Checking Out the Proof

Today the snow that was left on the ground after the storm is still creating enough of a problem that there was no mail delivery, but the FedEx truck was able to get here and deliver the proof copy of Photographer’s Guide to the Leica D-Lux 4, as printed by Lightning Source in Tennessee. I was a little nervous opening the package, because I didn’t know how well my Adobe InDesign files, exported to PDF files, would translate to a final product printed by a large print-on-demand company.

The news was good, though. The proof copy of the book looks very similar to the books that Clenise and I have been producing since late October. Some people on discussion forums had said that color photos don’t look that great in print-on-demand books, but the photos in the proof look fine to me. I guess one reason for this result is that the photos in my book are not presented as great works of artistry; they are more in the nature of illustrating the capabilities of the camera. Many of the photos are simply photos of the camera’s controls or menus, and they don’t need to look spectacular. But the photos that are more colorful, and not just technical, still look very good to me. So, I was very relieved to see the excellent quality of Lightning Source’s color printing. Also, the book is well constructed and looks in every way like a very respectable book that I would expect to see on a bookstore shelf.

I have already ordered two cartons of 16 books — one carton for me, so I can fill some individual orders, and one carton for the folks at in Oregon, who have been quite successful in selling the book through their web site.

Clenise and I are both really looking forward to settling back and letting Lightning Source handle the work of printing and binding the books, and even shipping them in most cases. This next phase of the project will be another interesting one, and hopefully less stressful than the earlier phases.

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