The Kinnal Craft Book is finally complete and I’m super happy with the final outcome! Let’s celebrate this with a few nice pictures of the final book and a short summary of the learning before embarking on a similar project in the future:
1. Even when you think its’ done let someone with fresh eyes tear it apart again!
The copy only went through one real editing stage. The original copy written back in 2007 for audio narration was basically re-written by me before I forwarded it to Ailsa, a friend and also project participant. I implemented her corrections and refined bits as I went through. However somehow I still missed bits and made silly mistakes like forgetting my your own name in the credits, let alone the typos which somehow seem to be sneaking back inside when you’re not looking.
2. Allow early editing and co-writing
Use Google docs and right from the onset allow contribution and corrections. Don’t just go ahead and do it and expect someone to read through a whole lot of text once it’s done. I assume sharing it earlier would also divide the corrections into more manageable chunks or allow people to completely write sections in their own voice with multiple perspectives.
3. Know the service you’re printing with
I decided to try lulu.com for the final print. If your layout is bleeding, check with the printing service for specification, even write an email if their UI does not tell you. (Lulu was kind enough to assist in this and let me update and reprint the first copy for free) Also check available printing sizes before hand or even use their Indesign integration if they have one.
4. Think of ways to save time and don’t under estimate it
The ideas stage of this book has been particularly long with nearly 5 years allowing heaps of different plans and sketches for content. In the end I decided on the titles, illustrated these and spend 3 days creating the first flowing layout over a time period of a month. Once I started really at it, selecting all images, photoshop editing them if needed, it took me 3 weeks to assemble the whole book version 1 [see link below]. However after that I spend a good 2 more weeks refining and tweaking. To get a version up on lulu alone took 3 hours (uploading time).
5. Just do it!
Don’t phaff around thinking about it. Just spend a couple of evenings doing it and sharing it with friends afterwards. This really helped to get through this first stage of sticky gum and generating some interest.