It was a tough weekend. Procrastination and a false sense of confidence were my downfall. As much as a month ago, I knew I’d be out-of-state the weekend I would ordinarily build issue 1.04. At first, I planned to build the issue early; at least, to build out the individual stories as I went, so final assembly would be a piece of cake. Next thing I knew, it was the end of the month, I was a week away from a 1,000 mile road trip, and less than half the stories were done.
WHENEVER THERE IS ANY DOUBT, THERE IS NO DOUBT
That’s the first thing they teach you. By now, you know I try to live by this saying, even if it is from a movie. Knowing there was no chance in hell I’d get the issue built before I left, I made plans to build it the following weekend and began promising delivery a week late. Resolved to make things as efficient as possible, I spent all kinds of “free time” during that week after HDT polishing stories and getting things in order for the big push on Saturday.
LAST MINUTE CHANGES
This is where things fell apart. Even though coordinating printed versions of the issues is supposed to be back-burner until the end of the year, I made a radical change to my build process in order to align with the pre-flight (jargon: pre-press, making sure the files are formatted correctly for the printer) requirements of a new print on demand vendor. This meant the InDesign templates I had built last month, ironically, in the interest of saving time, all needed modified to work with the new InDesign plugin I would be using to build 1.04, slowing me down considerably.
I rationalized this last minute change by thinking it was a good idea to build the digital version to meet the requirements of a new printer so that I didn’t spend too much time customizing something I’d have to change later. I still think this is a good idea, but I didn’t realize how labor-intensive this would be until I actually got into building the issue. Great.
My plan was to spend 8-10 hours building the issue Saturday so I could spend Sunday – Mother’s Day – with my wife and daughter. Instead, I spent 10 hours Saturday and another 3+ on Sunday. Then, as I finished the last new story (rather hastily, might add), I realized I didn’t have any “best of” archive material in this issue. Out of time! FAIL.
Then I discovered that the way the new printer assembles the book – 1 file for interior pages + 1 file for the covers inside & out – meant I couldn’t just combine the two, export to PDF, and upload to Issue like I usually do. DOUBLE FAIL.
The sun was setting on my wife’s first Mother’s Day, I hadn’t made my Mother’s Day present for her yet (Penny would ultimately not cooperate, meaning I ended the day with NO Mother’s Day gift for her), and I felt I had just let everyone down. Very frustrating. That’s when the “I’m sorry” email went out to subscribers. Rough day.
After work tonight (I still have a full-time day job, remember), I’m going to insert new pages on the file with all the interior pages and re-build the covers, export the whole shebang to PDF, and upload to Issuu. Right after I scoop the litter boxes and do the dishes. ;)
Thanks for your continued support and patience. I sincerely appreciate it.