ART 53 redux #7

This Is Fifty-three redux #7

My printed proof from IngramSpark arrived today, so I can now compare with the CreateSpace-printed copies I already have.

Now, I’m too tired to take photos right now (insomnia), so I will either add later, or post separately. In the meantime, here is what I am noticing:• No significant difference in cover print quality. The only thing I sort of noticed is that the photo on the back cover has an ever-so-slight yellowish cast.

• The IngramSpark copy is trimmed closer to the correct size. The CreateSpace copy is slightly taller and slightly wider. (Both copies are slightly larger than 8.5″ x 8.5″.)

• The binding is better on the IngramSpark copy. It both looks better and feels a bit more solid.

• CreateSpace has a clear edge when it comes to the interior pages—it’s not even close. Although the paper is apparently not as thick, it has slightly better opacity than the IngramSpark paper (Standard 70-lb. for color)—and the color reproduction, for all my complaints to date, is much, much better. The color in the IngramSpark copy skews a bit warm. The reds are particularly problematic, looking anemic and a bit orangey. And where the images in the CreateSpace copy run a bit too dark, in the IngramSpark copy they run a bit too light. (Would IngramSpark’s Premium 70-lb. paper option make a difference? Maybe—but it would make the book much more expensive.)

So! I have made adjustments to many of the images for my IngramSpark files—making some slightly darker, increasing the contrast in others, and adding a bit more blue to the color balance where necessary (including adding in some cyan to the reds)—and uploaded the new file. I intend to get one more printed proof to make sure these adjustments have worked; then I will decide what to do next.

And it is a bit of a conundrum. Having copies printed/distributed by IngramSpark makes it more likely that I can get copies into book stores and libraries at some point; retailers tend to not like ordering books from CreateSpace, because those books are not returnable—no book store wants to get stuck with copies they can’t sell. On the other hand, the print quality I am seeing in the proof I received today gives me pause; not only does it not look as good as the CreateSpace book for basically the same price, but opting for the Premium 70-lb. paper would push the retail price well above $60.

Depending on how the next proof looks, one option would be to lighten the images in my CreateSpace files a bit. Since 15 of the 16 copies I have received to date indicate that their reproduction runs slightly dark, that would seem to be the easy way to get what I want. In fact, I may do this anyway.

In the end, I am more concerned about print quality than I am about getting my obscure book into a book store somewhere (which is unlikely anyway, unless someone special orders a copy), so I am not ruling out dropping the IngramSpark option altogether.

Stay tuned…

(19 October 2016)