With Windows 8.1 Field Guide now published to Kindle, I've started thinking about some of the updates I'd like to make in the months ahead. Yes, I'll be updating the book to accommodate whatever changes Microsoft makes to Windows 8.1 and its bundled apps, but I'd also like to get the book out in a print version and update its look and feel. Here's a quick update.
First, if you've not yet purchased Windows 8.1 Field Guide, I'd really appreciate it if you did so: This book is only $2 if you purchase it directly from Rafael and me (or you can set your own price), or $4.99 at the Amazon Kindle Store. The version you get from us is in fact superior to the Kindle version, since it can be easily updated each time I make a change to the book. You can learn more about that in my previous post, "Field Guide Books" Update. But however you choose to do it, your support is absolutely appreciated.
The version that is currently available on Kindle is what we call the "1.0" version, or what you might think of as the first edition. I'll be updating the book on the Windows 8.1 Field Guide web site as I make changes, and incrementing the version number (1.01, 1.02 and so on), as I did before, and past that 1.0 version. In fact, if you did pay for the book, you can now get the 1.01 version from the site; this doesn't include any new content but it does have a single new style, discussed below, which somewhat changes the look and feel of the book.
Several days ago I went through the process of preparing the 1.0 version of the book for purchase as a print book through Amazon's CreateSpace service. This won't be ideal for the reasons listed below, but I'm curious to see what a print version of the book looks like and I know some readers prefer that.
As it turns, converting a Word document/PDF into a printable book has a few issues, which I discovered when I created and then ordered a proof of the book. It's pretty cool looking at first glance.
But some of the issues include:
Size. After fooling around with various book sizes, I found that this book will need to be printed in a 8.5 x 11-inch format that is identical to the PDF version. That's a bit huge, but smaller versions didn't look right.
Color. If a book is over 480 pages long, CreateSpace will not print it in color. Our book is bigger than that, so it's in grayscale. (Though the cover is full color and quite nice looking.)
Page numbers. I don't have page numbers in the manuscript, but I'll need to add those for the printed version of the book. Otherwise, the Table of Contents (which is interactive in the e-book versions) is pretty useless.
Style. The heading styles are clearly too small, especially the H1 headings I use for chapter names.
With this in mind, I decidedly I needed to restyle the headings. I started with just the H1 heading, removing the all-caps, making the font bigger, right-justifying it, and adding some white space above it to visually separate it from the end of the previous chapter. For example:
I may make the H2 and H3 headings bigger as well, but they won't be a dramatic as the H1 chapter titles. The 1.01 version of the book, which you can now download from the Windows 8.1 Field Guide web site if you bought the book already, includes this H1 change.