Standout layouts. Only with InDesign. (From Adobe InDesign web page)
"Adobe InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software."
"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.
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:
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.
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.
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).