Last night was pretty monumental for me as the art director at Parisian Phoenix Publishing. I spend the past 1 year, 48 weeks working on the Holocaust memoir, Stops Along the Way. And yesterday was the day it went to the printer.
Yesterday I spent a chunk of time crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. That final check in the corporate or academic world is something a creative director or editor might do. I found a capitalization error on the cover, and a mucked up caption on another page. I checked all the photo credits that we had and made sure all the images were black and white. That one is really important because if there is a spec of color they will charge for color printing.
The cover designer sent a corrected cover. It was time. Finally, after many false starts and reenvisioning over nearly two years, I was ready to hit upload. I did. And it was scary but felt really good.
Feeling all proud of myself, I went back to grading. That’s when my email dinged. And like Pavlov’s dog, I went to look. It was our publisher Angel who always gets to press the “submit” button. Her word is final. The subject line said: “did you see the errors according to Ingram.” Drats. She sent me the photo above to read.
The first one is a low-resolution image message. The author and I both know there are low-resolution photos in the book. Of the 230 photos, I think maybe a third would qualify as under 300 resolution. But I also know that anything above 266 is high quality on non-coated paper—which this is. And for this application where they are probably using high-end digital printers (aka super-deluxe photocopies) probably 200+ is good. So that really only leaves us with two dozen or so crappy resolution photos. The author is aware of it—he mentioned it each time he saw another proof. The reality is they are what they are. The only other option is to eliminate them, which he does not want to do. When you are gathering things for a memoir you do not look at resolution. You concentrate on the image.
The second error is about the cover file. Apparently, the PDF had layers. I had no idea even to look. (Something to add to the pre-press checklist.) I usually flatten my work before making a PDF because layers bloat the size of a PDF. I emailed the cover designer, I’ll probably get that tonight. And reupload it.
I don’t believe there is a firm deadline to have this published. I pick March 24 because that’s the date this all began for me two years ago. However, the author is in his mid-90s so time is of the essence.
As I was gathering up the materials for this book to archive it (when I mistakenly thought it was done) I made a huge discovery. I have no book projects in process on my computer. I have one, maybe two, coming. But it feels kind of weird having zero to do.
As I was wrapping things up in my office, I heard a commercial came on television for The Little Prince on Broadway from the other room. The Little Prince is Angel’s favorite book of all time. She even has the prince tattooed on her. I sent her the link. Her reply “I’m trembling.” It’s a limited run. I think it’s the perfect one year (in July) of PPP present. Don’t you? But don’t tell her. It’s a secret.
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