Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to put together a video tutorial on how to use InCopy in a book publishing workflow. After extensive online research I found very few practical resources that clearly explained how to use InCopy. Most of them over complicate the program and didn’t show real life examples of the program in use. 


I ask my authors to use InCopy as part of my publishing workflow when designing books, so it's important that I can offer them support in learning how to use the program.


I decided that this lack of quality content is an opportunity for the The Design Dept to throw its hat in the ring. Surely the amount of YouTube tutorials I have watched would’ve made me an expert in making one.


Turns out I couldn’t be more out of my depth if I tried. 


I’m way too embarrassed to show the first few cuts that are basically 30 minute monologues of me swearing and while my mouse is flying back and forth over the screen. I thought I’d just be able to record my screen then whack on some cool titles in AfterEffects and I'd have YouTube’s number one hit for InCopy Workflow tutorials.


Nope. Turns out I’m a total amateur at producing videos.


Makes sense really, I’ve never done it before so why did I think I would be so good at it? 


It’s easy to think you'll be good at something when you only fill your day with things you are already good at. Most of us have to actively seek out new jobs, hobbies or interests if we want to be challenged and being an ‘amateur’ isn’t something people really strive to be.


But you’ve got to start somewhere. 


I’m super lucky that I have a talented friend, Mike, who runs a video production company, Pickle Pictures. He gave me a few hours of his valuable time and a crash course in video production. 


Turns out you should probably have a good script to start off with. This acts as the road map for the whole video so it's important that you get it right, especially if you want to hire a third party to help with animations or editing. 


Another great tip from Mike was ‘show don’t tell’. My script was getting long and it turns out that 30% of it could just be explained with pop up text on screen. You don’t need to say everything with video which is something I’d never had to think about before.


I have a long way to go with my video but it is fun being an amateur. 


Starting at the beginning gives you nothing to lose. Admitting that I know very little makes me listen with more intent. It's hard to silence the voice in your head that thinks they know the answer. Our preconceived ideas and assumptions create a barrier to objectively collect information from an engagement. See BB#12 for more of my thoughts on this.


I’ve really enjoyed starting from scratch. My timeline for the project has blown out by weeks but what I’m learning is ultimately going to be more valuable in the long run. I’m very lucky I have such clever and patient friends.


I’ll share the video once it's complete, and it will join the 300+ hours of video that gets uploaded to YouTube every minute. Hopefully it will be of value to a few authors who want to self-publish their own work with the help of The Design Dept.


In the meantime, feel free to sign up below to receive this Bulletin Board directly to your inbox. I’d be forever grateful! x


Video of the week
My Journey to Yo Yo Mastery
Podcast of the week
TED Radio Hour: Amateur Hour
Font of the week
Bagnard: Typeface of the week by Sebastien Sanfilippo

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