Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Jumbled Brain - SoFoBoMo

This week has left my mind as jumbled as this vine. It is the learning curve that I didn't want to face last year for SoFoBoMo. Just when I think I'm getting it together, I find that there is another higher hill to climb. At this point deciding what I'm going to photograph for the book has been put on the back burner which is kind of crazy since I'm going to be making a photography book. I think once I know how I'll handle the techincal issues then I can switch over to the creative side.

Blurb/Booksmart has templates, a lot of templates but none of them are exactly what I want to use. I've looked at design programs like In Design and Quark. Can't do that. They are expensive especially for the limited use they would get from me. Last year a number of people used a free design program called Scribus. I've downloaded the free software. It looked complicated but I dug around and found a manual. Okay, I can read that should get me started. After a day of trying to set up the 'preferences' and having them disappear into cyberspace, and reading help links and getting nowhere, I thought my head would explode. I will not be using Scribus. I'm just not geeky enough to figure it out.

I've played with designing the pages with Photoshop. I think that holds possibilities. I can then use Blurb/Booksmart for the cover and drop in the pages from Photoshop. But I'm feeling pretty confident that I understand the issues with going that route. And there are issues but I think I can solve them.

Having a hold-in-my-hand book is really my objective but to fully compete in SoFoBoMo I need a PDF book as well. At first I thought what the heck, I'll just do a print book and let the rest go. At least I will have met my personal goal. The more I thought about it, I think that also having a PDF book on the web that you can reference for people to go see makes a lot of sense. Over on the Flickr SoFoBoMo discussion page, Rosie Perea gave me some great suggestions to explore on how to do that.

SoFoBoMo doesn't start until May 1 so I have time to get my brain unjumbled.

By the way, I'll be adding SoFoBoMo to the title of the blog entries that have to do with my journey for my book. I know that everyone will not want to read about this process. If I'm boring you to death with my ups and downs and twists and turns, feel free to skip any entries with SoFoBoMo included in the title.

16 comments:

Calypso said...

Amiga - The trials of the rich and famous living in San Miguel (and I don't mean to laugh here).

Here in the Hood most are concerned about where their next meal is coming from.

There are all levels of trials I suppose.

That written you're not boring me - I intend to keep up. If nothing else just to know how the rich and famous do live ;-)

Jonna said...

I find the technical stuff fascinating as a Photoshop wader (I don't swim in that program but I can wade pretty well)

I'm glad you are going with the pdf book, I think it has a lot of possibilities only one of which is that I will be able to 'see' it as you designed it. I'm excited.

It's not the trials of the rich Juan, it is a mind that finds satisfaction in learning, I have a lot of respect for that no matter the income level. Granted, if you are hungry you can't think of anything else but I don't think any of us commenting here - or blogging - are worried about starvation. You can have compassion for others and also a desire to learn new skills and produce beauty. Billie has both.

Billie said...

I don't know what this rich and famous crap is about but I wish your saying it could make it so. LOL

But, honestly, I know that I'm very blessed to have enough money that I can agonize over putting together a book instead of worrying about having enough money to send my kids to secondary school or put food on the table. And so are you. You have a computer and internet to keep up with your son and the rest of the world, a truck, cycles, two houses in Mexico and lots of friends. Life is good, isn't it?

Steve Cotton said...

I just bought Photoshop over the weekend -- partially based on your past posts. I will be reading whatever you have to pass along about using it. Jonna may be a wasder. I am still standing on the edge of the pool.

Billie said...

Steve, join the adventure. I think the best learning tool out there is Scott Kelby's book. He shows screen shots of what you need to check or do. So bring along his book The Adobe Photoshop CS4 book for digital photographers. BTW, this recommendation is based on having bought other PS books over the years. Some of them explained the code to write PS. All I want to do is know how to use the damn program. That is what Scott tells me.

Joan said...

Billie-I am so impressed with you doing this project involving difficult computer programs all on your own. It seems to me that taking the photos will be the least of this project. Doing the book will be the big part. I can not imagine doing this without someone figuratively "holding my hand". I would need to find someone to show me the way these programs work. By the way, I looked at the 2008 entries. There were some that were easier to look at than others, more user friendly, if you will. I wonder if they are better for the creator too. One that I remember is something like isssu.

Billie said...

Joan, I have rather mixed feelings about Issuu. I think that making it look like an actual book with a reflection near the binding and the turning page is kind of messy. That is adding something that we don't see, although it may be there, when we are actually are looking at a book. I'm hoping to find something simplier, cleaner to display the PDF. For the test book that I'm laying out to learn from, I think it is important to be able to see the two facing pages at the same time because I'm choosing images that play off of each other. Scribd (?) is another host. I may have to use one of them just to get it done in the time limit but I don't think that is my final answer.

I'm going to do my best but I think I'll have to let go of perfectionism on this first book so it will just get done.

rgl said...

Well, since reading your post about SoFoBoMo, I decided to join in the fun. Of course I will try to do this while working on my basement, my daughter's basement, golfing and gardening. Somewhere in between taking and choosing 35 photos and putting them into book form. I must be crazy - thanks.

By the way, I will take a lot of the same approach as I use for my blog at:
http://retiredeagle.wordpress.com/

Thanks for the pointing in this direction ....

Billie said...

Hey, retired eagle, welcome on board. I'm glad you have joined in this craziness.

pitchertaker said...

PS3 and PS4 both have an "automate" function to convert .psd files into .pdf files. Have you tried that?

Billie said...

Frank, I know that PS3, PS4 can make .pdf and I'm going to take a look at using PS but I think that I would end up with a lot of individual pages of .pdf. I think I need a document of many pages in .pdf to be able to show a book on line. I use Wordperfect and I could make a 40 page document that had all of the images and text in it and convert that of one .pdf through wordperfect. Not sure if I can do that with Photoshop. Maybe you could put all the pages in one folder and upload that to the host. I think if I had Acrobat 9, I could tell it to bring all those pages together in one 'document.' Grrrr....there are so many things to review just to find out what will work.

Alfredo said...

¡Ánimo!

Billie said...

Alfredo, you sent me to the dictionary.

Alfredo said...

Shoots! Did not mean to.

It translates into something like...Courage! Keep your head up! Good luck!

Billie said...

Don't worry about it. I need to go to the dictionary. And yes, I need the good luck. Thank you.

Paul said...

Billie, I guess that Scribus can be intimidating, but it's not impossible to learn. :-) It is a bit of geekware, though. I had the same experience as you did last year, but eventually I found out what I was doing wrong and was able to overcome the software. I'm using it again this year. It's not the pretty piece of software, but it really works well!