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Does My Book Have Too Many Photos?
Old 01-25-2014, 12:23 PM   #1
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Does My Book Have Too Many Photos?

I'm working on a new book, based on my blog.

My problem is that with all the photos, the book is too large for the 50 Meg Kindle size limit. So I have three choices:

1. Reduce the number of photos
2. Reduce the size of the photos (they've been optimized to 800 pixel width, and 127K size)
3. Break the book into two books (part 1 and part 2).

So, the important question is whether I've got too many photos. Here are some shots of a chapter, let me know whether you think there are too many pictures, or whether the pictures are an important part of the story. Note that users can view full-screen versions of the photos.

[Please ignore the typos -- proofing to come later.]

What do you think -- Too many?







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Old 01-25-2014, 12:54 PM   #2
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If that's typical, I'd say too many pics. It's like captioned pictures rather than text with pictures to illustrate. You hardly get a thought before you are flipping a page (and I always find page-flipping to break my concentration a bit).

FYI, from what I understand (and tried a bit and agree), a picture can look far better with a higher pixel count and a higher level of jpeg compression, than it would with low pixel count and moderate compression. Makes sense, the compression algorithms have more to 'work with' - so better quality relative to final picture size.

-ERD50
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
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IMO there are too many pictures. For example, I don't think you need 2 pictures of the moon, or 2 pictures of the snowy mountains. Just keep the best picture for each. With the Madoff comparison, only the second picture is needed (did you get permission to use that Madoff picture?).
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Does My Book Have Too Many Photos?
Old 01-25-2014, 01:46 PM   #4
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Does My Book Have Too Many Photos?

Why are you turning the blog into a book? If it is just like the photo-dominant blog, people can just go there. No need for a book.

But I think you have a great writing style, so I think you should focus on words for the book to tell us about your adventures, why you chose those places, a few details dropped in about yourself and Lena here and there, and have no more than one or two photos every ten pages or so. Pretend you lost all your photos so you have tell us about everything in text. Use only the best photos. Then the book will be a different product and will appeal to more people. And then the book's readers will all go to the blog to see the photos that go with the adventures (you could put a link in each chapter for a specific blog entry).
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Why are you turning the blog into a book? If it is just like the photo-dominant blog, people can just go there. No need for a book.

But I think you have a great writing style, so I think you should focus on words for the book to tell us about your adventures, why you chose those places, a few details dropped in about yourself and Lena here and there, and have no more than one or two photos every ten pages or so. Pretend you lost all your photos so you have tell us about everything in text. Use only the best photos. Then the book will be a different product and will appeal to more people. And then the book's readers will all go to the blog to see the photos that go with the adventures (you could put a link in each chapter for a specific blog entry).
+1

Not to mention the above is a lot more work than what your were planning and will provide you with a great response to the old 'whattya do all day' question...
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:14 PM   #6
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OK, good, thanks. Comments here and elsewhere are running overwhelmingly towards "too many photos."

Good ideas, Wife.

I'm adding a lot of content for the book as compared with the blog.

I'll give it a few more days, then start axing.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Why are you turning the blog into a book? If it is just like the photo-dominant blog, people can just go there. No need for a book.

But I think you have a great writing style, so I think you should focus on words for the book to tell us about your adventures, why you chose those places, a few details dropped in about yourself and Lena here and there, and have no more than one or two photos every ten pages or so. Pretend you lost all your photos so you have tell us about everything in text. Use only the best photos. Then the book will be a different product and will appeal to more people. And then the book's readers will all go to the blog to see the photos that go with the adventures (you could put a link in each chapter for a specific blog entry).
+2

When it comes to photos in books, less is more. Every photo you include should be visually arresting. Your text should evoke images in the readers' mind and should allow them to imagine being there with you. Otherwise it's a photo essay, aka "we were here".
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #8
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Here's the current state. Any comments on style, content, etc. will be appreciated.





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Old 01-29-2014, 07:00 PM   #9
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Much better. Now the photos are supplementing the text, not the other way around.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:11 AM   #10
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Some of your photos might be cropped, especially if you can wrap the text. When I look at the photo of bike riding down a long road, I'd crop that to be taller vertically.

If you can't wrap text around that, though, it would leave too much white space.

Another idea would be to gather photos to a single page, in a collage. Then add captions.

For now I would add as many photos as you think of, and do the final layout after your content is complete. Getting the story right is job #1.

Is there an author help page from Kindle that explains the layout limitations of their software?
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:08 AM   #11
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I think photos should enhance the text, not just illustrate it. Include only the ones that tell you more than the text does, and very few of the ones that only picture it.

For example, in the bit you posted, the comment about the bird perches on the utility poles was interesting, and I would have liked to see what they looked like.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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I like it, Al, and would keep reading.

I would use captions for the photos and not refer to them in the running text, which gives you flexibility to add or delete or change them at any point (maybe you would want to use a different photo, and easy to do a new caption vs finding and editing an in-text reference to it).
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:07 AM   #13
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Can't you put some links/references in the book that point to additional pictures in your blog?
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Can't you put some links/references in the book that point to additional pictures in your blog?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm going to do. It's a little complicated, since if I want to use some of Amazon's promotions, then I can't have the blog up for the first 90 days, but I have some ideas for handling that.

Captions would be a good idea, but there's no way to insure that the caption won't get onto the next page unless I actually put it in the image.

I also don't have a lot of control over image size, but with most devices the user can tap or otherwise choose to see a full screen image.
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