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Gary O'Riley

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Registered: 09/24/12
We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 2:49 AM
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5223927/Sebastian-Faulks-fans-wrong-story-printed-book.html

On a related issue, I've been replacing some of my old and tattered Penguin paperback classics.

I've noticed that the interior of the latest Penguin paperbacks resemble typical PODs, with some word spacing just a bit too spread out to make the justification parameters.

My old Penguins from the 1970s & 1980s all have perfectly typeset pages.

MR R J LAIDLER

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 3:03 AM   in response to: Gary O'Riley in response to: Gary O'Riley
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I wonder if the P in KDP stands for Penguin? :)
Gary O'Riley

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 3:19 AM   in response to: MR R J LAIDLER in response to: MR R J LAIDLER
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MR R J LAIDLER wrote:
I wonder if the P in KDP stands for Penguin? :)

Nothing would surprise me.

Something has been lost in this brave new do-it-yourself technological word.

Some years ago I was on an HMRC course for the self-employed. One of the other guys was a former printer. He had been in the print since the age of seventeen, but in his early sixties had been made redundant due to the demise of trad printers. He then set himself up as a driving instructor.

It was fascinating to talk to the man. His in depth knowledge of printing was astounding. When he first started work, he and his work mates would be fined a shilling (old money) for every typesetting error they made!

He annoyed the HMRC woman taking the course, because he would go through the HMRC booklets with a very critical eye and say how much better he could have printed them.

MR R J LAIDLER

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 3:38 AM   in response to: Gary O'Riley in response to: Gary O'Riley
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Typesetting must now be a completely lost art, other than that practised by a few self-taught artisans. Our local technical college used to run courses in printing but now even the technical college has gone.
At least chariot and sword makers had skills they could use to make different things.
writerbn

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 5:01 AM   in response to: Gary O'Riley in response to: Gary O'Riley
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Gary O'Riley wrote:
It was fascinating to talk to the man. His in depth knowledge of printing was astounding. When he first started work, he and his work mates would be fined a shilling (old money) for every typesetting error they made!

When I was a kid, I saw the guys setting lead type by hand, in wooden forms. It was an art as much as a science. That press already had Linotype machines, which would eventually make hand typesetting obsolete, but they used manual typesetting for smaller jobs.
Joseph M Erhardt

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 5:09 AM   in response to: Gary O'Riley in response to: Gary O'Riley
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Despite how good laser printers have become, I have old paperbacks that must be in 6-point type that are legible because the ink is solid and actually impressed upon the pages.

Of course, book plates can wear on multiple printings. I have a copy of the only Hardy Boys original-text edition of The Secret of the Old Mill in self-cover, and while the cover is bright and shiny, the words on the pages are barely legible from all the reprintings over the years (1923-1960, ca.).
Gary O'Riley

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 5:36 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
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Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
Of course, book plates can wear on multiple printings. I have a copy of the only Hardy Boys original-text edition of The Secret of the Old Mill in self-cover, and while the cover is bright and shiny, the words on the pages are barely legible from all the reprintings over the years (1923-1960, ca.).

I know exactly what you mean. I've got a number of small (6"x4") hardback editions of Dickens and Wilkie Collins classics, they were printed in the 50s, and the printing plates were clearly wearing out on two or three of the books even then!

I mentioned, I've been buying some new Penguin paperbacks and been disappointed at the POD feel of them. I could do just the same job with CS or even KDP Print!
B.L. Alley

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 5:42 AM   in response to: Gary O'Riley in response to: Gary O'Riley
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Likely the latest result of people not needing to be qualified to obtain nor hold a job, and publishing secretly embracing the techniques of self publishing while still publicly poo-pooing it.
Gary O'Riley

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 6:22 AM   in response to: B.L. Alley in response to: B.L. Alley
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B.L. Alley wrote:
Likely the latest result of people not needing to be qualified to obtain nor hold a job, and publishing secretly embracing the techniques of self publishing while still publicly poo-pooing it.

I've just had a look at the website of one of the biggest UK book printers (used by the main trads). They make the point that is up to the client to provide properly typeset PDF files for printing. Looking at those that provide such a service, it seems that it could cost about £300 to prepare a perfect set of PDFs. I'm wondering if the trads are not bothering too much about this stage of the process for new runs of their back catalogue titles, hence frequent overly spaced words, and other common POD shortcomings.

cub06h

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 1:18 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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That press already had Linotype machines, which would eventually make hand typesetting obsolete, but they used manual typesetting for smaller jobs.

Ah, the smell of molten lead!

That was man's work mostly. The university print shop where I put together the student newspaper did have one woman linotypist. She was as strong as the men.

I loved the challenge of reading backwards.
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,194
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 1:35 PM   in response to: Gary O'Riley in response to: Gary O'Riley
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Gary O'Riley wrote:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5223927/Sebastian-Faulks-fans-wrong-story-printed-book.html

On a related issue, I've been replacing some of my old and tattered Penguin paperback classics.

I've noticed that the interior of the latest Penguin paperbacks resemble typical PODs, with some word spacing just a bit too spread out to make the justification parameters.

My old Penguins from the 1970s & 1980s all have perfectly typeset pages.
Gary O'Riley wrote:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5223927/Sebastian-Faulks-fans-wrong-story-printed-book.html

On a related issue, I've been replacing some of my old and tattered Penguin paperback classics.

I've noticed that the interior of the latest Penguin paperbacks resemble typical PODs, with some word spacing just a bit too spread out to make the justification parameters.

My old Penguins from the 1970s & 1980s all have perfectly typeset pages.


My first observation is, man, his (Faulks') covers leave a lot to be desired, for a trade-pubbed author. They look quite a bit like Createspace Cover Creator DIY efforts, don't they?

And, yeah--typesetting of the old school is a lost art. There's a lot involved, in doing the sort of high-end, experienced layout that you get with proper presses. It's not just having the right software, etc. (If anyone is truly interested, which I doubt, read Bringhurst on the topic.) And I further doubt that there are courses in the "right way" to do that type of setting in this day and age. Lastly, it takes a LOT of time.

Here's a simple example--you've done a chapter layout, and no matter what you do, you end up with one page where you can't square the page. You will have a widow or orphan. In the old school, you'd go through each and every page of the chapter, doing a little tweaking here/there with the kerning, until you'd made enough (inconspicuous) space to resolve the widow/orphan issue. Alternatively, the editor would tell, (not ask!) the author to fix the text--to lose exactly X characters, or add Y. More often, the editor would just do the rewrite/edit/excision him/herself.

Nobody does that today. Or, more accurately, nobody wants to pay for that type of layout today. There are still print layout houses that do it--but typically, a fiction book, standard length, at one of those will start at around $1600+, and up. Just for 60K words, fiction. You start thinking about things like non-fiction (for example, Yadda-yadda is for Dummies type books) and you can just imagine what the pricing could be. (Kids' books? Typically $5K and up--and that doesn't include the illos, btw. It never ceases to boggle me when people show up at our shop with a story, pre-drawn illos that aren't matched to the text, and want a traditional kids' book layout of the Seussian kind for a few hundred bucks. Nobody ever stops to think that in those types of books, the story's written, the illustrator is heavily consulted, and the images are drawn to work WITH the text, which is frequently also crafted by the illustrator.)

Those are the reasons. When people have come to believe that a $199 CS layout is "fine," you're not going to find a lot of folks willing to pay 10x that, just to ensure that their justification is done correctly, or that the pages are all squared, and so forth. I must have the "widows/orphans versus squared pages" conversation at least once a week. We'll get a client that insists that they want no w/o--because that's what they've heard/read someplace, until we ask them if they want squared pages--because unless you're paying that $1600 and up, you won't get both. (Or, the writer fixes the text, after the first layout, to eliminate those problematic widows/orphans)

Offered solely FWIW.

Hitch
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Notjohn

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 2:03 PM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
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Alternatively, the editor would tell, (not ask!) the author to fix the text--to lose exactly X characters, or add Y. More often, the editor would just do the rewrite/edit/excision him/herself.

Gosh, I didn't know it was an alternative! I was never given a choice.

Nobody does that today.

I do! I will accept four lines alone on a page, but for three or under, I'll revise something on the preceding page(s), either a bit of padding to make three lines into four, or cutting to get rid of one or two lines. Often it can be done by making the line spacing 0.21 inch instead of 0.2, or vice versa, or plumping up or shrinking the gap between paragraphs.

I have no problem with widows and orphans, unless the carry-over line is very short.

For an illustrated book, I'll move the images around.

Being able to do these things is one of the privileges of self-publishing (and self-formatting).

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

booknookbiz

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Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 5:18 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Notjohn wrote:
Alternatively, the editor would tell, (not ask!) the author to fix the text--to lose exactly X characters, or add Y. More often, the editor would just do the rewrite/edit/excision him/herself.

Gosh, I didn't know it was an alternative! I was never given a choice.


As I explained it; your editor just whacked your material. Some ask for the work. ;-)

Nobody does that today.

I do! I will accept four lines alone on a page, but for three or under, I'll revise something on the preceding page(s), either a bit of padding to make three lines into four, or cutting to get rid of one or two lines. Often it can be done by making the line spacing 0.21 inch instead of 0.2, or vice versa, or plumping up or shrinking the gap between paragraphs.


Yes, but you're doing your own. You're not paying someone--in which case, the more tweaks you want, the more it costs. More tweaks=more time=more money.

I have no problem with widows and orphans, unless the carry-over line is very short.

Yabbut, it always surprises me to see how enthusiastically opposed to them many authors are. Also, we get some of the weirdest things; I forget one of them now, but recently some client sprung a "rule" on me that doesn't even EXIST. Something that somebody, somewhere, told her...and she thought was a real thing. Unfreakingbelievable.


For an illustrated book, I'll move the images around.

Being able to do these things is one of the privileges of self-publishing (and self-formatting).


Self-formatting, yes. I've been discussing with my Crew that we may either a) drop print layout formatting, or b) start charging what it's truly worth. We get dozens of revision cycles, sometimes, much of it around layout, or "just" a word here or there, and it's just not possible to do competent print layout for offshore pricing. Not if you're based here and paying US labor rates.

Good luck! -- NJ


Happy New Year, one and all! And Happy New Year's day, to our Aussie cousins!

Hitch
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An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
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resteasy

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Registered: 07/02/12
Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 6:14 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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writerbn wrote:
Gary O'Riley wrote:
It was fascinating to talk to the man. His in depth knowledge of printing was astounding. When he first started work, he and his work mates would be fined a shilling (old money) for every typesetting error they made!

When I was a kid, I saw the guys setting lead type by hand, in wooden forms. It was an art as much as a science. That press already had Linotype machines, which would eventually make hand typesetting obsolete, but they used manual typesetting for smaller jobs.


First local newspaper I worked on in 1968 still operated using lead. The compositors placed the lead text in wooden forms and could even read the type backwards in them i.e. mirror image reversal when impressed on paper. But the printing world was beginning to undergo revolution, first moving to offset litho, obviating the metal plates and within another decade the dawning of desktop publishing, which swept away the skills of the old printing world within a short space of time. Trouble is, the new technology has also heralded a new era where even the illiterate can print pamphlets, posters, et al without any knowledge of design, spelling or grammar. But you probably know all that.
Jonathan B

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Registered: 10/23/12
Re: We ALL make mistakes!
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 6:40 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Notjohn wrote:
I do! I will accept four lines alone on a page, but for three or under, I'll revise something on the preceding page(s), either a bit of padding to make three lines into four, or cutting to get rid of one or two lines. Often it can be done by making the line spacing 0.21 inch instead of 0.2, or vice versa, or plumping up or shrinking the gap between paragraphs.

I do the same thing.
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