Doujinshi Publication Rants + Finalisation of "Our Secret History" cost

Today, I finally made payment to get samples of my Rochu doujinshi and the accompanying merchandise printed!

The birth of Our Secret History is really fraught with difficulties ^^;

Problem #1

Actually, I'd already finished the contents of the book and typeset it for printing weeks ago. The total size of the files was 600mb. But I literally spent days uploading it because Chinese servers are very slow when accessed from outside Mainland (and my publisher is in China). The upload speed was fluctuating between 2kb/s - 10 kb/s (being 2kb/s most of the time)!

That wasn't the main problem though. When my publisher looked at my email, she said that I was supposed to save the coloured pages as RGB in .jpg format, and not CMYK and Greyscale (for the b/w pages) and .tiff format as I'd done so. This was because since I'm not printing a lot of copies, they are using digital printing instead of traditional printing. CMYK would make the colour look off when printed by digital printing.

Well, I'd read up on doujishi publication earlier on, which had advised that coloured files should be saved as CMYK and b/w files be saved in greyscale. I'd assumed that this applied across the board for everything. So I had to reformat and resave everything! *rage*

Problem #2


So I spent about 1 - 2 days reformating everything and then re-upload them OTL. Thankfully, RGB and jpg files are smaller than CMYK and tiff files. After reformating, the files came up to 300mb. Not exactly small, but hey, half of what I initially had! Again, I spent several days uploading the files with snail-like speed.

And then another problem came about.

On several of my pages, I had a coloured picture on 1 page of the paper and a black and white text page on the other page. My publisher told me that this would be more expensive because the black and white page would then be considered as same price as the coloured pages.

Well, if it didn't overrun my estimated cost, that would be ok, I thought.

But it did. Gaaah! I almost fainted when I saw the amount she quoted me. It would become the most expensive Rochu novel doujinshi, maybe even the most expensive softcover novel ever! It was well past 1 am and I was very pissed and tired. I had to work hard to control myself from freaking out at my poor publisher.

She suggested that I just move all the coloured pages to the back of the book, but that wouldn't work out. Firstly, the accompanying illustrations are supposed to accompany the story. Secondly, I numbered all my pages. If I just moved the coloured pages to the back, I'd have to renumber the text pages. And upload everything all over again. On a speed of 2kb/s. Nooooo...!

Problem #3

Fortunately, my publisher was very kind. She didn't blow up at me for being stupid and wasting her time, and she let me reorder my pages.

So I thought of a brilliant(?) idea. For the illustrations that were among the text pages, I changed them to greyscale (black and white). Then I put their coloured versions of these illustrations at the back of the book with the other coloured guest art. I also removed a couple of non-illustration coloured pages while trying not to disturb the numbering of the pages.

The new files were about 100mb, which I spent another day or two to upload OTL... fortunately, there were no more problems after that.

So now I've got 168 pages instead of the previous 160pages, with greyscale repetitions of coloured pages. It's weird, but at least I managed to keep the price of each copy affordable without wasting the efforts of the contributors by removing the coloured pages *whew*

The price of each book is now confirmed to be 17 SGD, approximately 13 USD, paypal fees included (will be cheaper if you pay by bank transfer). Please use www.xe.com to find out how much it is in other currencies.

To conclude my rant above, when printing doujinshi and books:
1) Before you typeset, format or upload your files, seek advice from your publisher.
2) Don't print black and white and coloured pages back to back on the same paper. It counts as 2 coloured pages, unless you're printing a lot of books (in which case they can use some technology to make the black/white page and coloured page co-exist without burning your wallet)
3) If you're printing less copies, digital printing is used, so coloured pages should be saved as RGB. CMYK is for printing a lot of copies with traditional printing (but don't take my word for it. Ask your publisher beforehand)

*Wipes sweat* I hope the book turns out well and everybody likes it. All my efforts would be worth it then!

There are some slight changes to the page content, but nothing significant really. You can check out my updated sample page if you want to know though.

I'd like to say "All's well that ends well" but I think I'll reserve this judgement for after I receive the sample copies.

In my next post, I'll reveal the free gift and benefits of preordering, as well as the accompanying merchandise~

Pre-order period ends on 10 December!

For those who pre-ordered via email earlier, I have emailed you to ask for your confirmation. If you do not confirm by 10 December, it is considered as void. If you did not receive my email, please contact me!

Topic : Axis Powers Hetalia
Genre : Anime/Manga

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