CG schmoozing and dolling up the print ed…

Apr 12th, 2009 | By | Category: CG Blog

Most of today was taken up with non-CG related things. A good friend of mine had a bunch of people over for a seder/dinner. He’s a great cook and we couldn’t pass up the food! It was a fun night.

And we did some CG schmoozing while there, now that I think of it. It turned out one of the other guests there is the daughter of 2 of the founders of NESFA (New England Science Fiction Association). We chatted with her a while and got a bit of insight into how the NESFA folks might react to our approaching them to help spread the word about our film screening, assuming it happens. We also talked about Frank R. Paul, the “greying” of Science Fiction, and stalking Terry Pratchett. Good times.

Tonight I worked some more on the formatting for the Print edition of Issue 6. I’ve made a lot of progress; I still have a bit of formatting text to do, and then I have to get our title on the cover art and set the art into the template. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can get through all that by tomorrow night. Then I’ll go through it very carefully to check for mistakes or formatting errors before submitting everything and ordering our proof copy.

As much as possible, we work with templates for everything to speed up our processes. The print edition has 2 templates, one for the cover art and one for the internal document. The cover art one is very straightforward: the art has to be a specific size, and then laid into a slightly larger template to leave space for image bleed and cutting the paper. Then that larger template is converted to a PDF for submission.

The internal document is more complicated. The entire thing is laid out so size/format is set, but all the template “content” has to be swapped out with the actual content. That always takes a while, and then everything has to be carefully adjusted: stories have to be spaced on pages to compensate for varied length, images have to be resized and placed, etc. despite the template everything is sort of cobbled together – the template is more for rough outline than anything. After that’s all done, then everything’s picked over again with a fine-tooth comb: once we’re satisfied with that, the internal document is also converted to PDF, and is submitted along with the Cover Art PDF.

Actually, I’ve always been slightly disappointed with the format. It’s not that it’s bad – it looks pretty good, really. But I’ve always felt that it’s just a bit… dull. I know that for reading text, flashy design can actually be a detriment, but I still wish I could make it a little more creative. I’ve played around with it a bit now and then but haven’t ever had time for a full redesign. Maybe someday.

I’m still waiting on one writer to get back to me with comments about the edits to his story, and another contributor hasn’t sent me his bio. I’ll be emailing to bug them both tomorrow, since we can’t set the Print edition without those things. I also have signed contracts in hand from all but one person; they’ve sent it, so I need to check our PO box again in the next day or two. Once I have that last one I’ll send back all the signed copies at once, along with contributor payments (I prefer to do it all at once so I don’t forget anyone).

Tomorrow’s Monday. Back to my day job, groan. It’s not a bad job, but let’s face it – I could really use that 8 hours a day for CG!

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