April 26th, 2010
To recap: my first experience noodling at the making of an eBook left me cold. So the arrival of Adobe’s Creative Studio 4 and its direct-to-EPUB capability was welcome—even though I did not upgrade to CS4. And with the coming of CS5, an upgrade I have already ordered, I hope the InDesign-to-EPUB path is even more seamless.
That sums up my software news.
As big a development as the foregoing is, there is another, even more significant step toward the inclusion of eBook production in my repertoire: adding an iPad to my computer line-up of desktop (24-inch iMac with second, 23-inch, Cinema Display), laptop (17-inch MacBook Pro), and handheld (second-generation iPod Touch) completes my toolbox for troubleshooting eBooks.
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What I wrote above should have been the beginning of a whole different piece than this is turning out to be.
Instead, my wife mentioned to me that in noodling through some of the hits that came up when she googled me earlier today, she came across an exchange I had somewhere online sometime back. Apparently I felt compelled to say repeatedly that had no interest in eBooks, I would never make any, and would never get myself any kind of eReader.
Well, we see how that resolved itself.
April 18th, 2010
I enjoyed the initial design and layout of my first medical novel. Although only the first pass is complete, with corrections and changes sure to come, the best part of the creative bump is likely over. I had begun two other books while working on that novel. And I fielded other inquiries in a typical “feast” portion of the feast-or-famine freelancer’s way.
One of the other possible projects was a 500-page scifi novel. This was another potentially interesting project, though I cannot imagine it would have had as many different text elements as the medical novel. But that has led me to thinking in a different, if not new, direction: eBooks.
I’ve already gone on some about how my first exercises with the epub and mobi formats left me underwhelmed. But those, it occurred to me, don’t even scratch the surface of what a proper eBook might be. Naturally, it took the iPad—no, I have not purchased one yet, as I’m waiting for second generation, which, at the least, I expect to include a video camera—to get me thinking about the extended possibilities of eBooks.
By “extended,” I picture the ability, while reading, say, a science fiction novel about time travel, to link to material about what physics says about the possibility of traveling through time. I am not sure whether I want multimedia to be part of the material one can access, as it could distract from the reading and might make a book into more of a movie experience over time. But I also like the idea of having other material available to move on to for more information when the reader’s imagination is piqued.
As it happened, this science fiction novel didn’t happen for me. I could not agree on a price with the prospective client. I understood perfectly the financial constraints he found himself bound by, but I could not bring the project in for what he could spend. And, interestingly, that price included the cost of proofreading. I wonder whether, whatever the price, it is a good idea for the same one pair of eyes to handle the typesetting and proofreading?