Most of the book layout is now finished all the barr the inevitable perfectionist tweaking - the final task is adding in the photos at the right place (which hopefully won't bring about another reformatting.....) The patterns have been double checked by myself and my star of a tech editor (I will reveal the fab team members properly in a special post, rather than casually drop their names in) and shortly I'll be triple quadruple checking the patterns as I'm a tad paranoid about errata. Well, the paranoia goes without saying really.

Anyhow's, to explain a bit better how I've decided to tackle the space vs pattern layout issue. There are two basic models I've considered, so lets look at those a bit closer.....

Model A
This is where all the pictures and info are all together. A popular choice but it has it's drawbacks, as I'm about to explain.

Essentially, there would be a full page colour photo followed by two, three or more pages that contain the written instructions, chart(s), materials required etc - each pattern is presented an individual unit... with the next pattern starting on a fresh page with the glossy photo and so on etc etc. Ideal for those who like to keep all the pattern info together.

The biggest problem I found with this layout is that rarely, if ever, does all the information - instructions and charts etc - fit on a tidy number of pages. It either spills over onto the next page leaving 3/4 of it blank or you're left with large white gaps to fill. Now, in the 'real' world of publishing they either truncate the info so that it fits, or pad it out and fill that next page. I don't want to do either... chopping the pattern down runs serious risk of errors etc...... and padding it out is a waste and unnecessary. I have page counts and file sizes to consider, which may not be quite such a concern with a traditional printer and a huge printing budget.

Model B
Funnily enough, the chart lovers much preferred this layout!

This is where all the big glossy photos are grouped together, then all the written instructions grouped together and then all the charts grouped together. A more traditional layout perhaps - it reminds of the few pattern magazines and books I was able to get hold of in my childhood.

The advantage here is that the written instructions can run concurrently, i.e. follow on from each other without having to start a new page. Likewise with the charts. Of course the disadvantage is the flicking back and forth but I think I may have sussed that.....

There will be colour thumbnail shots both with the written instructions and the charts. The charts will also have all the material requirements, directions for repeats etc, so that the charts could function independently without ever having to look at the wordy stuff. The big glossy photos are left as eye candy, as each set of pattern notes, be it words or charts, will have their own picture and you won't need to refer back and forth unless you're looking at the fine construction details in the photos.

The pattern instructions won't be in a tiny font or too crammed on a page. Neither are the charts diddy, though there isn't space to have them huge, but they are a good size compared to most publications. There will be enough white space and room to avoid confusion. There will be a separate pattern contents page after the photos, which will direct towards the words and charts for each pattern, making it easier to find each bit.

Even with this extra page and readable fonts, the page count of this model B layout is far less than that of model A, so that's what I'm going with. The only people this layout won't please is those who like to compare written instructions and charts, as they will have to flick back and forth, but from the feedback I've received they are the minority. Hey, it's impossible to please everyone.

So yeah, file sizes are a concern - currently at around 300MB, and Lulu does have a maximum - but the page count is a bigger issue - each page costs money, and if I want to keep this book at a reasonable RRP and still make something back per sale, I *have* to stick close to the limits.


Before I depart to start the 4th stage of pattern checking, here's a sneak at a couple of designs I've somehow found the time to work on... Can't reveal too much as they're likely to be submitted to mags, and if they get accepted it all has to be a bit 'hush hush'.

Onwards and upwards.

AuthorWoolly Wormhead