Number 7 in the series California Classical Studies has just been published. Olivier Dufault’s Early Greek Alchemy, Patronage and Innovation in Late Antiquity is described on the catalog page, where links are provided for open-access page view and for purchase of print copy or PDF version (the PDF version will be available for free download in April 2021). This is the first book in our series for which the author has opted for a Creative Commons License.
A few months ago California Classical Studies (CCS) submitted to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation the final report on the startup grant for the project. This post conveys some of the information in that report, including sales, workflow options, costs, and lessons learned.
The grant was originally to run for about three years (October 2012 to December 2015), but was extended for two years to December 2017. The main reason for the extension was the slow pace of submissions, and this dearth prevented the project from gaining as much information and publishing experience as had been hoped.
During the year 2017 the fifth and sixth volumes in the series were published. February saw the appearance of the the revised dissertation of Joey Williams, The Archaeology of Roman Surveillance in the Central Alentejo, Portugal (see the review by H. Friedman, in American Journal of Archaeology122.1 (2018) (online). This was the first on an archaeological topic, and also the first to be accompanied by visual material not printed in the book but available for immediate download or online viewing in a Supplement, which included photographs, maps, and viewshed analysis maps based on calculations using digital mapping data. It was one of the goals of the series to promote this kind of hybrid publication. November brought my own Preliminary Studies on the Scholia to Euripides, the first produced without using Adobe InDesign. The series had one other work under contract as of the end of the grant period, but the final revision from the author has been repeatedly delayed.
The grant was intended in part to gain information about the financial model, particularly about what amount of revenue an open-access series could bring in.
The sales and revenue results per title are given here, updated through July 20, 2018 (these are for revenue sales and exclude the at-cost copies ordered by the project for copyright registration, review journals, authors, and CCS itself).
|Kurke, Traffic in Praise, published Aug, 2013, PDF never embargoed||71 paperback, 2 ePub, $426|
|Courtney, Juvenal, published Oct. 2013, PDF embargo removed Oct. 2015||117 paperback, 6 ePub, $1078|
|Griffith, Greek Satyr Play, published Sept. 2015, PDF embargo removed Nov. 2017||98 paperback, 9 ePub, $825|
|Kotwick, Alexander of Aphodisias, published March 2016, PDF embargoed removed March 2018||66 paperback, 3 ePub, $684|
|Williams, Archaeology of Surveillance, published Feb. 2017, PDF embargoed until Feb. 2019||16 paperback, 2 ePub, $145|
|Mastronarde, Preliminary Studies, published Nov. 2017, PDF embargoed until Nov. 2019||35 paperback, 0 ePub, $382|
|Total for all titles||403 paperback, 22 ePub, $3540|
Only 23 of the paperbacks and 5 of the ePubs sold through the Print-On-Demand vendor Lulu.com through which CCS has so far published it books. Upon publication, Lulu makes the books available to other distributors. Amazon sold 203 paperbacks and 7 ePubs, Ingram sold 177 paperbacks, and the remaining 10 ePubs were sold through Google, iBookstore, and Kobo. One misstep in our planning for revenue was that the initial calculation had available only the estimate of what could be earned through Lulu sales, where a high percentage of the sales price comes back to CCS. The percentage is far less (indeed, half or less) when the other vendors are involved, but it seems prudent not to restrict the sales to Lulu, although that is possible. Although the average revenue per copy sold would increase, the book would not have enough exposure on the market. In particular, university libraries seem to be used to ordering through Ingram, and individual purchasers expect to find virtually every in-print book available on Amazon.
What is to be noted is that books continue to sell even after the PDF download is no longer embargoed. In the case of Courtney’s massive commentary (a reprint, but long out of print before that), a printed copy is clearly easier to use than a PDF, since one frequently wants to follow up cross-references and clarify abbreviations and bibliographic references. The book of Leslie Kurke was never embargoed and, being a reprint, received no reviews, but still has achieved sales. Griffith’s book reprints (somewhat revised) articles and chapters already available elsewhere, but still has sold close to 100 copies, with some of those after the download embargo ended.
The open-access site for viewing the books (and download when available) is eScholarship.org, sponsored by the California Digital Library (CDL). Over the course of the project its manner of reporting traffic changed, and reports warn that “the data … should be considered approximate and subject to revision.” For some reason, the reports compile total requests per item, but not downloads per item, which can be figured out only in one remembers to download every single monthly report and then compiles the downloads per item oneself. A certain number of the page requests and a few of the downloads should ideally be eliminated because they represent my own checks of the CCS pages on the eScholarship site and testing of downloads. The following numbers count activity through the end of June 2018.
|Kurke, Traffic in Praise, published Aug, 2013, PDF never embargoed||Requests: 2763|
|Courtney, Juvenal, published Oct. 2013, PDF embargo removed Oct. 2015||Requests: 11797|
|Griffith, Greek Satyr Play, published Sept. 2015, PDF embargo removed Nov. 2017||Requests: 1825|
|Kotwick, Alexander of Aphodisias, published March 2016, PDF embargoed removed March 2018||Requests: 2111|
|Williams, Archaeology of Surveillance, published Feb. 2017, PDF embargoed until Feb. 2019||Requests: 611|
|Mastronarde, Preliminary Studies, published Nov. 2017, PDF embargoed until Nov. 2019||Requests: 359|
|Total for all titles||Requests: 19466 (= 3683 downloads + 15783 view-only)|
Among the challenges faced by the project were changes made by the partners. The CDL had made the arrangement for series like ours to publish POD through Lulu.com. This came about after the University fo California Press had withdrawn from the partnership that had been in effect when the initial planning for CCS began. But the CDL agreement with Lulu ended a few years ago, and series like CCS had to decide whether to continue with Lulu on their own or use a different vendor (like Ingram). It seemed too inconvenient, and risky in terms of possible reduplication of effort, to make a switch in the middle of the grant period, so CCS remained with Lulu. But the Lulu page that was supposed to include all our titles no longer accepted new items, so this site itself had to have a catalogue page added to fulfill this function. The infrastructure of the eScholarship repository underwent a major revision and upgrade in the fall of 2017. As a result of the redesign we have temporarily lost the display of our own logo (as opposed to the UC Berkeley Department of Classics banner) on that site, although we are told it will someday again become possible to customize the banner. When the new system went live, there were a few bugs in connection with the PDF downloads and the embargo function, but these were resolved after a few weeks. Because of the timing of the transition, the embargo on download for Griffith’s book, which should have ended on September 15, 2017, had to be extended, and this title actually became downloadable in November. In addition, because of a restriction placed on two chapters of Griffith by Oxford University Press, the PDF of this book had to be a partial one; and, since it would have been technically too complicated and time-consuming for eScholarship to adapt the system so that the usual download button would lead to this partial PDF (rather than the full one that underlies the page display on their platform), the partial PDF was made downloadable as Supplementary Material in this case.Finally, this WordPress-based site suffered three attacks during late 2016 and during 2017: these seem to have been the result of exploitations of weaknesses in the WordPress platform and not to lack of prudent settings for passwords and access.
- We overestimated the difficulty of acquiring works to publish during the grant period. Some works that we had hoped to publish ended up taking different directions. The technical and data-oriented works we aimed to feature often take a very long time to mature, especially in archaeology but also in papyrology, so some titles we had hoped for may yet come in. The number of other submissions was disappointingly small. Most of those occurred through connections made by one or another of the editor board members. It may also be the case that in the United States itself there is not a sufficient volume of this type of individual publication in Classics (as opposed to ongoing series of excavation results for a particular site or of papyrus texts in a given collection). There is much more of this nature being produced in Europe (a good deal if it appearing in English translation), but European classicists seem content with their current systems and less concerned about open access for vital basic research.
- Two main consequences of the shortage of submissions hampered the goals of the project. Book production was not frequent enough to allow full experimentation with different possible workflows and to allow handing over style templates and standard steps either to authors themselves or to hired help (graduate students or a freelance copy editor). Nor was it frequent enough to offer enough hours of work on a regular basis for the freelance copy editor we did train in compositing with InDesign to stick with our project. She did do some preliminary setup in InDesign for some chapters, but then landed a full-time job and had to withdraw her participation. So almost all the compositing was done by me. The initial plan of trying to produce 15 books in three years would have been difficult to realize even if sufficient acceptable submissions had arrived . Two or three publications per year would be doable, if there were enough accepted submissions.
- We learned the ins and outs of a number of systems that make an independent project like this possible, and made lists of steps and reminders about stumbling-blocks and solutions to problems. This included managing ISBN assignment through Bowker (myIdentifiers.com), getting a Library of Congress Control Number through the Preassigned Control Number Program, registering copyright through the Electronic Copyright Office site, using the Lulu system for publishing the print books and ePubs and seeking wider distribution, mailing required copies to two different departments of the Library of Congress, and mailing copies to a list of appropriate review journals, adjusted according to the subject matter of the work. We also have a template publishing agreement and have used our experiences to refine our submission questionnaire and the exact supplementary information (including blurbs of various lengths) required of a an author when the final files are submitted for compositing.
- We now have numerous styles for CCS books defined in both InDesign and MS Word. These will thus be available for future volumes that maintain this style. The books we aim to produce contain many variations of format for different purposes, but the styles already defined should serve the majority of the content in most books, although any given future book might require some adaptations or a few additional styles. If MS Word is used for a future book, it may be possible to ask some authors to apply most of the standard styles themselves before they turn the files over to us for professional copy editing and final production.Our experiences with creating the print-quality PDFs and the ePubs has been described in early posts.
- It is certainly clearer to us now than when the project was conceived how difficult it is keep intact all the precise typographical features that scholars use in specialized works, like intermingling in one paragraph words in different languages and different scripts (namely, Roman and Greek), or frequently using italics, superscripts, and subscripts, or having many block quotes of an ancient passage followed by iits equivalent in English and sometimes by a few lines of apparatus criticus. In processing an author’s file into the defined styles of the series, whether in Adobe InDesign or MS Word, there is a constant danger of losing the change of font (if a different font is used for Greek), losing the change from or to italics, or losing the superscript or subscript position of particular characters. To deal with this, one must choose between applying a style all at once to a large sequence of paragraphs and then carefully repairing any losses of format of specific words or characters, or applying the style to paragraphs one by one (thus, more slowly) in the manner that causes the fewest losses. It turned out usually to be best not to select a whole paragraph, but to place the insertion point at a single place within the paragraph, inside or next to a word that is in the default form—not italic, not superscript, not subscript, not in a font or script different from the one named in the style. Specialized works do indeed require more manual intervention and more vigilant proofreading, no matter how much may be automated. This explains why in some cases certain presses will declare that there will be no Greek font used in a book (imagine being asked to write a basic introduction to the textual tradition and editing of Euripides and then told there cannot be any Greek in it at all), or that notes will not be placed at the bottom of each page, or that notes are to be kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, there are books that require these features, and the continued viability of publishing them is important to the discipline.
- We learned something about the costs of production. Setting aside the first two books (Kurke and Courtney), which involved OCR and correction of the result (and for Courtney’s book greater length than most of our titles are expected to be), we may review the costs for the other four books to estimate per-title expenses. (This also ignores the initial setup costs for a designer, a consultant to help especially with the author agreement, and the bulk purchase of ISBNs, as well as such overheads as the honoraria paid for submissions that are not accepted.) We expect to use two referees at a honorarium of $150 each, although it would probably be better to raise this to at least $200: so we should plan $300-$400 for the future. Copy-editing ran at about $1000 for Numbers 4 through 6, while Number 3 (Griffith) was higher because it involved bringing stylistic uniformity to five chapters originally prepared in different styles for different publications, as well as consolidating five bibliographies into one with uniform styel. From the experience of setup in InDesign and Word, it appears that the initial set up and application of styles (leading to page proofs) can be done in about 20 hours per 250-300 page book, and if this work were done in future by a graduate student or freelancer at $25-$30 per hour, this would cost about $500-$600 dollars. The initial 20 POD copies cost about $175, copyright costs eirther $35 (if the whole book consists of new copyrightable text) or $55 (if there are images as well as text, or if parts of the book are not copyrightable or were previously copyrighted). Shipping 15 copies for review and for Library Congress deposit comes to around $300 (more or less depending on how many review copies are sent out of the US). Proofreading is done by the author and the editor. Hiring an additional proofreader (approx. $500) will be required only in unusual cases. The total estimated cost for an average-sized monograph is $2085 with the lower figures above and $2305 with the higher figures, plus in a few cases $500 more for an extra proofreader.Of course, each book involves the unpaid time of the editor for arranging peer-review, entering any needed refinements of style after initial composition, fixing the errors revealed by the reading of page proofs, and miscellaneous tasks.
- It seems realistic to think of sales in the range of 75-100 within the two years of embargo and limited sales thereafter when the author is well-known or the topic not too narrow. But it may be that the work of a junior scholar on a topic with very limited readership will sell only about 50 within two years. As noted previously, for the widest availability of the titles, they need to be sold not just on the Lulu platform (or some successor) but also through other major book vendors, and those vendors provide about half as much revenue per copy as Lulu. Without changing the pricing structure radically, we should expect only about $8 revenue on average per sale, so $600-$800 for 75-100 sales. This means that subventions are indeed necessary, but if that subvention is $3000 from those authors with sufficient research funds or whose campuses support open access with a subvention (as some now do), the accumulation of the excess of such a subvention over the average cost of a book, plus the modest sales revenue, would provide a fund to cover some books for which the author is in no position to obtain an institutional subvention.
- The pace of change of scholars’ attitudes toward open-access and online publishing has been disappointingly slow. One still hears dismissive references to “vanity publishing” when the economic model of prepayment for open access is mentioned. Fortunately, there has been some progress here and there at the institutional level to recognize the benefit of institutional rather than authorial subvention for open access. At UC Berkeley, for instance, there is now the possibility for faculty in humanities and social sciences to apply for up to $7500 from the Library to support an open-access publication. That is far more than the production expenses we have experienced per book, but in line with what it needed for academic presses, with their larger operations and substantial overheads for personnel and space.
- We underestimated the difficulty of getting noticed and spreading awareness. With a budget modification we were able to do some advertising in the last years of the grant. (But it is not likely that there will be sufficient funds in the future to do advertising.) It is clear that a small-scale publishing effort of this kind would have more visibility if it were affiliated with a university press or with a national organization with a built-in membership base and regular opportunities for wide communication. In addition, the series would have attracted more notice if we had produced at least 2 books per year.
The series will continue for at least a while. There are works in the pipeline, but at this date it seems likely that the next title will not appear until 2019. We have some funds on hand from sales revenues and a subvention received, and we will need to attract at least some authors who have access to modest institutional support if the project is to continue in the longer term.
An open-source publishing platform is now open and being further developed at Editoria.org and we will explore testing that platform with a future title.
The ePub format will not be used in the future. There is not enough demand, and the flowing-text format is inferior for scholarly reference and for some of the more complex aspects of our intended works. Consideration will be given instead to selling the PDF as an eBook during the embargo period, but that would have to be done through Lulu or a similar vendor as PDFs are not eligible for distribution by iBookstore or Amazon.
For the previous books, the ePub had been generated from InDesign. A separate InDesign book had to be prepared from the same InDesign files used in the book for print format, with certain modifications to prepare for the conversion. Would it be possible to do an effective conversion from Word that would pass all the tests needed for distribution?
I started with a copy of the final Word .docx used to generate the print-ready PDF. I removed manual line breaks and manual page breaks by global replacement. I should not have done this globally, since this caused more work later when I found places in the ePub where a few of these should have been retained. Only the breaks inserted for better final layout should have been removed. I tried to substitute Times New Roman for Minion Pro by simply redefining the default font and the Normal style of this document, but this did not work. I converted a few styles manually for the change of font, but there were too many styles to deal with, and changes did not seem to have the cascading effect I expected. So I just did a global search and replace. It took more than one try to actually eliminate all the Minion Pro, or apparently do so.
I had learned that the free program calibre could convert a Word file to ePub, and one source said this did not work with .docx, but did work with .rtf. Therefore, after the adjustments just mentioned, I resaved the .docx as .rtf, added the latter file to calibre, and used the conversion command. The conversion failed with the error message that calibre had encountered unexpected features in the RTF. I noted that the latest version of calibre I had downloaded had a setting for converting from .docx. When I added the .docx to calibre and converted, the process completed. If the .rtf version has worked, it probably would have had much cleaner html than what resulted from .docx.
It was possible to make some edits of the result right in calibre: I restored some line breaks and I edited the css file to remove references to various fonts that were not supposed to be in my document at all (Calibri, Tahoma, Arial, Palatino Linotype). I believe they must have been concealed in a few paragraph symbols in Word, since I had searched previously in Word to find and replace fonts like Calibri. This appears to be another indication that global searching in Word 2016 is not fully reliable, or perhaps it has something to do with the extraordinary messiness (and overkill of tagging) of the XML used by Microsoft for .docx. But I prefer to work on an ePub archive in Oxygen XML Editor or BBEdit. In order to get an ePub archive outside of calibre to work on (and eventually upload), the proper command to use in calibre is Save to disk “as EPUB only in single directory.”
Here were some of the actions needed to get the ePub to look right (I checked with iBooks and Adobe Digital Editions) and to pass epubcheck validation and validation on the Lulu site.
1. The file toc.ncx created by calibre had only one navpoint, for Notes. As with previous books, this file needed to be edited to have the proper chapter titles and, in this case, the proper navpoints. It may be noted that the footnotes are all at the end of the book with calibre’s conversion, whereas the previous ePubs created in InDesign had notes for each chapter at the end of each chapter.
2. In various places I saw unwanted changes in the size of the font. When I explored the html for those locations, I found an enormous amount of unnecessary coding in the file: spans were applied to stretches of text with no rationale, including a number of the type <span id=”id_OLE_LINK21″> … </span>. I guess that this is something caused by Word rather than calibre. Eliminating all spans containing OLE did no harm and removed many, but not all of the font size anomalies. Others were removed when I changed the class of a span to the same as that of a nearby portion of text that was in the correct size. I could detect no reason why a different style had been applied to the two stretches of text, nor why the css settings for these two styles differed from each other. Eventually, I turned to the css file and removed all the font-size statements that indicated an enlarged font (1.2em or 2.223em). I have no idea what was the origin of these, but eventually the fonts in the book as displayed in iBooks or Adobe Digital Editions were of uniform size.
3. The Appendix to chapter 1 contained some very extensive two column tables. Somehow, in one of the tables “colspan=”2″” had been added as an attribute to a number of cells, producing an XML error that caused the rest of the chapter not to be displayed at all. Removing all the colspan=”2″ attributes in the file solved this problem.
4. In the printed book the logo on the title page is in .eps format, and calibre converted this to .emf. But that would not display in the reading applications. A jpeg version had to be used instead, with changes to the manifest in content.opf and the html of the page itself. The plates had been in .tiff format in the book, and those displayed in iBooks but not in Adobe Digital Editions. I replaced them with jpeg versions. Since I use the .jpg suffix when I save a jpeg file, I initially mistyped the media-type in the manifest as image/jpg rather than the required image/jpeg. epubcheck caught that, as well as my failure to remove the manifest entry for the .emf version of the logo.
5. I deleted the ugly cover image that calibre had created, waiting for the simple cover that is created when processing the ePub at Lulu.com.
6. Because of my overenthusiastic removal of page breaks in the Word version before conversion, the seven plates with their captions were not appearing on separate pages and were all in one html file. Adding a horizontal rule and a little more space between them was a slight improvement, but not good enough. So I divided the one html file into seven, one for each plate, and adjusted the manifest and spine in content.opf so that they appeared in the right place. Where there had been one file named by calibre’s converter as “index_split_019.html”, the file of that name now contained only Plate 1 and the remaining plates were in files named with the ending “_019a” though “_019e”. In the manifest element the original file had the attribute “id=”id2456″”, and six new files likewise had a through e added to the filename. In the spine element, six lines of the type “<itemref idref=”id2456[a-e]”/>” had to be added to follow the original <itemref idref=”id2456″/>.
7. Although epubcheck once again completed without errors, the validation that takes place when uploading to Lulu revealed that there was still an extraneous calibre file that needed to be deleted (META-INF/calibre_bookmarks.txt), since it was not in the manifest and certainly not needed. Also it was necessary to add to the dc:date element the attribute opf:event=”publication”. After these changes Lulu validation worked and the ePub version was published.
The process probably took about the same amount of time as producing an ePub using InDesign, or perhaps a little longer because this was the first time using calibre and the first time investigating what had gone wrong in the css file and in some of the tagging assigned to spans of text.
Addendum January 19, 2018
The ePub was not accepted for wider distribution until certain fixes were made at the request of Lulu’s system for internal validation.
1. The message from Lulu said that the author’s middle initial was missing from metadata but present on the title page and marketing image. When I checked the metadata in the file I had uploaded, the middle initial was already in the metadata. I did not realize until a second warning that in processing my uploaded file, the system used by Lulu had changed the metadata file (reordered items and also changed content). It had created a different dc:creator element using the first name field on the first page of the setup sequence for a Lulu publication, where no middle initial was present. This is where the correction was needed, not in the ePub that I was uploading.
2. The ePub I uploaded did not have the title as the first line of the first content file, but some empty paragraphs, and the title was in a <p> element. It has to be an <h1> instead, with no other items before it.
3. The first file listed in toc.ncx had the <text> element set to Front Matter. This text needed to be changed to the title of the book.
The first five numbers in the California Classical Studies series were produced with Adobe InDesign. Previous postsdescribed some of the obscurities, limitations, and bugs that needed to be worked around to produce the print-ready PDF and the ePub file> for those books. Some of the problems are traceable to the ungainly complexity of Microsoft Word’s .docx format and what happens when files are (in the terminology of the program) “placed” in an InDesign chapter document or when stretches of text copied from Word are pasted into InDesign.
It was always the intention at some point to experiment with avoiding InDesign and producing the needed files directly from Word. I was reluctant to try this at first because of my experience of the longstanding Word bug regarding footnote placement in complex documents: notes may be placed on the wrong page, or a note may be cut off at the end of a page and not continued on the next, or a note may not be displayed at all. This intermittent and unpredictable fault has been around for many iterations of Word for Mac (and online reports suggest it occurs in the Windows version too). A second major concern was anomalous behavior I have experienced with headers and footers in Word when one has a long and complex document with many sections, with changing running heads in different sections, especially if one has passages of two-column text (as in an index), which may involve several section breaks on the same page. Occasionally I had found it impossible to edit the header in the way I desired. Finally, many changes in the user interface of Word in recent versions have been deleterious to efficient work: e.g., multiple steps are required for what used to take one step; the space-wasting icons in the toolbar crowd out other items; and the degree of customization possible in the toolbar and has been reduced.
It was therefore with some trepidation that I started to format my own volume in the series, Preliminary Studies on the Scholia to Euripides, directly from my Word files of the chapters. Would I spend some hours preparing the book only to reach an impasse and have to start over again in InDesign? Would the PDF produced at the end of the process pass the verification when uploaded to the Lulu publishing system? In the end, the process was successful (the print book was placed on the Lulu sales page on November 22, 2017), but there were certainly stressful moments when I feared my work had been wasted.
The Footnote Positioning Bug
There had not been any footnotes in the front matter, but when the font and line-spacing in the first chapter were adjusted for the series style, the footnote positioning bug appeared on the very first page of the first chapter when seen in Print Layout view. When you run into a problem with either Adobe or Microsoft software, the official help documents provided by the vendor is, in my experience, rarely useful, as they apparently don’t like to admit the bugginess of their products (or the fact that they have known about a fault for a long time and not fixed it). A Google search for the problem is usually more helpful, if you can find the right combination of terms to locate the precise issue. The hits for such a search often reveal mention of the issue on user forums or tech sites that encapsulate some helpful tips in a page of advertisements. It is sad to see how far back in time users have been stymied by some issues, and many posts on user forums seem never to have attracted a valid, generalizable solution. Fortunately, in this case I did find the advice that setting the text paragraph styles used in the main text to have exact line heights is now known to solve the problem. In Word, because many of my documents contain an admixture of a standard Roman font and a specialized Greek font in the same sentence, I am used to using line heights of “at least” 2 points or so more than the point-size of the fonts, since legible diacritics in polytonic Greek (like footnote reference numbers) may require extra height and one must avoid having them cut off. So the paragraph styles initially had “at least” settings, but these needed to be changed to “exactly” settings (the basic text style of our books is 10pt Minion Pro with 12.5pt line spacing).
I was working with Word 2011 because I prefer its interface to that of Word 2016 and because Word 2016 had been crashing too much for me (actually just freezing up, not responding, necessitating a force-quit). The “exactly” setting seemed to work at first with Word 2011, but the pagination was not stable and the problem came back after a short time. I then started to work on the files in Word 2016 instead, and in this version the placement of the footnotes was both correct and stable. I was also pleased to find that one of the more recent monthly updatings of Word 2016 had apparently fixed whatever had been causing my crashes. So the biggest worry about using Word was eased.
Header and Footer Problems
In theory, it is easier to edit changing running heads in Word than in InDesign. In our design, within the body of the book, left-hand running heads (even-page header) have the page number flush left followed by the title of the book, while right-hand running heads (odd-page header) have the chapter title followed by the page number, flush right. The first page of a chapter has no running head (different first page applied to the section), but a footer with centered page number. The footer on other pages is blank. In the front and back matter, the left and right headers are the same (e.g. Preface, Bibliography), again with first page treated differently.
In actuality, a number of anomalies and annoyances arose in editing headers and footers.
(1) Several times after I added the page number (using the page number button on the toolbar) to a first page footer, the number inexplicably disappeared as soon as I closed the footer view and returned to the full page view with focus in the body of the page. This turned out to be because the Different First Page setting, previously checked by me, had become unchecked all by itself. The workaround is immediately to reopen the footer and once again check Different First Page.
(2) As the document grew larger as further chapters were added, there was an annoying behavior by which the focus jumped. That is, after double-clicking in the header on a particular page to open it and edit (or sometimes by using the menu command View Header and Footer, since double-clicking in a header seemed to work only intermittently), the header that was opened and in focus was often the header in an earlier section of the document and not the one you were trying to edit. It was of course possible, but unnecessarily time-wasting, to use the Next Header button several times until one was in the right section. Similarly, when closing a header to return to Print Layout view, the focus usually jumped several pages away from the place where I had been editing the header.
(3) More alarming still, the page numbers displayed when viewing Header and Footer and moving from one header to the next with the button in the toolbar were not the actual page numbers. At first I feared that the pagination of the document had somehow shifted radically, but this was not the case. Closing the Header and Footer view showed that the document pagination was unchanged, with the correct page numbers showing on each page. I have never seen an anomaly of this nature in any previous version of Word. Perhaps it results from the fact that there were 29 pages of front matter, numbered i-xxix, in the first sections of the document, before the Arabic number sequence started with 1 at the opening of Chapter 1. But because of all the jumping of focus just mentioned, I did not take the time to verify whether this was the cause.
(4) A few times the headers proved to be unstable or not really saved in their edited form. That is, when the document had been closed and then later reopened, some edits had been lost, or format changed. Once all the page numbers had become bold. Another time a spacing paragraph had been lost from even-page headers.
(5) At one one point, after copying the text from the next chapter file into the book document, I ended up with a section break that was not of the right type. I wanted Secton Break (new page) but it was Section Break (new right page). In older versions of Word, if my memory is correct, it was easy to change the kind of section break by clicking on the marking in Draft view. Now one needs to open a dialog to do so. My book document started from a Lulu template, and that contained some sections I did not need. I found that deleting an unwanted Section Break often had the unwanted consequence of changing the type of the previous section.
(6) In the last sections of the book, comprising the indexes added at the very last stage of work in Word, a serious problem arose. An index might need two pages, the first being treated as a different first page, and the other as an even or odd page depending on where the first page fell. When shifting to the Header and Footer view, the page numbers changed, as indicated above, and in one case what had been the odd second page of the section was displayed as if it were an even second page with an even-page header. It seemed to be impossible to edit the odd-page header for this section, which was the one that actually displayed (with correct page number) when one returned to Print Layout view. The workaround was to add a blank page at the end of this index by entering a lot of returns or a page break, shift to Header and Footer view, edit the desired header (since there was now an additional page when the page display was incorrect, so one could see both odd and even pages of the section as well as the first page), return to Print Layout view, and finally delete all those extra returns or page break to eliminate the blank page.
Producing the PDF
The design of our series is for a standard 6×9 (inches) print book. Producing a print-ready PDF from InDesign was very simple: use the Export command and apply the Lulu.joboptions. The only issue was that I never found a way to prevent the printing of trimlines all around the 6×9 rectangle, which sometimes showed up in printing because of imprecise trimming. I assumed the trimlines were defined in the Lulu.joboptions settings supplie for InDesign (I now think I could perhaps I have found the setting by using Adobe Distiller).
To produce a comparable print-ready PDF from Word, one uses the settings in a document called Lulu.joboptions, downloaded from the Lulu help page about creating the PDF from Word. After one double-clicks on this file to install, the Adobe Distiller window will open up. If you do no more than this, the PDF produced with these settings will be rejected, because it will have the dimensions of US letter paper (8.5×11 inches). The Lulu help document doesn’t mention this issue, but there are posts on the user forum that indicate what step is the missing if you are doing a 6×9 book. You must revise the joboptions document by double-clicking to open in Adobe Distiller. If you select the Lulu settings at the top of the window in the dropdown menu for Default settings, you will find at the bottom of the screen width and height dimensions. For me, these initially came up in points, but you can change the units to inches. In inches, the dimensions showed 8.5000 by 11.0000 in the downloaded version. You can change these numbers and save, but I found it more helpful instead to use Save as… and rename the file as Lulu6x9.joboptions and then change the dimensions to 6.0000 by 9.0000 and save. In this way it is really clear what options you are selecting.
Back in Word, in the Mac Print dialog, use the PDF dropdown in the lower left to select Save as Adobe PDF. After some processing, a small dialog will open, and this is where you select the Lulu6x9 settings in the dropdown for Adobe PDF Settings. You might think that since your Word document format is for a 6×9 page and the print settings are for a 6×9 page, you would get a 6×9 PDF, and if you printed out the PDF, say with Preview, you could print at actual size centered on 8.5×11 paper or choose to scale it to fit (which is extremely helpful for proofreading; I always did that with the PDFs produced from InDesign, which always came out as 6×9 without any fiddling). But no, by default Word still uses your usual Page Setup for 8.5×11 paper, and the PDF will be 8.5×11 and thus will be rejected when uploaded to Lulu for production of a 6×9 book. I spent a couple of uncomfortable hours tinkering and getting into unintended difficulties before I realized the solution, starting to fear that all the time spent formatting the book in Word might be for naught. Eventually I did use Page Setup in Word to establish a custom size of 6×9. Unfortunately, Word makes the ridiculous choice in the Page Setup dialog of making Apply to this Section the default setting. The default should obviously be Apply to Whole Document, leaving it to a user in the rare situation of using different dimensions for different sections of the same document to change the setting to Apply to this Section. Since I had opened the document to the first page and set the custom size there, the 6×9 setting covered only the first page (the half-title) and all the rest of the book was still 8.5×11 in the PDF. Finally, I noticed the Apply to setting and made the custom size apply to the whole document. The PDF generated was now correctly sized and accepted by Lulu.
In our books the Table of Contents is done manually for reasons of style. At nearly the final stage of preparation, when the page numbers for the Bibliography and Indexes were known, I added these lines to the TOC. Under our style, these elements have their names in the TOC in italics, but the flush-right page number is not italic, so that is matches the others above it. When first entered, the pages numbers on those lines were in italics because of the paragraph style. A weird anomaly arose when I selected the page number and changed them from italics to regular style: the figures suddenly became smaller and raised and where changed (224 became 113!); restoring italics returned the figures to the correct ones. After a few other failed attempts to work around this issue, I succeeded by changing the font of the numbers to Cambria, changing from italics to regular, and then changing the font back to Minion Pro. With this sequence of actions each page number remained as intended and maintained the right size and position.
I append here some miscellaneous features of Word 2016 that I have found particularly weak or disappointing in the process of formatting a scholarly book.
(1) The treatment of styles in Word 2016 is far from optimal for the user. If you have a lot of styles in use, as in this book, the large icons of the Quick Styles view are an obstacle to efficiency, and even the layout of the Styles Pane is inconvenient because of the size of each item. When you first open the Styles Pane or when you modify a style to create a new one tailored to your own project, the program is incredibly sluggish in updating the list in the Styles Pane, and the order in which the items are listed is not alphabetic. Far more efficient was the interface found in Word 5, Word 6, and some other versions from earlier in this millennium: with the customizable toolbar, one could have the font field, the font-size field, and the styles field all conveniently present in one place, taking up minimal room, and all the styles were easily accessible for a dropdown menu (in which the font was small enough to make the list easy to scan or scroll. As I recall, it was also easy to reapply a style to paragraph (that is, remove overrides) because choosing that style on a paragraph already associated with it brought as the default choice Reapply Style. The similar function now in Word 2016 has the default as Redefine Style based on current selection, which can be a very radical action and ought to be deliberately chosen, not presented as a default.
(2) I regularly use the Advanced Find and Replace dialog. This used to have a checkbox to indicate that you wanted the search to include footnotes (or exclude them). Now it has no such box, and using Search Whole Document does not in fact in every case search everything. I never could figure out why some searches proceeded to the footnotes and others did not, and eventually I just got used to separately clicking in a footnote and repeating the search to make sure I did not miss anything. Searching for a specific font also behaved imperfectly, and searching for Greek characters to ensure that the Greek was all in the chosen font similarly failed to locate all instances. And the lack of searching by general expressions (grep) is a major handicap in comparison to working with InDesign.
(3) It ought to be easier to get to the formatting of footnotes and the footnote separators. Simply choosing View Footnotes is not sufficient. You have to be in Draft view for the Footnotes to appear in a window that has the dropdown menu giving access to the separators. Again, I believe this was handled better in Word 5 and 6 and maybe some other versions.
(4) It seemed somewhat unpredictable when the application of a book-tailored style to imported paragraphs would cause the loss of italics and/or the loss of the difference of font for the Greek. The most successful way I found to avoid unwanted losses like these was to click to place the insertion point within an English word in regular style font and then apply the new paragraph style. This means one needs to do this separately for each paragraph and not simply select a range of many paragraphs and apply the style once to all. Though inconvenient, this process is not much different from trying to avoid or undo such losses when applying styles in InDesign to paragraphs imported from Word.
(5) If you want to check the book by paging through with a view of a two-page spread, you can get a two-page spread by making the window large enough and adjusting the zoom percentage to fit two pages side by side. But Word doesn’t have a way to start with a single right-hand page so that the spreads show the facing even and odd pages as they would be in a printed and bound book.
The Upshot for Producing a Complex Scholarly Printed Book from Word 2016
It was indeed possible to work around all annoyances and obstacles and format the complex book, full of Greek passages and a large number of styles, in Word 2106. The process took about the same time as using InDesign. It was stretched out this time by the process of creating the needed styles in Word (as it had been stretched out the first time I worked in InDesign and created the needed styles there), but now those styles can be used for future books, if they are given final formatting in Word. At least some of the process could be turned over to an assistant with less experience, and that assistant would not need to learn InDesign (or to get access to that expensive software).
In late October, eScholarship went live with a revised platform infrastructure. Initially there were some problems with all downloading of California Classical Studies titles, but within a few days the only problem remaining was the downloading of Supplemental Material. Thus the open-access supplemental PDF of images and maps for Joey Williams’ book was temporarily blocked from downloading. The correct functionality was restored on December 6.
This problem also affected the book of Mark Griffith, for which a special reduced PDF download had to be arranged at the end of the normal embargo period because of problems with permission for reprinting content that had appeared elsewhere (see previous post). The allowable download is now available, but under the Supplemental Material tab rather than through the usual Download PDF button.
The sixth volume of the series has been published. It is Donald J. Mastronarde, Preliminary Studies on the Scholia to Euripides.
As usual the print-on-demand paperback is available at our own sales page and will be available in a few weeks from various online retailers. A version in ePub format will probably be available in the near future. The entire book can be read in open-access page view now, while the book itself (as PDF) will be downloadable after 24 months.
For more about the book and for links to read it or buy it, see our Catalog page.
Update December 19, 2017: the ePub format is now available.
The book Greek Satyr Plays: Five Studies, by Mark Griffith, contains some material for which the original publisher granted permission for open-access page view but not for inclusion in the free PDF download. This restriction necessitates special handling of the download, which was originally set to be removed from embargo on September 2, 2017.
The eScholarship site is currently in the process of a major upgrade of its software infrastructure. Therefore, it is unfortunately necessary to postpone the removal of the embargo for about two months, to November 2017, in order to develop the special handling mechanism just once, for the new system.
CCS regrets the inconvenience to users and the author, as well as the fact that the original publisher of these items did not accommodate the author’s request in the same way the the other publishers of his work did.
[This problem was fixed on December 6, 2017. But the allowable download must be accessed through the Supplemental Material tab rather than the usual Download button, which will still indicate an embargo.]
The fifth work in the series California Classical Studies has been published. It is Joey Williams, The Archaeology of Roman Surveillance in the Central Alentejo, Portugal.
Williams’ book is both the first on an archaeological topic and the first to make use of supplementary material available only on the web, in this case the Supplement of Figures, including maps, plans, photographs, drawings, and viewshed-analysis images from excavations of the watchtower at Caladinho, Portugal, as well as from survey of similar structures in the same region of central Portugal.
As usual the print-on-demand paperback is available at our own sales page and will be available in a few weeks from various online retailers. A version in ePub format will also be available almost immediately at our site and from others within two months. The entire text can be read in open-access page view now, and the Supplement PDF is freely downloadable, while the book itself will be downloadable after 24 months.
For more about the book and for links to read it or buy it, see our Catalog page.
We are pleased to announce the availability of Number 4 in the series California Classical Studies: Mirjam E. Kotwick, Alexander of Aphrodisias and the Text of Aristotle’s Metaphysics.
Alexander of Aphrodisias’s commentary (about AD 200) is the earliest extant commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, and it is the most valuable indirect witness to the Metaphysics text and its transmission. Mirjam Kotwick’s study is a systematic investigation into the version of the Metaphysics that Alexander used when writing his commentary, and into the various ways his text, his commentary, and the texts transmitted through our manuscripts relate to one another. Through a careful analysis of lemmata, quotations, and Alexander’s discussion of Aristotle’s argument Kotwick shows how to uncover and partly reconstruct a Metaphysics version from the second century AD. Kotwick then uses this version for improving the text that came down to us by the direct manuscript tradition and for finding solutions to some of the puzzles in this tradition. Through a side-by-side examination of Alexander’s text, his interpretation of Aristotle’s thought, and the directly transmitted versions of the Metaphysics, Kotwick reveals how Alexander’s commentary may have influenced the text of our manuscripts at different stages of the transmission process. This study is the first book-length examination of a commentary as a witness to an ancient philosophical text. This blend of textual criticism and philosophical analysis both expands on existing methodologies in classical scholarship and develops new ones.
Mirjam E. Kotwick recently received her PhD in Greek Philology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. After being a DAAD Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, she is currently the Onassis Lecturer in Ancient Greek Thought and Language at the New School for Social Research in New York.
Kotwick’s monograph was selected by the Editorial Board as the winner of the 2014 CCS competition to identify distinguished work by junior scholars.
Open-access page view of her book is now available at this link.
The Print On Demand paperback is for sale now at this link. It will soon be available through other major bookselling channels.
Addendum March 20: an epub version has been completed and it for sale at Lulu.com at this link and will be available through other eBook channels after some weeks.
The first books in the California Classical Studies series have been composed with Adobe InDesign (initially the CS6 version, and subsequently with the Creative Cloud 2014 and 2015 versions). The work has been carried out by me and by the editorial assistant Anna Pisarello. Neither of us had previous experience. We used a tutorial book to learn the basics and later solved particular problems by using online help or online searches, with some of the answers being found on Adobe’s own site and others elsewhere. We also began with some templates provided to us by Eric Schmidt of the University of California Press.
For the first two books we did not have computer files but had to begin with scanning of the printed books from 1991 (Kurke) and 1980 (Courtney). In lieu of copy editing, these works required very careful proofreading and manipulation of the files to compensate for the errors of the OCR. OCR of course does not work at all reliably for Greek, and the most efficient course was to hire a graduate student to reenter the Greek in Kurke as Unicode. OCR errors were a particularly acute problem with Courtney because of the number of abbreviations used, the frequent use of italics, and the presence of various foreign languages in this type of commentary. Scanned files also have to be checked carefully to ensure that the font is uniform and that the fontsize is consistent and the character spacing normal, because any deviations will carry over when imported. Eventually we had Word files ready for import into InDesign. Fortunately, we do not foresee doing more reprints of this kind that depend on OCR.
Importing into InDesign was not always straightforward. Sometimes the command that was supposed to add sufficient extra pages for the overset text simply did not work. Sometimes when we tried to use an existing chapter as a template for the next one, the imported text was entirely in a superscript style. After import, when adjusting paragraph styles, it was also easy to end up losing all of the italics or all the non-footnote superscripts (Courtney’s book, in particular, contained many abbreviated bibliographic references with superscript number indicating which edition). With the third book, the footnote callouts also lost their superscript status and it turned out to be faster to fix them manually than to figure out a workaround. We’re still not sure how to prevent such losses of format. For one chapter, the imported text flowed onto the left page of each spread and skipped all the right pages, and repeated attempts to get around this failed (eventually this chapter was simply laid out as a continuation of the previous chapter’s file). For the next volume we now have a blank template document with the particular set of master pages and paragraph styles and character styles we actually use, and importing ought to be more reliable.
One cause for great relief was the successful importing of automatic footnotes from Word into InDesign, since scholarly books contain a lot of footnotes, and it is our mission not to be like the presses that are refusing to use footnotes, either insisting on endnotes only or even declaring there will be no footnotes at all. We did encounter a problem (inconsistently) with the footnotes not following the established style (which had a nested character style determining the size of the superscript footnote number and the small extra space between it and the first character of the footnote). And the setting for having no separator line for footnotes, but only a line of a set length and weight for continuation footnotes, did not seem to be working correctly in the Griffith files (InDesign CC 2014 and 2015). At the last minute before creating a final PDF, this problem went away when the setting for the separator was first turned on in all the chapter files and then turned off again.
We needed to have old style numbers in some places but lining numbers in others (such as footnote numbers), and it took some time to discover that the default figure style for numbers is not a general setting, but depends on the font itself. We are using Abobe Minion Pro, in which the old style form seems to be the default. The first three books have used Minion Pro for the Greek as well, since there has so far been little call for complex combinations that are not present in commercial fonts. But this font will not be adequate if dotted letters are needed or vowels with macron plus diacritic, or if metrical symbols are required. For the Greek itself, the designers of Minion Pro have not created a sufficient left side bearing for capital vowels with diacritics to the left of the capital, and one needs to provide some extra space manually before such a word. The middle dot (Greek colon) in Minion Pro seems to me unacceptably low, and we use a character style to raise it a few points so that it rises closer to the x-height of the lowercase characters.
InDesign has very powerful search and replace capabilities, and it is easy to get suggestions online for GREP expressions to do important tasks (like changing hyphens to endashes between page numbers in references). A couple of surprising weaknesses emerged, however. First, when searching by format, you cannot specify a font without also specifying a style (regular, bold, italic, etc.), but there are certainly purposes for which it would be more efficient to be able to find in a single search the font in any style. Second, when searching through “all documents” in a book, InDesign does not keep track very well of where you first began. That is, if you are doing a search in which for a certain number of the hits you will want to make a change, after you make a change and return to search further, InDesign treats that as a new beginning within that file, and to be sure to review all instances you will end up re-reviewing many you have already checked. Third, we discovered that the text entered on a path (there were some vertical captions in the Griffith volume) is ignored when you search (the text of horizontal captions is included in the search).
In producing the two-column indexes, it was very easy with the first two books to select the paragraphs involved and select the setting Split 2 in the toolbar. It was also then very easy when moving to the ePub version to select the same paragraphs and remove the Split 2 setting. Inexplicably, when trying to do the same in CC 2014 and 2015 versions for the Griffith book, the command had become buggy: the paragraphs were indeed separated into two columns, but the flow of the paragraphs was horizontal rather than vertical! To do a two-column layout one had to manually create separate text boxes on each new page and flow the overset text from one column to the next.
When multiple documents are combined into an InDesign book, the pagination works smoothly. If there is a single running head for a document (= one chapter), then entering this once on the chapter page master and applying designated paragraph styles for the left and right headers is simple. If you have a chapter or document with more than one section, however, and need to change, e.g., the righthand header, this is not always as easy as it should be. In MS Word one would use sections and change the header for the new section if necessary: that is a good method, although in reality if you use too many sections Word’s implementation becomes buggy. There is a way to mark new sections in InDesign, but so far doing this has not worked for us as a way to deal with changing running heads. In InDesign if you have consistent section titles that can serve as running heads, one can use a variable and paragraph styles to automate the change of running head, but one may not have titles that lend themselves to this use.
The cover design was produced by a professional, Nicole Hayward, who provided careful instructions on how to resize the width of the whole cover once the width of the spine of a book had been established. She had advised using the Document setup… command to enter the new dimension. This method always caused a crash. There is a workaround that does not crash: there is a Page tool in the tool strip at left (just below the two selection tools at top). After selecting that tool and after making sure the upper left corner is selected as reference point next to the dimensions fields, you can enter the appropriate width dimension there.
InDesign is very powerful, but also daunting in its complexity. It would certainly help to be using it continuously rather than at intervals, since it is easy to forget where the desired command is hidden among the plethora of toolbars, palettes, and menus. It is disappointing, however, to find that a program that has been under development for this many years (and that commands such a high price) contains serious bugs that confuse the user and slow down work. But it is an unfortunate fact of modern software that upgrades are rarely unmixed blessings, between the removal of familiar features, failure to fix all old bugs, and introduction of new features that are not quite polished or reliable.