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Author Topic: Do You I/O?
Just_Jess_B

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Icon 10 posted February 10, 2007 19:19      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been working on a science fiction book trilogy since November of 2003, and I've got a website up courtesy of WinterSolstice.

Come see my scribbles! Boost my massive ego or crush it beneath your bootheels! Fun, fun, fun!

Um, oh, and it's for mature audiences. So if you're under 18, I'm warning you it's not really something your parents would be happy you're reading.

http://dometrilogy.com/

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2007 08:02      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I read Chapter 1. You have quite a talent for immersing a reader in the setting of your story.

The one critique I have of what I've read is that towards the end of the chapter, you begin to introduce new characters and create dynamics between them too quickly. I felt lost amidst all of the new names and the actions many of the characters were taking.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2007 09:33      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I happen to agree, since that book begins to develop pretty fast. On the other hand, I think I prefer it over slow starts.

I see it like Star Wars (A New Hope):
Huge text rolls - then all of a sudden we're in a space battle and a rebellion with lots of players and a ton of concepts that are visually imposing.

Your comment caused lots of breakfast table discussion this morning, so thanks! [Big Grin]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 6 posted February 25, 2007 12:20      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
New Content is up on Dometrilogy.

The first four chapters have sex and weapons and religious zealotry. I expect some people are going to get their panties in a wad.

Drek 'em.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted February 25, 2007 18:18      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I feel like I'm missing a lot by jumping from one book to another like that, but I guess I can figure out what happened easily enough [Smile]
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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted February 26, 2007 18:44      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I promise that I am working very hard on that final edit of Beneath a Sunless Sky.

I'm at page 187 of 433 pages. It should be on sale by 15 March on lulu.com.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Tominfla
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2007 17:12      Profile for Tominfla     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just a question Jess, what are you using to create your work? I know about your laptops; I was wondering about the software.

Hope your editing is coming along. [Smile]

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"Go get that Earth creature and bring back the Uranium Pew36 Space Modulator" -- Marvin Martian

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2007 18:21      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The PDFs sorta have a Tex or LaTex feel to them and that's how I would write a large work intended for publication, but it could be anything that outputs to pdf.

My guess is based on the fact that the "ff" is correctly attached and most average wordprocessors don't do that... Then again, I thought that (La)Tex also removed the bar in the middle and only connected tops.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2007 19:00            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I can do fi and fl ligatures in Mac OS 9 and earlier, but that's as far as you get within the limits of MacRoman. A Unicode system should be able to render any ligature known, as long as your current typeface supports it! (Mac OS 9 fonts tend to lack so much, and substitution tends to go for a clearly mismatched face).

Windows 2000 Character Map lists fi and fi but no easy indication of any others. You should find that Mac OS X offers a wider variety, depending on typeface (only if they come with a full selection of characters).

But as for ff, never seen those joined. I'd have to boot OS X and look through all the supported ligatures in Character Palette.

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2007 19:49      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Reading the other two books, I noticed that the protagonist has sexual relations of one form or another with almost all of the male characters. You could perhaps spin this as a property of the society or as {compensation for | the cause of | a symptom of} the character's bereavement, but it should probably be toned down somewhat, as it diminished the individual auxiliary characters' identities.

It's not about the sex itself; it's that it seems to be the only reason some characters exist (no irony intended).

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 01, 2007 04:05      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I couldn't put down my laptop to go to bed, but my husband finally dragged me to bed! I have one more PDF of "Beneath a Sunless Sky" to read. It's soooo interesting.

Before you officially publish it, have you obtained a qualified proofreader? I noticed a fair amount of typos and other mistakes in my first read-through.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 01, 2007 08:10      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually we have a proofed copy to upload (sitting on my harddrive still, naughty me). We don't have a professional proofer though, as they are extremely expensive.

I'll get the proofed copies up today [Smile]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 01, 2007 08:21      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tominfla:
Just a question Jess, what are you using to create your work? I know about your laptops; I was wondering about the software.

Hope your editing is coming along. [Smile]

I'll field this one for her:
She writes in Open Office, then we typeset it in Adobe InDesign and then export it via Adobe Acrobat.
It is set specifically for the guidelines Lulu requires to print a book (and it comes out perfect.. I'm really happy about that).

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted March 01, 2007 11:15      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rough to read, both the good and the bad. However, there's no such thing as a perfect book, so I can only put it out and hope for the best.

That said . . .

TominFla: First draft used Appleworks 6.0, then a program with marginalia called Jer's Novel Writer, then I started using NeoOffice. I printed a PDF and retyped the whole dang thing. Yes, all 200,000 or so words (which is why the plot is better but the typos are there). The layout was done using Adobe InDesign CS2, a copy WS purchased for me last year so I wouldn't constantly be in tears at lulu.com, especially since he wanted me to get an ISBN.

GameMaster: I know about LaTex, but I have no idea what else was said. Because lulu needs Adobe distilled PDFs to publish properly, Adobe was chosen.

uilllean: I had no idea about the nature of certain fonts, but I chose this one (Adobe Caslon Pro, 10pt) because it was readable to me and made the work look "professional". Very informative, though. Thanks! [Smile]

Metasquares: I agree. That was really hard for me at first, making this as dark a novel as I could write. Yeah, there's a lot of sex (some violent, most meaningless) right at the start, and getting deeper into the book, the violence is often equally meaningless. The series is my indictment of American culture. Sex has little value except to a select few, both in the story and in our culture. Intercourse is a pastime or a bartering tool to most women -- just watch a soap opera or a Maury Povich Baby-Daddy show some time. Women do the dumbest things to get what they want out of life. Often, that involves trading sex for security, safety, money, or self-esteem.

Remy uses sex as a bartering tool; it's a real flaw in modern women (I've dealt with too many women to pretend it isn't). All in all, the character actually sleeps with . . . six men through the three books. She does, however, deal with people (yes, people!) in a sexual manner because, to be honest, women do that. Not all women, but most do. Remy's just one of them. While it does border on erotica, I consider having the character's ambition represented in multiple ways develops her.

Then again, I also am trying to get more male readers, and my male betas glossed over the romance in the first book. Sex, Tech, and Weapons was what I was asked for in the second. That's what I wrote. [Smile]

Rhonwynn: That is the greatest compliment any person can give a writer: I stayed up too late/kept a spouse up reading. I don't think there's any writer in the world who would be disappointed to hear it.

I was considering hiring an editor at one point, then I had two experiences. A published author I met through a writer's group where I live had an editor who put in an error in the galleys as "a correction". The author, an intelligent woman, reverted it because she was right. The piece was published with the error because the editor insisted.

I also read an "edited" piece being shopped. It was good, but not very good. The chapters were really short (one or two pages), and I just felt like it was incomplete. Plus there were errors (not sure if it was editor or not). She spent $500.00 on this cursory edit; if I wanted a good one, I would have to spend thousands. I don't have thousands, just a book that's gone through over a dozen edits.

WinterSolstice was supposed to put up the edited first four chapters. I've researched a lot of picky grammar, and I've found one thing: there are so many ways to write a sentence, that most people say as long as it's consistent, it's okay. He's beta-read the stupid thing so many times, he hates it. I've gotten there, too. If I had six beta readers, I'd probably be doing better.

I've done what I can and caught what I can and clarified where I can. Not one book out there at this point is perfect, and this is 440 pages. I write on inspiration, not an outline, and it really was what I developed the writing craft on. Unfortunately, it shows in some places in my book.

* * * * *

I learn new things every day about writing. I'm not perfect, and I'm not really trying to create the next Lord of the Rings, but I'm not tossing out The Bachelor's Difficult Decision. I know my book won't get many readers. I know people will probably consider it a waste of tree or electrons and an ISBN. But, it's what I wrote, and when it's out, I can point to it and say, "I'm a published author" finally.

That's something I really want to be able to say.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

Posts: 1370 | From: Whaddya mean, Arizona? | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted March 01, 2007 14:15      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nothing is a waste of resources if you learn from it. As long as you keep learning, you keep gaining something of value from the experience!

Let us know when it's out. I'll certainly buy a copy.

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Tominfla
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Icon 14 posted March 01, 2007 15:55      Profile for Tominfla     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Although I've only gotten through Chapter 1 of BaSS, I find it very interesting. I had to read the whole chapter -- I couldn't stop reading it. I shared the anger and frustration of the protagonist -- very engaging. I will need to read the rest to find out what happens with the characters -- which ones are pivotal, which ones are incidental, etc.

You are to be commended for actually going through with your work. I know of people who never actually get through the process.
Looking forward to seeing the completed work. [Smile]

Hey I have a question: I need to choose between Quark Express and InDesign -- do you have a recommendation?

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"Go get that Earth creature and bring back the Uranium Pew36 Space Modulator" -- Marvin Martian

Posts: 245 | From: Orlando, Florida, USA | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged
Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted March 01, 2007 16:04      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tominfla:
Although I've only gotten through Chapter 1 of BaSS, I find it very interesting. I had to read the whole chapter -- I couldn't stop reading it. I shared the anger and frustration of the protagonist -- very engaging. I will need to read the rest to find out what happens with the characters -- which ones are pivotal, which ones are incidental, etc.

You are to be commended for actually going through with your work. I know of people who never actually get through the process.
Looking forward to seeing the completed work. [Smile]

Hey I have a question: I need to choose between Quark Express and InDesign -- do you have a recommendation?

The funny thing is that, to a less extreme degree (that is, the oppression and misunderstanding by the dominant powers, not the tale of attempted murder and manipulation), this story could be the life of any gifted individual. I don't know about everyone else, but I found myself relating to the protagonist's anger and frustration a lot, especially after she recovered her memory, obviously aced the test (minus that one question), and was still denied citizenship. That reminded me of grad. school apps after taking the GRE [Smile]
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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted March 02, 2007 04:51      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LaTex outputs perfectly valid PDF or postscript files which adhear to the PDF standards. What company software you use doesn't mater to LuLu as long as the generated pdf meets the standards.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 02, 2007 05:44      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just Jess B,

Rhonwyyn didn't ask if you had an editor... she asked if you had a proofreader and that is a very different thing indeed...

Sorry, professional niggle.

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 02, 2007 07:33      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tominfla:
Hey I have a question: I need to choose between Quark Express and InDesign -- do you have a recommendation?

Well, in our case it was fairly simple - I wanted strong PDF control ( security, tagging, reflow, PDA accessibility, etc), I wanted to upgrade from Photoshop 7, and Jess needed a good typesetting program. So CS2 was a nice fit.

I wouldn't really recommend it, though. InDesign is very good, but incredibly expensive. Jess really got the hang of it fast, but it still totally confuses me (and it runs for crap on a MacBook due to the Rosetta emulation).

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 3 posted March 02, 2007 08:30      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, from what I've just researched, a proofreader, then is the person who checks the galleys to make sure they look okay and are accurate to the edited pieces.

An editor is a person who marks up the work to make it flow better. Because the editor often does proofreading work, as well, people in the industry get frustrated by the misuse of the word by laypeople.

Which I did. Sorry.

Since it's a self-publish, I don't have a proofer or editor. My layout, however, follows the guidelines set down by lulu for their global distrubution with an ISBN, with a set gutter margin, title page, blank pages where needed, etc. The PDF reflects the layout of the book, which I researched using a mix of published books I owned and publishing information on the internet.

My primary frustration with the first four chapters is that I have a lot of hyphenated words at the ends of lines, something I wish I could control better. Since I'm doing a full justify instead of a jagged edge, it hyphenated at the end of the line.

My secondary frustration is that, near the end of the book, I hit my stride, stopped "writing like a writer", and found my own voice. The first four chapters have been edited so much (1-3 more than 4, really) that it has a different feel than the rest of the book.

I have no idea what a proofer could do at this point, really, and, as I've said, this isn't going to make any money, so I can't afford one. If the story holds up and someone decides to take it and run with it (a la Eragon), then I expect it will be typeset again to the parameters of the publishing house. Seeing as that's a pipe dream, I'm going to simply put it out and hope that my little story entertains more than just me.

At this point, and WS has no idea (until now), I'm giving up writing as a potential profession. The investment is too much for the criticism from writing groups, and I take it too personally. I could take it from a person who was trading money for my talent, but I can't sell myself in interviews (I'm probably the only person ever rejected for a crap kitchen job because I interviewed badly) and you have to be able to if you're a writer. I don't have the stomach for putting my work out to have it torn apart by people who "could write it better". Once this is out, I'll let them.

Plus it's not very good, it's got chick issues smeared all over it, and I'm emotionally exhausted by the whole stupid mess. It's been through a dozen rewrites. This is the best I can do. It's not good enough, so that's it.

And GameMaster? It does. Lulu still re-distilled it through their Adobe filter when I bought Adobe last year. If you don't have embedded fonts, it changes the fonts. I tried with a standard PDF, and it completely reformatted the PDF. That's the reason we bought Adobe. I like the control of the CS2 layout.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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toobe

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Icon 1 posted March 02, 2007 11:08      Profile for toobe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
LaTex outputs perfectly valid PDF or postscript files which adhear to the PDF standards. What company software you use doesn't mater to LuLu as long as the generated pdf meets the standards.

Have to pop in with my two cents here... I used to work for a book publisher, and I lay out books/design covers professionally as part of my job. And although LaTex does, technically, create PDFs that meet the standards required by many printers/publishers they also have a bad tendency to screw up the RIPs. On more than one occassion we had to completely retype and re-layout books that came in as PDFs for LaTex because it would just choke the RIP and stop the entire production run in the print shop. InDesign is industry standard for book layout and creates PDFs that play nicely with the printers.

/back to lurking.

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Stereo

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Icon 12 posted March 02, 2007 11:24      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And there I thought all printing was done with LaTex created PostScript documents...

Just Jess, I haven't started reading the available chapters yet, but I intend to do it soon. Until then, quick and silly question: will you send authographed copies to GCers who will buy it?

Oh, and don't give up writing just because some don't like what you do. Write because you like to, because you have stories to tell, and let the masses decide if you can make a living out of it or not. Writing clubs are not a representative portion of the population - take the tricks they can offer, leave their jealousy-induced comments behind. (Related reference: The Simpsons episode where Marge write a book, when Lisa has just read it. [Big Grin] )

Oh, and a Civ IV reference as an extra: "True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read."
- Pliny the Elder

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 02, 2007 11:38      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
And there I thought all printing was done with LaTex created PostScript documents...

lol - no fair making technical comments at lit geeks [Wink]

Her point is that Lulu re-distills all the documents you send them - irregardless of the format. The only ones that really seem to stay consistent are the ones handed over in InDesign. Naturally on a technical level we know what it does, but that's hardly fair to expect a writer to also be a master of LaTeX [Big Grin]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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maximile

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Icon 1 posted March 02, 2007 12:07      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Whenever I've used Lulu, I've had to use the "Save as PDF-X" command from the print dialogue to get PDFs from Mac OS X to go through the press unchanged. I dunno if that helps anyone, though it sounds like you've already worked out a way that works.
Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged


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