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  #1  
Old 2008-07-31, 4:30pm
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Default "HOW TO" - for authors only?

Hi everyone, here I am again!
(Yes, I'm the naughty blond Swiss girl you've met before and I do persist...!)

I think it's about time to discuss the "HOW TO" for authors of tutorials! And I thought it'd be a good thing to start a thread about it.

The thing is: before getting a purchasable tutorial out (? language?), the authors should think about ALL of their potential clients! Think about US! Because we're all different and we might even work with different backgrounds and structures and so on, and we, the clients, do have different needs!

So my conclusion is:

- we, the clients, do have different needs.

- we, the clients, work on whatever computers, old, new, slow, fast, Windows, Linus, Mac, whatever.

- I guess the common need is: we, the clients, would love to have a choice and would love to get what we need. There are people who'd never ever want to print a copy of the tuts - and there are people who'd just LOVE to have a printed book in their hands. And anything in between would be appreciated.

- I think the authors should be aware of the needs of us clients and should propose several solutions or possibilities to buy their tutorial.

- And we, the clients, love to peek! No matter if we're on Windows or on Linux or on Mac, we want to peek.

I hope that we can develop a certain kind of like "standard" of "how to" for all those tutorials to come up! And I believe that this would and could and will be helpful for both, the authors AND the clients.

Martina
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  #2  
Old 2008-07-31, 6:25pm
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Ummm... when you buy a printed book, do you get to choose if you would like it in digital format? How many options do you get there?

Methinks we, the authors, are making every effort possible to please our clients. I know I am, and it seems like all the others are too. I am very open to constructive criticism, but this post doesn't seem very constructive.
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  #3  
Old 2008-07-31, 7:01pm
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As both an author AND a purchaser, I have found a solution
to my tutorial problems.

When I have bought enough tutorials to fill about 100+ pages, I
upload them to lulu.com. Then I print myself a book.
The cost is about $20, and I usually can get about 5 or 6
of those massive tutorials in there.

Best of both worlds. Not only do I have a hardcopy of the
tutorials, but I have the ones I WANT.
And I can add a few extra pages of just lines, so I can take
notes on things pertaining to each tutorial (like wire sizes,
different ideas, etc.).
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  #4  
Old 2008-07-31, 7:20pm
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I have a couple more things to add here.

As far as various arts go, there are really not a lot of printed books about lampwork out there, and most of the major ones are designed for beginners. I think this new trend of making advanced techniques available for purchase for those who want them is wonderful, and will benefit us all as a community. I am grateful to the internet for making this possible. Where would we all be without it?

For now, this IS a new trend, and we are all learning as we go along. I have certainly learned a LOT about PDF files over the past week, and I know that next time I "publish" an E-book, things will go smoother because I am now aware of potential problems and know how to solve them (well, most of them). I have spent the past 48 hours glued to my computer, researching and coming up with solutions so that everyone who bought my file can view it. If someone writes an tutorial on how to create a PDF file that is compatible with every computer setup known to mankind, I will definitely buy it.

I have sold quite a few copies of my book, and so far, everyone can view the file and no one has expressed disappointment with its contents. If anyone does, I will gladly refund their money. If you buy a 1/4 pound of the latest silver glass for $25+shipping and all the beads you make with it turn muddy brown because the manufacturer hasn't come up with the right formula yet, you ain't getting no refund (not to mention a free update once they figure it out).

You want the right to choose? You have the right to choose, same as with any product. If you don't like E-books, don't buy an E-book.
I think the sense of entitlement needs to be toned down a bit.
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Last edited by sarah_hornik; 2008-07-31 at 7:52pm.
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  #5  
Old 2008-07-31, 7:28pm
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Sarah,
I don't feel that Martina is bringing up these issues because she
has a "sense of entitlement". It really sounds like she is trying to
help us (authors) understand what it is that consumers are looking
for and interested in.

If she wants to get a thread/dialog started with other purchasers
about what they like/don't like/look for in ebooks and pdf tutorials,
then I think that's a great idea. The net result here could only
be more sales for us and happier customers.
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  #6  
Old 2008-07-31, 7:31pm
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I kinda felt like I was under attack, but maybe that's just me.
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  #7  
Old 2008-07-31, 7:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_hornik View Post
I kinda felt like I was under attack, but maybe that's just me.
Sarah!
Your tutorial is awesome, and your work is just amazing.
I think that she was just expressing that she prefers her
tutorials in a different way - and that's perfectly cool.

I have issues with other artists and their writings too
(most of which are sent via PM's - because some of my
"information requests" can get people pretty pissed off ).

This would be a great place to get feedback from some of the
people who bought tutorials, and find out how they really feel
(without naming names! of course!!!).
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  #8  
Old 2008-07-31, 7:46pm
sarah_hornik sarah_hornik is offline
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Thanks for the compliments!

Like I said, I am all for feedback and constructive criticism - but I think we already have a thread for that.
http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=98221

I think it's time to unglue myself from the computer now. See ya later.


ETA: btw - the naughty blonde Swiss girl hasn't purchased my book, so I don't know if she is actually referring to me. Just trying to make a point in general.
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Last edited by sarah_hornik; 2008-07-31 at 7:49pm.
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  #9  
Old 2008-07-31, 8:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_hornik View Post
If someone writes an tutorial on how to create a PDF file that is compatible with every computer setup known to mankind, I will definitely buy it.
Sarah, InDesign, Adobe's layout program, does create pdf files that are compatible with all computer setup (especially if you write the pdf to one of the older version of Acrobat Reader) and it automatically embeds the fonts. Neither Photoshop nor Illustrator is made for multiple-page layout documents. Unfortunately InDesign is expensive.
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  #10  
Old 2008-07-31, 8:49pm
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You could set your book up on Lulu and set the price so you get the same amount you would from an electronic purchase. The customer would pay more, but if they want that option then they should pay for it.

If you consider this option, make SURE that you are not giving away the publishing rights. Don't let them force to to buy or assign an ISBN. You only need an ISBN if you intend to sell to distributors, and if they assign one then they own your book. You're fully protected by international copyright laws without one.
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  #11  
Old 2008-08-01, 6:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beadworkstudio View Post
You could set your book up on Lulu and set the price so you get the same amount you would from an electronic purchase. The customer would pay more, but if they want that option then they should pay for it.

If you consider this option, make SURE that you are not giving away the publishing rights. Don't let them force to to buy or assign an ISBN. You only need an ISBN if you intend to sell to distributors, and if they assign one then they own your book. You're fully protected by international copyright laws without one.
Another thing for writers of tutorials to keep in mind is that once they've published their tut, they have effectively used up their first North American rights. And that's what book publishers are typically buying when they agree to publish your book. And they are getting more and more picky about what constitutes usage and loss of those rights.

So if you ever hope to publish your techniques via the mainstream press, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. I've been asked literally hundreds of times to write a vessels tutorial. I can't, because of the first North American rights issue.
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Old 2008-08-01, 6:27am
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so, in laymans terms, dont do the isbn, thing? simply purchase and distribute your own books?
and big thanks to you guys for the info! and heads up..
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  #13  
Old 2008-08-01, 6:33am
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Quote:
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Another thing for writers of tutorials to keep in mind is that once they've published their tut, they have effectively used up their first North American rights. And that's what book publishers are typically buying when they agree to publish your book. And they are getting more and more picky about what constitutes usage and loss of those rights.

So if you ever hope to publish your techniques via the mainstream press, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. I've been asked literally hundreds of times to write a vessels tutorial. I can't, because of the first North American rights issue.
Tink, is this true as well if you have a tut published in a magazine - have you given up your rights to that subject?
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Old 2008-08-01, 6:36am
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That's a good point, Tink.

I don't intend to do mainstream. I want to keep control of it myself, but I'm still glad you brought it up.

~~Mary
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Old 2008-08-01, 6:54am
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It's not that you're giving up your rights to the subject, it's that you've used up the first rights for that tutorial or instructional item.

I've been asked to do a vessel article for pretty much every glass and craft magazine out there. Can't do it for all the reasons I've written about. My agent even made clear to me that I have to be careful about class handouts and online postings.

I have an electroforming booklet that I include in the kits I sell, and because of repeated requests, I turned it into an ebook last year and have been selling it that way. Which is fine, because although any book I write *may* include information on electroforming, it wouldn't be verbatim, and it wouldn't be the main purpose or thrust of the book.
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Old 2008-08-01, 7:03am
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Tink, is this true as well if you have a tut published in a magazine - have you given up your rights to that subject?
As I mentioned, you haven't given up your rights to that subject, per se, UNLESS by "subject" you mean that particular tutorial subject. And it's still not that you've given up those rights, it's that you USED them up already.

IF you have aspirations to write a book or to avail yourself of other mainstream publishing options, you really do have to keep a tight rein on stuff. When I was doing miniature teddy bears, I had how-to article requests coming in all the time. I knew I was going to do a book, and right there in my book contract the subject of magazine articles was addressed.

So once the book came out, my publisher (North Light Books, a subsidiary of F&W Publications, ironically the folks who own Wet Canvas now) sold first North American periodical rights to one of the magazines, so all was good.

Unless you do "writing for hire" or in some other way sell or give away your copyright (which you should NEVER, EVER do!) you wil always own your words. Magazines and book publishers and the like don't BUY your words from you, they buy the right to publish your words under very specific terms. That's where "first North American rights" and so on come into play.
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Old 2008-08-03, 12:02pm
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I'm so confused
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Old 2008-08-03, 12:52pm
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I guess here is where I'd add my 2 cents. Having bought over 4 tutorials now I do have a couple of requests for the authors of them. If using frit please state what color the frit is not just the name of the frit - is it mostly transparent blues, a mix of pink and reds, etc.

Also when gettting your tut ready to go if you wonder if you should include a photo of a certain step - DO IT!! A photo along with written directions makes things much clearer.
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Old 2008-08-04, 11:29am
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so, in laymans terms, dont do the isbn, thing? simply purchase and distribute your own books?
and big thanks to you guys for the info! and heads up..
Hm, I could have sworn I posted an answer to this the other day. I did a lot of research on self-publishing when I wrote my book (which is not lampwork-related and wasn't published--I sold the content to the company I work for). Anyway...

You only need an ISBN if you plan to sell the book to a distributor or on Amazon. It gives your book a unique identifier that is used by libraries and book stores. If you decide to go that route (I doubt many will) you can buy single ISBNs (they used to be sold only in 10 number blocks). You can find lots of good information on self-publishing at http://selfpublishing.com.

For the laymen: Publishers help you put a book together, may do some marketing for the book, and usually arrange the printing and distribution. Printers just print books. Distributors sell books to stores.

Probably more than you need to know, but information is good.
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Old 2008-08-04, 12:08pm
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thank you Sheila!
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Old 2008-08-04, 4:42pm
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Thanks to you all for answering!

I guess we should discuss about it. Hopefully we will?

Martina
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Old 2008-08-04, 4:49pm
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After really sitting down and reading them all...

Please give a list of things needed UP FRONT in the tutorial.

Page numbers are handy.

Do large, focused, clear pictures. As close up as possible is nice. I'd rather see the bead I'm going to be making that stuff on your workbench.

Keep it simple. I love the information in boxes but don't put so many on one page that my eye doesn't know where to go next. Highlight anything really important with yellow or another color but let me know.

Humor is wonderful. I have to say I enjoyed laughing out loud at a few things in Laurie's tuts. Not to say I didn't enjoy the others because I did but she definitely had me laughing.

Most of all, keep 'em comin! I loved them all so far and am so glad I purchased them.
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Old 2008-08-04, 5:05pm
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That's it, that's what I've been waiting for, thanks Deb!

Martina
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  #24  
Old 2008-08-04, 5:19pm
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Years later!!!

Last edited by Kirima; 2008-12-26 at 8:15pm. Reason: ...
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Old 2009-01-02, 8:17pm
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pictures as if there were no printed instructions

instructions as if there were no pictures
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Old 2009-01-04, 10:41pm
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Measurables in approx mm or inches would be good - though fractions of an inch get a little difficult for a non-US beadmaker.

Marianne.
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Old 2009-01-05, 3:54am
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Okay I'll add my wishes to this as well. Printing is expensive. I also save up about 4-5 tutorials and then print them via Lulu. I love your humor that you put into your pages and that keeps me going but please, please no empty pages. A few I have had a couple every so often. Also noo pages of your work studio or your best friends and such. I love hearing your stories and I love to look at the pictures but when printing this stuff out, it can get rather expensive. If you do it at home...OMG the ink!!!! I don't mind if you shove a bunch of pictures on one page...it's okay with me because it shortens the book. As long as I can follow along...I'm good.
Resolution of at least 300 dpi. 600 dpi is normal for printing but 300 dpi works fine for me. No images that are made for web view (72dpi) They don't print well at all.
I haven't had a problems with the distance of your pictures...they've all worked well for me so I don't see a problem in that area. I also think most of you have a supply list already for us.
the one thing I noticed with this last book I've printed (haven't gotten it back yet so I'm not 100% sure on this) But some pages were written in portrait and one or two were in landscape. I'm not sure how that's going to work out as I'll have to keep changing the position of the book...but it might not be a big deal so I'll let you know when I get the book back.
I know there's more but I can't think of anything now.
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Old 2009-01-05, 9:56am
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Quote:
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Sarah, InDesign, Adobe's layout program, does create pdf files that are compatible with all computer setup (especially if you write the pdf to one of the older version of Acrobat Reader) and it automatically embeds the fonts. Neither Photoshop nor Illustrator is made for multiple-page layout documents. Unfortunately InDesign is expensive.
I use Quark Xpress, which is the program that Adobe copied when making InDesign, and it does the same thing. I think it's more expensive than InDesign, though (although it's MUCH MUCH MUCH better).

However, if someone doesn't have that, and they have Acrobat, you can create a PDF file from multiple files using Acrobat. Open Acrobat and select File>Create PDF>From multiple files. Then save the file you create as a single PDF file. You can combine many different types of files to make into a PDF. You may run into font issues occasionally, but 99 times out of 100 it works fine.

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Originally Posted by Reenie View Post
Okay I'll add my wishes to this as well. Printing is expensive. I also save up about 4-5 tutorials and then print them via Lulu. I love your humor that you put into your pages and that keeps me going but please, please no empty pages. A few I have had a couple every so often. Also noo pages of your work studio or your best friends and such. I love hearing your stories and I love to look at the pictures but when printing this stuff out, it can get rather expensive. If you do it at home...OMG the ink!!!! I don't mind if you shove a bunch of pictures on one page...it's okay with me because it shortens the book. As long as I can follow along...I'm good.
Resolution of at least 300 dpi. 600 dpi is normal for printing but 300 dpi works fine for me. No images that are made for web view (72dpi) They don't print well at all.
I haven't had a problems with the distance of your pictures...they've all worked well for me so I don't see a problem in that area. I also think most of you have a supply list already for us.
the one thing I noticed with this last book I've printed (haven't gotten it back yet so I'm not 100% sure on this) But some pages were written in portrait and one or two were in landscape. I'm not sure how that's going to work out as I'll have to keep changing the position of the book...but it might not be a big deal so I'll let you know when I get the book back.
I know there's more but I can't think of anything now.
300 is the industry standard for most images. 600 dpi is overkill for photographs. Inkjet printers can't print a 600 dpi image any better than they can a 300 dpi image. Basically, you want the image resolution to be twice the line screen. 133 or 150 line screen is standard (some very high end magazines use 175 line screen) so you'd need 266, 300, or 350 dpi respectively. Any more than that and the extra information is lost anyways. Lulu, for example, uses a Xerox color laser printer to print all their jobs (they call it a press, but it's not a true press). The maximum line screen they can handle is 150. So the maximum photo dpi they can handle is 300. If it's any higher than that, you won't see any difference.

Okay, so I've probably rambled off enough technical jargon that most everyone is asleep by now...
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Last edited by Cosmo; 2009-01-05 at 10:02am.
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Old 2009-01-05, 10:13am
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all I would ask of authors is not to use backgrounds. They look pretty, but I don't want to waste all that ink when I print it. I haven't bought a lot of tuts, but I think one of them has this problem. I didn't print it out because of that. Is there a way to prevent backgrounds from being printed?
=)
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Old 2009-01-05, 10:16am
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Thanks, Cosmo, that was very interesting. I'm learning a lot from this thread.
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