Kensington Gardens Treescapes - The story of a book #4

Kensington Gardens Blog

When I started this project the only books I had "published" were photo collections using Blurb.

Here is an example.

Now although Blurb do produce beautiful books, the cost is prohibitive if you are considering selling to a wider market online or through bookshops.  My vision for the Kensington Gardens book was a large hardback "coffee-table" book. 

The only way to produce a book at a reasonable unit cost was using off-set printing - ie through a traditional printing-house.  I quickly realised that either I would have to get a publisher interested in my project or I would have to self-publish. Judging by the reaction of other would-be non-fiction authors and photographers that I had researched online - attracting a traditional publisher was nigh-on impossible unless you were already an established "name" (Catch-22!).  So I was going to have to take the self-publishing route - which, encouragingly, seemed to be a rapidly growing field. But how would I design it?  What tools would I need to produce a "print-ready" manuscript? How would I get it to market?  Who would distribute it? There were so many unknowns, but by this time the idea had taken root and so I started climbing the steep learning curve.  

First of all I had to learn as much as possible about the publishing industry.  A book that helped me was "Publish your Photography Book" by Himes and Swanson.  This sets out the main elements of the traditional publishing world, and also some of the terminology employed when referring to parts of a book - "front matter" and "back matter", the difference between a Foreword, Preface and Introduction, half-title page and verso etc etc  And, of course, there are many online resources - too many, because it takes time to find the useful ones!  Here's one I did find useful  The Book Designer   

From all this research I learned that the book would need to be designed in Adobe InDesign which, in turn, would produce a specially formatted PDF file acceptable to a printing-house.  I was already using the Adobe products Lightroom and Photoshop and around this time Adobe introduced the "Creative Cloud" - a subscription service that gives you access to all Adobe products.  In order to manipulate PDF files I would also need Adobe Acrobat and so I subscribed.  Now, it must be said, that InDesign, is not for the faint-hearted!  Undaunted, I set about learning how to use InDesign and, as an experiment, produced a sample book using the Blurb website but designed using the Blurb InDesign "plug-in".

See it here......