The last few pieces were the hardest to get done. Proof-reading, finalizing the cover, writing the back-cover blurb. At a certain point you just have to deem it done.
Proof-reading is very very important. Don’t skip it. I did get several people to proof-read my final pdf to make sure everything was good. I read it through at least once more to make sure everything was there and there wasn’t any text running off the page or something. This is one of the hardest steps when you are tired of a project and an easy one to skip.
The cover gave me some trouble as I already described. Exporting the text didn’t work properly and the rough draft I had made early on wasn’t the right size, so I needed to make a proper copy. I also had a hard time deciding how to summarize and ‘sell’ my book with the blurb on the back.
With a print-ready PDF, it was time to get a proof made. The printer said they would print a proof if I put down half the cost of printing as a deposit. In the end, I didn’t need the deposit to get the proof, it was probably just to make sure I was serious before they bothered printing a proof for me.
It was done in no time since it was digital printing, and I drove up to get it right away. Oddly enough, I was expecting a bound book. Wasn’t I surprised when I was handed a bunch of sheets of printed pages. However, it was the way the pages would look, on the right paper, etc. This gave me an idea of how things would look in the final book, make sure the grey scale was good. It was heavy too, it would be a nice sized book when finished.
There were some issues with image resolution. I noticed some aliasing in the printed proof. I wondered if it was the printing, but it sounds like it was actually my scans. I should have scanned at a higher resolution and saved in a lossless format rather than jpg. I could have re-done things at that point, but I was lucky to have finished what I did, so I just went with it.
Once I had the proof, I made some final adjustments and gave the go-ahead to print. The 100 books were done in a week and a half.
I brought them home in four heavy boxes and even got a couple extras because of the way the printing worked out. It was some exciting to finally have a book in my hands.