. Middle-tier publishers fall somewhere in between.
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Re: Formatting image heavy books

Post by hesperus_lux » February 11th, 2014, 4:26 pm

My gut tells me that you should let the publisher take care of it UNLESS you are planning on doing book layout often in the future.

In order to properly layout the kind of project you are talking about I think InDesign is best. If you have graphic design experience then learning InDesign won't be completely painful. has some great InDesign courses. Taking a full course of classes on Lynda is advisable because putzing around on InDesign with only a very basic understanding can be very frustrating.

So, learn InDesign if you plan on typesetting lots of books OR just let the publisher handle it. Any option in between is misery.
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