Chore Day Sep 21, 2019: Seeking Low-res Images in an InDesign Children's Book

Today I checked the file sizes for the images in my children’s book. Last month I learned that InDesign could process my PSD files directly and I started replacing the JPEG and PNG images with the original PSD files, one at a time. Just to make sure I’d replaced all of the low-res files, I saved the book as an InDesign package, which places a copy of all the files in use into a project folder. Today I looked at the “links”, as InDesign calls packaged images, and found that I had not replaced many JPEG and PNG files. Some of the images were large enough and had sufficiently high resolution to work with a print book, but others had a suspiciously small file size. When I checked those funky files I found that they were 1000x1000 pixels, which would fail to pass the Ingramspark minimum resolution requirement. I’ll have to replace those files with the original PSD files. I’ll have to search for them. I know that some of the missing files exist only on my iPad.

Here’s an example of what I’m seeing. Notice the pixel size of 1000x996.

too_low_res_blog.png low-res jpeg, pngs, InDesign, Ingramspark requirements

A Meditative Moment with the Frontispiece Image

I’m feeling cranky and burnt out today. Yet another day spent bailing water from a sinking boat (my ever evaporating day employment) where I’m creating a masterpiece that will be seen just one time, and an hour spent double-checking my children’s picture book for typos (yes, I found another bunch). I’m stunned that I can create so many errors in a story with only 150 words. So, I’m letting myself be cranky — cranky enough to let my characters get a little cranky, though I will remove their gratuitous speech bubbles when I come to my senses.

red_shoes_blog.jpg cranky, snarky bird, sarcastic butterfly, not for a children's book

Just keep movin', folks. Nothing to see here.

My inch forward today is nothing more than opening InDesign and staring at the screen. I scrolled through my book from beginning to end and began to feel the pressure of the blank front matter and back matter. There’s a lot of empty space that needs something to fill it up.

  • I have to create the realistic images of the Steller’s Jay and Monarch Butterfly for the back matter.

  • For the copyright page I need an ISBN number — in fact, I have to buy a batch of 10 ISBN numbers to get a decent price for the two that I’ll need, one for the print book and one for the e-book.

  • I need a bar code for the last page and the cover, which shouldn’t be a big deal — there’s software for that sort of thing.

  • Oh, yeah…I need to create a cover image. I just thought of that after 8 months of nothing thinking about it. The book has to have a cover.

And that’s it, as far as I know … at this point. I’m wised up enough to know that I really don’t know what I’m clueless about. I overlooked the cover. What else did I forget? We’ll find out.

No picture today. That’s sad. Between my day job and tweaking the pages and text, I haven’t drawn or painted anything since the last meeting of the Al Fresco Art Club four day ago.

Text Bubbles too Close to the Trim Line

I moved another inch closer to the End today. I was double-checking the size of images — again — and, by accident, discovered that some text bubbles were running off the page, overflowing the trim line. Though I thought I had placed images and text boxes with mindful care, I really missed the mark. I’ve been looking at these pages for months without seeing that the text bubbles were too close to the page’s trim line…until I exported the book to a PDF and pored over each page pixel by pixel.

Here’s an example of what happens when I rely on the judgement of my eyeballs — on a single page there two text bubbles leaving the page and one in danger of becoming the third mistake if the trim line is shy by a millimeter or two. Three mistakes on a single page! Whoa!

bubble_too_close_to_cut_line_blog.png, text bubbles, cut line, InDesign

Removing the Black Stroke from All Text Boxes in InDesign

The more I looked at the black stroke around all of my story’s text boxes, the more I hated them. They were giving every page a disheveled, congested feeling. So, I decided to remove all strokes. I guessed InDesign, having every feature imaginable, would have a way to removed them all at once, and it does — but it will only work when the object’s stroke is the default stroke, not with any custom stroke that’s been applied after the text box was created. Custom strokes must be changed manually. So, I soldiered on and marched diligently through all 32 images and removed all of the strokes by hand. It took about an hour. The silver lining of this tedium is that I found a couple of typos and some text that had a white stroke that obscured some of the letters on the lines above and below. Altogether, it was a profitable day.

This image shows the text without the obnoxious black stroke.

no_stroke_blog.png InDesign, text frame, text box, removing stroke, default stroke


Keeping Colors Consistent Throughout the Book

Just as I feel ready to think about publishing, opened the book in InDesign and the first thing I noticed is that that Jimmy’s shirt is different colors in several images. I don’t even want to think about Jimmy’s apparent age being inconsisten from one page to another. I’ll work on these problems tomorrow, because today was Saturday, and that means it’s a chore day. As I usually do, I cooked up enough food to carry me through the next 4 or 5 days. I made a pots of three-bean chili, curried cauliflower soup, and delicious humus.

Back to Art. Here’s an example of the color inconsistency I mentioned earlier.