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Almost No Real Support for Novel-size books > REQUESTING FEED BACK FROM THE COMMUNITY

New Here ,
Mar 25, 2021 Mar 25, 2021

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Standout layouts. Only with InDesign. (From Adobe InDesign web page)

 

"Adobe InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software."

 

Absolutely true. 

 

"InDesign has everything you need to create and publish books, digital magazines, eBooks, posters, interactive PDFs, and more."

 

False. There is no real support to create a novel-sized book. 

 

Summary explanation

 

  1. No tutorials explain how to make a novel-sized book. Or in Adobe language > a long document.
  2. No templates that comprehensively cover all the elements of a novel-size book. Lots of elements, but nothing comprehensive to explain HOW the many elements work together.
  3. No HOW TO support from the hardworking InDesign Technical Support Group. Only technical fix issues  .…
  4. From a March 2019 perspective, a badly outdated list of Adobe authorized InDesign Trainers, buried under 3-4 fields of the (then) InDesign Community. 
  5. The User Guide manual covers a functional level without enough (hardly any) explanations that allow you to understand how these functional pieces work together = Incomplete documentation.

 

After five years of field research, I was ready to write a book on my family's history covering one thousand five hundred years > AD 500-2019.

 

In March 2019, I purchased an Adobe Creative Cloud account to create an eBook and privately-published hard copy version, especially for my elder family members in their 90s. So, it was a race against time. 

 

In June 2020, the hard copy book was published. The eBook version was finished three months earlier. This "book" is 435 pages with 1,826 images. It is targeted at the youngest generation in my family to teach them about their real history.  … To move beyond the scattered and often incorrect oral stories circulated in the family for over one century.

 

However, I lost AT LEAST four months of wasted time, and thousands of dollars dealing with the impact of little real Adobe support. 

 

In March 2019, I found:

 

  1. One tutorial of 18 minutes on the subject of long documents. It was produced in 2006. That was a major red flag. I spoke to tens of people to confirm this was all there was. It was useless.
  2. No templates that covered a novel-sized book. Over 100 templates covering business cards, photo books, brochures, and others. Elements yes, such as making an eBook cover. That is like a scattering of bones without a diagram of a skeleton. Further, all of the existing books, such as cookbooks, had page limits. Not a single book template was designed for more than 50 pages. I chatting with tech support, I was told you can still create a novel-size book, but that is not in the specification … more like a verbal workaround. 
  3. As mentioned, Indesign Tech support told me in over fifty calls, they do not answer "HOW TO" questions. Such as how to implement links. I learned to repackage my questions without using the dreaded "how" word. Support folks were frustrated as well.
  4. Once I found an Adobe authorized list, many of the listed companies were out of business, never responded, or could not create a novel-sized book. Much later, I finally found an excellent (Adobe authorized) trainer who did a stellar job. He was also frustrated with how difficult it was for clients to find him. He has been in business for decades.

 

In pure frustration, I called around and was able to reach people in the Adobe product marketing department. I got nowhere in these friendly discussions. So, I improvised. I found I could create a prototyped book in Adobe Acrobat. This was in parallel to learning how to apply InDesign. Of course, Acrobat is not designed to support a four hundred-page book. So I took it to its limits over the internet to get some idea of what I was trying to accomplish. Then, months later, I realized I had little chance to complete this project within one year without an authorized Adobe InDesign trainer. Finding a real live trainer who understood HOW to construct a book took way too long.

 

I do not want other authors writing a novel-size book to go through this nightmare. 

 

I don't care if Adobe does not want to support real book publishing. Give us the tools to do OR don't state, "InDesign has everything you need to create and publish books…"

 

Please send me your experiences. I will raise this issue to the highest level of Adobe. I will not back down. I worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years, starting in the early 1980s Unix-server startups and the 1990s the software side of Sun Microsystems. I have a MA history from a global top 10 ranked university. I did not have the time to address these outstanding “corporate problems" until now. I have been in discussion with Adobe support recently and have asked them to address these issues. I would appreciate any community feedback to understand better how to reform this mess. 

 

This current situation is shameful. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 25, 2021 Mar 25, 2021

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Hi georgef83199331:

 

I can appreciate the frustration you express in your post titled "Almost No Real Support for Novel-size books." I'll try to respond to some of your concerns.

 

Let me start by saying that designing a book with any software represents a prodigious task that requires many areas of understanding and knowledge. These include setting type and using styles, importing a manuscript from Word or another word processor, optimizing and placing graphics, using tables, creating footnotes, building Tables of Contents, creating Indexes, working with cross-references, understanding modern printing processes, PDF handoff, building sections, numbering paragraphs or assigning bullets, using text variables, building dictionaries, understanding spell-checking and hyphenation. Color modes, proofing, GREP expressions, Unicode and glyphs, and so forth. The list is dizzying.

 

Currently the best tool for this job is InDesign. But you can't expect Adobe to teach you everything there is to know. At best, they can (and do) try to teach users how to use the tools in InDesign, but what they can't do is tell users when to use these tools. The subject is just too vast.

 

But what Adobe lacks in support, others try to provide. Just scratching the surface you'll find books and articles about designing books (I've written a few myself). There are websites and videos across the internet that fill many of these gaps (YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, InDesign Magazine, indesignsecrets.com). There is no shortage of third-party information out there for private study and learning.

 

Yet all of this takes time. I've been designing books and publications for over 25 years. And oh, by the way, in addtion to knowing InDesign you'll need to know a bit about Photoshop and Illustrator, too!

 

So as much as I feel your pain, designing books, like most crafts, can't be learned in a few months or even a few years. Adobe, in their defense, does their best to help users of InDesign find help putting all these disparate pieces together. But, let's not forget, they're a software company. Their job is build the tools, but ultimately it's your job to figure out how best to use them. I wish it were easier. But it's not.

 

Scott

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 26, 2021 Mar 26, 2021

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In additional to Scott words.

 

All your novel-post looks like: "Why don't we need to call a doctor for cut an appendicitis? I saw it about on youtube video and can do by myself!". No offence.
You don't want to pay man who's knows InDesign, you waste a time with a task that you do one time in your life. Are you angry about? (rhetorical question). 

 

 

Remember, never say you can't do something in InDesign, it's always just a question of finding the right workaround to get the job done. © David Blatner

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