I'm new to POD. I'm formatting a 32 pg print/eBook in InDesign, color illustrated. Createspace: $3.65, Blurb: $27. Should i worry about $3.65 quality? Also, I work on a Cintiq drawing tablet, viewing on my Mac color differs too much. Will Create space help/guide me to color correct? I'm a worried guy. Gerzy
There may be a little color variation between what you see on the printed page and what you see on the screen. It's easy and free to setup an account, load your book, and see what the product looks like. It will just cost the price of the book plus shipping/handling to see a copy in person. The book will be softcover.
If you want to find full-color children's books on Amazon that were published through CreateSpace, enter CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform in a search at Amazon. You can see what the files look like using the Look Inside feature, but what you see is the file itself and not the printed page. To see what the product would look like, it's worth uploading your book and ordering a proof. You can easily decide not to publish it if you're not happy with it and can't resolve any problems.
You might get more help here in this forum if you have any specific problems.
Hi Gerzy… I’ve published several full color books for children w/CS (paperback) and printed the same books with LightningSource in hardcover. I’ve been extremely pleased with the quality by both companies.
Although my monitor is uncalibrated, the colors I see in the graphics program I use (CorelDraw with a CMYK palette) are pretty darn close to what prints.
CS does NO color correcting, so one thing which a number of illustrators do is print a color test booklet. Printing 40 pages is the same cost as 24 pages, so you might want to spend $3.65 plus shipping, and you’ll have your very own color guide. The colors I had the most difficulty with were skin tones and gray tones. CS tends to print drop shadows much much darker than they appear on a computer monitor.
Also, with all POD printers, the colors do vary from one print lot to another. Most readers won’t notice, but if you have multiple proofs and lay them side by side, the difference runs the gamut (pun intended :D) from little to lots.
Hope that helps,
Dee aka DenverSky5280
Those were the kind of answers I was hoping for. Means a lot, thanks. If 'CS does no color correcting' does this mean i can't effect the color i see in proof? >G
First, here is a PDF showing 18 images: http://12on14.com/pages/print_test_1-24.pdf --the print-ready PDF and a scan of the printed piece. I did nothing to the scan, and because of the Moiré patterns, there are huge color shifts and the shadow detail appears to choke up. In a side by side comparison--the monitor image (PDF) and the printed piece--the color is perceptually dead on perfect from and compared to sRGB files.
CS will not guide you anywhere. What you see on your Mac is RGB. What CS, and almost all other printers print in is CMYK. You seem to be aware of this, but if not ask and I'll post some pics (I tired to find one of the recent posts I made, but I cannot find the link). A basic inkjet printer, of the $80 persuasion, prints in CMYK and will give you darn good idea of what you'll see in print as compared to the monitor (of course CS screens the work so you will also have a halftone that your inkjet won't).
A 24 page (minimum page count), printed in color will cost you all of $3.65 with another $3.59 for delivery. Use the free CS ISBN, a throw-away title, a white cover with text, label the images if you try different way to prepare them. Oh, there's no upload or project fees. And for a few hours work, and under $10, you'll have the best answer of all . . . a printed proof!
If 'CS does no color correcting' does this mean i can't effect the color i see in proof?
CS does a lot to your color files . . . we just don't know what. What I preach is that CS prints best from sRGB files. It uses non-traditional process colors (compared to Pantone Process Colors), and proprietary profiles: these emulate sRGB color. The limitations are obvious:
CS also prints best from CMYK if you have color corrected it or worked in it.
You edit your work before uploading it.
Hi Gerzy… Lucky you! You got the best color expert (Walton) to post not just an answer, but an super-illustrated answer!
The only thing I would add is to put images on the cover of your test booklet. Use images you think you’d like to use on the cover even if you have the identical images in the interior.
Why? Because the colors on the cover seem to vary slightly from the interior colors. I don’t know if this is because of the paper (more absorption of ink on the cover??) or if it’s the gloss of the cover which changes our color perception or ??
Oh, and one thing more… CS charges us by the page not by the size of the page. So I’d go with the biggest footprint CS allows so you can squeeze more images into your test book.
Hope that helps,
Dee aka DenverSky5280
p.s. – you can always change your colors/text/cover/interior and the only cost from CS is if you order a new proof ($3.65 plus shipping for a 40 page book). In comparison, LS has a $40 change fee for each time you change cover or interior, and that does not get you a proof. A hardcover proof from LS costs about $25 for a 40 page full color book because base cost is about $10, and they send it 2nd day UPS.
Thank you and good point. I always suggest a simple white cover with text because covers are themselves a problem for many people . . . but you're right, the book is going to have a color cover, might as well see what happens with it too.
I was just looking at the color ramp. What's interesting, and I will do this and post it, is that if you look, there is a narrow strip where the color isn't so flat and dirty looking . . . and that is where we would move things to make the CMYK perceptually right.
I've been working here alone and honestly I've felt a guiding hand on my shoulder with your advice. First, the suggestion of a brief mock up to CS opens the right door for me. From the color bars you sent, Walton, the CMYK tone greying is worrying though it's not near as evident in the montages. Two things I don't understand- you say 'CS prints best from sRGB files', and later, '..also prints best from CMYK if..corrected'. I work in Photoshop/RGB and save to InDesign as PDF/CMYK/US web coated (SWOP). No color correction. I generally work in very saturated color but rarely with a single color larger than about 1"sq. Am I on the right track? Your closiing remarks about 'color ramp' I don't understand. Thanks Dee for further tip. >G
When you go from InDesign to a PDF, you can choose a variety of presets. PDF/X-1a converts all RGB to CMYK. While it is the standard for the printing industry, it is not necessary for CS, although it is for other p-o-d printers. (I prefer High Quality, which preserves the color modes.)
The PDF/X-1a color mode conversion is automatic: it will use the rendering intent (how out-of-gamut colors are handled when converting to CMYK) that is set in Edit > Color Settings >Conversion Options. This generally defaults to Relative Colorimetric. This leaves the in-gamut colors alone, and only adjusts the out-of-gamut colors. Whereas Perceptual adjusts all the colors to try to maintain their relative values. I prefer Perceptual, which is how I have set Creative Suite.
If you have few or no out-of-gamut colors, Relative Colorimetric make some sense; otherwise Perceptual makes more sense.
My point about what color mode CS prints best from is a nod to others you take issue with me on this; but experts from Indigo and other companies suggested this (I did not make it up): most work coming in to CS is sRGB; and a printer like CS will strip some to all profile information off the images and will apply their own. We don't know how much or what . . . but just for an example, you probably submit work with a 20% dot gain, which most of us do. Indigo has a 9% - 12% dot gain. I believe that if you submit a CMYK image, CS does less to it than if you submit an RGB image. If you make an automatic RGB to CMYK conversion using PDF/X-1a your out-of-gamut colors will suffer. If you adjust your colors in CMYK to get the most out of your conversion, then that is what CS will print.
Now, if you look at the color ramp, you'll see how terrible the conversion of rich, saturated, out-of-gamut colors can be (there is nothing to be perceptual/relative too) but you'll also see a thin sliver of color that is almost as bright, that's where the colors have to go to be relatively free of that graying.
Re: Perceptual. Walton, do you mean I should save conversion from CMYK, until PDF Export, setting to PDF/X-1a, and work in RGB in ID? I have plenty of out-of-gambit colors. Is my current conversion to US Web coated (SWOP)v2 and US presets default inadviseable? If I change settings at this stage is all previous work in this file changed automatically?
I'm working with ID CS (pre-numeral), I read dot-gain% setting available on CS6, (not ID CS?) so I'm considering monthly rental of CS6 and redoing or transfering files when my (two) books complete, for this and because I intend to convert to eBook similtaneously.
Color ramp: I see slivers of matching RGB?CMYK at edges of color bands, is this what you refer to? I don't understand 'that's where the colors have to go..'. Sorry for this flood of questions, my background is 2d animation not print so this is a tad overwhelming..but good overwhelming. >G
I'm suggesting you do what you're most comfortable doing. CS is set up to take sRGB images and print them. If your images are in sRGB, your kind of there. Yes, InDesigns color swatches are CMYK, but you can insert an RGB image and make a PDF using HighQuality, and the RGB image will stay RGB.
If you want to upload in CMYK, then I would suggest working on the images in CMYK. Do you need to? Open an image, duplicate it, then convert one of them to CMYK, with them both on the screen you'll get an idea if you've lost much. As I said, printing an image will show you that image in CMYK.
If you just export to PDF/X-1a, then I would set InDesign to a Perceptual rendering intent.
As for the color ramp . . . what I meant was that there are CMYK colors that might better represent the RGB > CMYK swatches, which in the example I posted were direct RGB to CMYK conversions, and you get a hint of them in the color ramp.
It's hard to answer your questions while trying to keep it simple. That is why I suggested printing a small book and seeing how things look.
My illustrator had high-quality photographs taken of her water color illustrations. Viewed in RGB on the photographer's computer screen, they looked beautiful and the colors were true. When he converted them on the screen to CMYK, the colors became dull and mutted. Since CreateSpace prints in CMYK, and our layout has asked for CMYK, are these dull colors something we just have to live with or is there anything that can be done so they will look closer to the true colors of RGB?
According to our layout person, we should not try to tweek the colors. However she also said what we see on the computer screen in CMYK is not necessarily what we will get when our book is printed. From everything I've read here, CreateSpace and most printers print in CMYK, and thus we won't get the brilliant colors in the original water colors.. Is there anything that can be done at this point to brighten the colors and make them true? It seems I'm reading some posts here that say you can try to correct CMYK before sending to CreateSpace, but am I also hearing there's no guarentee that those colors will be any more true? Thanks for any help you can provide. In case you haven't already guessed, this is our first book.
I was not real happy with the qulity of my illustrastions when my book was printed. Createspace uses a poor quality paper. But you get what you pay for. I am waiting for CS to give us a choice to upgrade to a better quality paper then I will resubmitt my book. And try to do a better job of it. The book is THE ADVENTURES OF DUC OF NOYO HARBOR.