Sketchbooks: Volume One used to be one of those projects that went off the rails. Many authors I talk to have a similar project, and some of my best customers first came to me for help in getting a derailed project back on track. Book projects can go wrong for first-time authors in ways they never expected, and it’s up to us who have the benefit of years of experience to help them out.
Sketchbooks went off the rails more than two years ago. It was the first full-color book I ever tried to set up. When I submitted the files to the printer, I got all kinds of warnings – and even a refusal to attempt to print it! Even worse, I was so new to the process that I could not make sense of what was wrong.
If that sounds familiar, then you’ve made a book before. The good news is: It gets easier with practice. Last week, I returned to my long-abandoned Sketchbooks with a few more years design experience under my belt. It took no time at all to understand and repair the problem, and create new files for printing – which were accepted by the printer on the first try.
I slapped myself on the forehead, cursed loudly, and marveled at how easy it was all of a sudden. But it wasn’t sudden, really. It took years of making a book a month, whether for myself or my fellow authors, to gain the experience I needed to solve the original problem. So, if you’re running into technical challenges on your first book, don’t give up. Talk to someone who has made many books, and ask them for help.
This post should probably be some great marketing copy for Sketchbooks, but I get more satisfaction out of passing on the lessons I learned from making it. Making books is an amazing experience, and one I enjoy sharing with other authors.
Sketchbooks: Volume One is now available on Amazon in a paperback-only edition. 102 pages, full-color; contains three years of drawings, paintings, pastels, and multi-media pieces, plus interviews.