Archive for December, 2011

Not All Social Media Are “Hot”

2 comments December 15th, 2011

I just tweeted:

I’m very close to dumping LinkedIn. They’re irrelevant to the task I have at hand: expanding my circle of publishing connections.

When I first began using LinkedIn, I thought it was all about the number of connections one made. So I worked at driving that number up, engaging in “open networking”—networking with anyone who would connect; from any field and whether we were total strangers to each other or not. Somewhere along the line I realized that this was the method of human resource professionals looking to fill out their rolodexes. I definitely cooled on LinkedIn at that point, not finding many publishing types or graphic artists on board.

After awhile I noticed I was seeing people I knew from publishing—authors, designers. Artists, editors, indexers—and I began to connect with them. But I already knew these people and so none of that grew my circle.

Next I began to see more of these publishing types who were not people I already knew. They were the ones I most wanted to engage and get to know. My purpose was to discuss the state of publishing, including any new ideas I might pick up about approaching both self- and traditional publishers about freelance book design projects. I began to grow the number of people I knew on LinkedIn from that angle.

Anyone I didn’t know who tried to connect with me and who was not from that publishing world I simply ignored. No need to report them for trying to connect with someone (me) that they did not know. But apparently some people in the same situation vis-à-vis me reported me for not knowing them. Fair enough by the rules. But those rules really do not serve my needs. They make LinkedIn fairly useless to me, not much more than a time drain.

Let me step back. The conversations I have with people on LinkedIn are thoughtful and interesting. But my goals are not advanced  and, therefore, the time spent on LinkedIn is not as productive as I had hoped it would be.

Unless I am overlooking something, I see no reason I need LinkedIn to have such conversations. I am willing to be convinced that I should remain. But my deadline for such convincing is Sunday, December 18 at noon.

A Surprising Slant on Type

4 comments December 11th, 2011

Working lately on two books by self-publishers, both autobiographies, I reached the point where one was ready to upload to my client’s printer. In this particular case, that meant CreateSpace, the wing of Amazon that provides services, including printing, to self-publishers.

Interestingly, when I uploaded the printer-ready PDFs I had prepared from InDesign files of the interior pages and the back cover/spine/front cover document, CreateSpace’s Reviewer utility sent me error messages—the interior pages file needed fixing. The first, I must admit, was helpful. The Reviewer found two or three of the dozens of artfiles were in the RGB color space, instead of CMYK. In jockeying some art around at the last minute, I overlooked the need to convert them to CMYK, which CreateSpace requires.

Good enough. That was certainly better than having the whole file or just rejection notices emailed back to the client.

But there were still a handful of problems, all the same. Text, the Reviewer noted, was running into the inside and outside margins. Repeatedly. This problem text turned out to be italic, lowercase “effs” at the beginning and end of lines. Take a look at one:


Even given that this blog does not display in the typefaces I used for the book, you can see the source of CreateSpace’s problem, although—admittedly—if you’re displaying this in sans serif type the problem may appear faint at best.

The first ones I spotted when looking at the pages the Reviewer utility had singled out were at the ends of lines. See the top of the “f”? It slants rightward, as italic type should. But as the last letter on a full line, principally as part of the word “of,” it did, technically break into the margin.

On the inside part of pages, it happened with words beginning with the letter “f.” Notice how the bottom of is to the left. That was, again technically, into the margin. Of course, we are only talking a matter of a point or two. I mean, if this were the National Football League, and the “f” were a ball carrier, and the margins were the goal line … well, touchdown. But it really is crazy splitting of hairs in typography.

This book has two versions: one where my client-author’s art—mostly photos of his paintings—is in black-and-white, and a second version where the art displays in full color. I actually went back and did some type manipulation to eliminate the offenders.

And still, the Reviewer pointed out, more remained.

Except the “more” turned out to be the roman variety:


Do you see it? The crossbar on the left side is what ticked off CreateSpace’s Reviewer.

On this second, the color version, I had had enough. I clicked the “Ignore Reviewer” option and crossed my fingers. As far as I know, there have been no dire mishaps.


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