Printers, and a rough draft

I have almost finished my first book! It’s been a steep learning curve, but I think I have finally worked out paragraph styles and master pages in InDesign, and found this vid really helpful for the page numbers, and this one from the same channel for the contents. I have found indexing a little more elusive; that’s today’s task and I’m following along here.

I have found it essential to print out the pages and stick them together to see how the book looks and feels as it is totally different to how it looks on a screen. I’m working on a MacBook and even though it is a small book, I can only just fit the whole page on my screen so tend to work with the spread fit option so it’s difficult to judge just how it’s going to look once printed, and it’s helpful to see how the font sizes and general layout work. I realised the text needed to have a little more space between the letters on the “birdrounds” as I’ve called them:

I also swapped the thrush for a fieldfare, and a siskin for a chiffchaff as I realised most of my birds were residents and I wanted a few visitors in the book. I have been uploading my scans (which I realised I can in fact do on my own crappy printer here as they don’t need to be perfect which has saved me a trip to the copy shop) and cleaning them up a little in Photoshop so it’s easy to replace any birds. I have no clue about Photoshop either as that’s another programme where I am extremely late to the party, but I’m just resizing, and erasing my signature and I seemed to have worked out that at least!

I also changed the cover, and have tried a year on it too. Not sure if I like it but it gives me an option, and I have also changed it from being a beginner’s book to just a logbook; as Paul pointed out, it’s not just for beginners as there are some less likely candidates among the more common birds such as the sprawk on page 22 above.

I need to add a bit more detail to my backdrop but I like it as a theme, and am going to get started on my next cps for Cliff & Coastal Birds next as I’ve found it helpful to have a basis for the feel of the book. I also need to do a bespoke cover/cps for a local nature reserve so they can think about whether they want a book for their shops. I’m going to do the flatplans for all the books too as I really need to keep in mind the series aspect of this project.

Here is the little book so far, printed out and cut-and-stuck in place – I’m sure there’s a way to print it out in a booklet form but that’s too complicated for my poor addled brain at the moment so cutting mat and Pritt stick it is!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see it even in its current patchwork and poorly-printed form! I am getting quotes from printers and the prices vary quite substantially depending on the type of printing and volume. Although I just need to get some samples printed, in a way it’s important that the samples are really good as this is my shopfront really for stockists and getting feedback so I want to make sure the quality is exceptional. I have had responses from half the enquiries so far and the price for 10 books is between £13 and £7 each at the moment. Of course this is a tiny print run and the cost of 100 and 250 reduces dramatically so I’m pleased that each book will be able to retail at £5ish.

Once I’ve got some paper samples and all my quotes in I will decide who to use, check the print format’s correct and get my first copies printed.


  1. Love your book and would certainly like to buy one when it’s ready. One comment though (as someone who has illustrated and created a lot of books for self publishers) I wouldn’t put the date on it, because it means you’d have to sell all the books this year. But not only this year, early in the year, because, if we are going to spot the birds, summer is probably the most likely time we’d do it. Which gives you a very small sales period.
    But please, do sign me up for one. I love your bird paintings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that was my thought…plus the birds don’t change much each year! Thank you – and so pleased you like it.I’m thinking of making A5 cards from the cps as I thought that would be a good introduction to the book and a nice little gift to promote the birds. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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