In the next few weeks, I'm going to be starting on a book for a band. It's going to be roughly 40 pages. I'll be laying out the entire thing, placing pictures and text. I'm stoked because I've never done a full size, hardcover, book before. Only multiple page cd booklets and such.
Have any of you ever done a book before? Anything I should be sure to do or expect to come up? What problems/snags have you hit?
Yeah that's what I was planning. Do the images for the pages in photoshop at exact size, import the tiffs, layout all text in InDesign and export to PDF for print. Definitely a pain having to send a ton of large tiff files to the printers.
Yep. Be in touch with your printer as much as you can up front and while you're doing it. Most offset printers will have a "clean file" discount, so if you communicate well with them through the process you could save yourself some money in pre-press work. It is also a good idea to get yourself a Pantone Bridge guide that gives you both spot and cmyk colour samples (if you don't already have one).
In terms of production / layout. Speak with your printer rep about different binding options - eg. perfect bound or sewn. This will help you determine how much play you have with your gutters. Ask the rep for paper sample books as well.
I guess the main advice is just use your print rep's knowledge to your best advantage. It probably differs from printer to printer, but the rep I deal with is incredibly knowlegable and super helpful with any questions.
Work closely with your printer and their pre-press people to cover your ass. Proofs are only so close. And most don't have a dot patten and are on different stock and use different inks than the finished piece—so there can be up to almost a 10% shift in color once they go on press. For my own work, I go and check the runs when they are pulling up on color and give them a press ok. Especially if it's a new printer I'm working with.
They are going through Doubleday (Fidlar Doubleday?) for printing. They sent me their account specialists email address, so I will be contacting her ASAP for all the details. Everything seems pretty straight forward, just need to figure out how to work the cover. They are doing all "green printing" on this one.
Work in InDesign and create a book document. It pretty much acts like a container for several smaller normal indesign files. It can automate pagination, etc as well. Divide it into separate files where it makes sense (like, for a normal book, probably chapters). It'll be a life saver later on down the road because it'll reduce load times and it'll be really easy to shift stuff around.
Also, use stylesheets to keep things consistent through the whole book. If you use that book format I was just talking about, if you change the properties (Like lets say you change the headline color to red from blue) to one styles in one of the documents, it'll auto adjust on the rest.
Trust me on this. I learned a lot of stuff the hard way designing a couple 200/300 page books last year. Forty pages doesn't seem too bad, but I think anything you can do to prevent annoyance and complications is going to be a good thing.