Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Nuts and Bolts

I was asked the other day about the equipment in my office. Well, it is geared to produce everything from the initial MS to a printer ready computer file, typeset and formatted.

We have two new Dell desktop computers with old fashioned monitors, two laptops, a Gateway and a Compaq, a Canon Laser printer and a Lexmark colour printer, scanner and copier.

The software to drive all this lot is basically Microsoft except I prefer to use Abiword and not Word. This does not have the irritating whistles and bells of the MS product (“I see you’re writing a letter….” No, I’m not. Buzz off, you Microsoft midget) but is fully compatible. It’s also a free open source programme.

For typesetting and layout we still use Adobe Pagemaker but will no doubt upgrade to Indesign somewhere along the way. Graphics are handled using Adobe Photoshop.

For interviewing clients for their book, I have moved from the cassette tape recorder to the video camera which gives me a much better grasp of the character of the writer and of the purpose of their book. Being able to replay the video and see the expressions is a wonderful aid. I use a Canon XM2 camera which gives true TV quality pictures and these are edited using Pinnacle Studio software.

All in all it’s a pretty comprehensive set-up and has served me well. Being able to perform virtually every operation of book production in-house gives my clients a huge advantage when it comes to getting their idea to market.


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