Just when I almost stopped thinking about it entirely, it shows up on my doorstep. The FedEx box was placed on the cold dark steps leading to my front door. I noticed it as soon as I got out of my car. The sender on the package said ‘Taylor & Francis‘, and I just knew it was a copy of Pushing Pixels. Coincidentally I had emailed my production editor this morning about the status of the book and just a few hours later I was holding it in my own hands.
I have been more eager to see this book than my previous titles because of the difficult printing issues we’ve experienced during production. Taylor & Francis uses an American printer while previous titles such as the How to Cheat in Adobe Flash series have used a printer in China. The difference between the 2 printers? The HTCIF series printed successfully without any technical issues. I submitted my print ready PDFs and a few weeks later the book were shipped. The same process of screen capturing, preparing files, InDesign layout and exporting didn’t yield the same results with the American printer. After numerous failed tests I had to edit every single image in the book manually by increasing the resolution and changing their color profiles. It was grunt work at its purest.
I carefully removed the shrink wrap, a production detail that was missing from previous titles, and could immediately smell the faint traces of untainted paper and fresh ink. I cracked the binding and went through every single page, one by one, until I reached the back cover. I examined every word and image, with the fear of discovering the inevitable; typos. The strange thing about writing a book is, you proof read your own words countless times, as does the technical editor, proof reader and ultimately the production editor. We all find various spelling and syntax errors. The corrections are made and the the book is scrutinized several more times thereafter for inconsistencies. When the book finally goes to print, at least 10 people have examined the entire contents from cover to cover. But inevitably, assuredly and without fail, with the printed book held firmly in hand, you will always find at least 1 blatantly obvious grammatical or layout mistake glaring at you from the page.
I found 2.
On page 32 the alignment of an entire block of text overlaps a screenshot image. It wasn’t like that in the source file or PDF, but it’s there in the printed book.
My bio on the back cover is the outdated version. It was rewritten and submitted in time, but for some reason, it’s not there.
At the end of the day, these are only 1st world problems and I will certainly go on living with them. Some of the screenshot images in the book are slightly fuzzy too. But there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s just a book. It’s just a book that I hope helps anyone trying to tread water in the deep dark sea of digital animation.