Sunday, October 3, 2010

Using Lulu to put together 'The Mouse Project'. But not for the free PDF 'Lite' version

Cover layout using

I'm getting pretty excited now I'm seeing how the final book is going to look!
I must say, thanks entirely to the unbelievable enthusiasm from the artists involved, it's going to look fantastic!

Dreama Tolle-Perry's cat Eddie with Sprightly (aka Phyllis in Eddie's world)

I can hardly wait to hit the 'publish' button.
Using Lulu's design templates has been interesting.
I've never self published using online print-on-demand software before, so I'm learning as I go...
Jeffrey Hayes painting laid out using

You can see the page layout options on the left. Text in gray, images in black.

It's really easy to drop things in and move them about, but for some reason has been quite 'buggy' when it comes to formatting text, both when using firefox and safari.
For instance, if I want some words to be bold, and some not, once I've made the changes and then hit 'save', it all turns bold again.
Same thing for changing font size here and there.
So in the end, after some very frustrating hours of tweeking text and watching it tweek itself back again to how it wants to look, I just kind of let the ghosts in the machine decide!
It looks fine, but I'd still rather that it looked fine the way I wanted it to!
I'm using the plain option from the 'photo book' templates

I'm getting the very last paintings over the next week then I'll make final adjustments to clear it for take-off, and hit the magic button.

PDF 'lite' version showing the cover and some page layouts down the side

I'm also putting together the PDF 'lite' version (not using Lulu though) which will have one image per artist even if they painted more (and no close ups showing details of brush strokes or in-progress pics).
I'm trying to keep it under 1 MB. It will look fine on screen (since the images are 72dpi) but it won't be high enough resolution to make good prints from.
Each artist has a clickable link to their website in the PDF 'lite' version

So the free PDF will have 20-something low res images, while the published book will have around 60 images (including detail close ups) and be printed at a much higher resolution.

Mind you, the advantage of the PDF is that:
• it will feature live, click-able links to everyone's websites,
• you'll be welcome to copy and email it,
• it will be FREE.
Must be time for me to take a tea break!

I hope I end up doing everyone's hard work justice!
...Stay tuned...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille


Lynne E. Windsor said...

This looks fantastic Steve. I so look forward to seeing and owning the finished project! Three cheers for you!

r garriott said...

This is looking really good...! What a huge amount of work you're putting in. I already have a few people clamoring for the book.

beckielboo said...

I know it is a huge project putting this book together but it will be so worth it! It is just the kind of thing I really get into myself. Wish I was there to look over your shoulder - NO? I promise I'd be quite as a mouse! Ha! Ha!

BTW, how's that digital scale shaking out?

Steve sculpts critters said...

I'm waiting for two finished paintings to arrive (via email or snail mail) then I'm ready to finish it up, which will take a couple of days since I've got everything ready.
Oh, I think my digital scale must be broken based on recent results...