Being a one man band means you have to be thoughtful about how you spend your time.
Streamlining processes and outsourcing is a necessity if you want to get the job done to a standard that you are proud of. Here are a few of my favourite tips:
I use Xero to track all of my cashflow so that at ‘Tax Time’ the accountant can just log in and do their thing.
I use ‘Stylescapes’ (See BB#27) as part of my design process to help close the gap between my clients expectations and my creative output. By doing this I almost eliminate rounds of revisions which saves time and makes the project run smoother.
I like to use an InCopy/InDesign workflow when I’m working on books and large document projects. InCopy gives the editorial team access to the designers InDesign files so they can edit the text in the document themselves.
This InCopy/InDesign workflow is something I feel pretty passionate about.
Sometimes I feel like the crazy person yelling on the street corner when it comes to using InCopy. It baffles me that hardly anybody uses it as part of their publishing workflow. I started to look into why this was the case and found that the support online was pretty poor.
It's almost like you’d have to be a nerd hanging out in Adobe forums to be into InCopy. It surprises me because lots of people I’ve spoken to have huge problems with the back and forth of a traditional publishing workflow. Even working on smaller projects like annual reports for example can be nightmarish.
I have a friend who was working on a substantial report that had several layers of management adding and amending the text. Each time she’d have to go back to the designer and get them to take in the corrections, then the report would go back into circulation to repeat the process. It got to the stage where she was embarrassed to email the designer! I can imagine that the designer was getting more and more frustrated, and starting to pull out their hair!
This back and forth is the WORST part of a design job. The fun parts are at the beginning where you get to stretch your creative muscles and at the end when everyone is high-fiving and saying what a great job you did. The back and forth in the middle of the project is what will make or break the job. If this is done masterfully then everyone wins, however if it draws out forever it's not long before you start resenting the job as you watch your payment get spread thinner and thinner over time.
Using an InCopy workflow is one way I can limit that back and forth. I believe in it so strongly that I have spent the last few months working on a tutorial explaining how to use it.
Now, I’m not a video person so this has been quite the ordeal! I have come in as an amateur which has been lots of fun but also meant it has taken 10 times longer than I thought it would.
The outcome is four videos in total - The ten minute hero: What is an InCopy workflow and how does it work? Then three smaller videos looking at InCopy for Editors and Authors, InCopy for Designers and an overview of the process itself.
Normally I’d now ask you all to go and watch the videos, like, subscribe and share them with all your friends but while I’m proud of these videos they aren’t for everyone! These videos are primarily for the authors I work with, explaining how to use InCopy so we can work together on their books. If anyone else on the internet finds value in them then that’s a bonus.
One thing I have to note if you do happen to watch the videos is I know about the typo.
I couldn’t believe it! After making the illustrations, writing the script, recording the screens, cutting the footage, writing the titles, adding the music there is a bloody great big typo in one of the screens I recorded. The video took so damn long to render that I can’t bring myself to re-record the screen, replace the footage and render it again. I’m too emotional about it! I figured I’ll give it a couple of months and perhaps do a version 2.0.
If anything it goes to show how important that relationship between editorial and design is. We need each other! My number one editor pal pulled me up on it straight away! If only I’d shown her before I hit “render”... next time.
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