It’s been rather a long time since we posted “A Big Day” having submitted the manuscript to our editor at Rosenfeld Media. Given the ever-increasing tweets of “How is the book going?” I thought I would give you patient people an update. The book is finished!
Really? What took so long?
Finishing a manuscript is really only half the work of actually creating a book. We had several rounds of editing, expanding and re-structuring thanks to very helpful feedback from our external reviewers and our editor, JoAnn, not to mention input from Lou. It takes quite a lot of time to integrate all these, re-write sections, clarify parts, check references and find or create the right images and write captions. It’s what I call the “sweeping up” part of the writing process and on a long-form project, it always takes longer than you expect. The paradox with three authors is that things can take longer rather than being three times as fast. Multiple authors create dependencies. When I have my academic hat on, I’m careful to gather and format my references as I write. Tracking them all down after writing is a nightmare. The same goes for images, though, and we weren’t quite prepared for the effort it would take to track down high resolution versions of our own images. These were often images we had used in presentations over the years and simple copied from file to file and never had to find press-quality versions. They’re weren’t on the machines, servers or in the folders that we thought. Others were from projects and we couldn’t use them due to NDAs or because we couldn’t publish people in the research photos.
- File carefully in the first place.
- Meta-tag your photos (in Lightroom, Aperture, etc.) because you won’t remember in 12 months or more what they are.
- Source the high resolution images as you write, not afterwards.
- When documenting projects, shoot some photos in which participants’ faces and sensitive client material are not visible. Then you can use them later without problem.
- Not all parts of a project end up in the public domain, like a website, so, even better, get your client to sign off on some publicity images (for writing about or presenting the project) at the end.
So, when can you buy it?
The first quarter of 2013. I promise we’ll let you know an exact date as soon as possible, but Lou is juggling printing and production schedules thanks to flakey authors slipping deadlines.