Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quality is Hard Work!

Longtime fans and friends know that I have a tendency to churn out a lot of material on my own. I published 75 issues of "The Harveyville Fun Times!" in 20 years. In recent times, I have been trying to be more conscientious about quality vs. quantity. I am an impatient person at heart and like to get things completed. I hate doing things twice, but I've realized that sometimes the best projects need to be worked on more than once or more than a few times before completion.

Later issues of "The Harveyville Fun Times!" attest to this. The early issues were black and white, poorly laid out and had no explicit formatting other than cramming the width of the page with as much information as possible. The final issues were actually laid out properly by a trained graphic artist and were in color.

I've had the same struggles recently with my Beatles book. I printed up a sample copy with the intention that if everyone seemed to have liked it, it would be what I would issue. Comments were raised about the cover image and also the interior formatting. While I tend to get argumentative on the subject when criticized, I know deep down that many of these critics are right.

That's not saying I'm a pushover. There are some changes I won't do, such as on the revised cover, I put the title "Mark Arnold Picks on The Beatles" in the same font, look and style as The Beatles' "White Album". For some reason, some people don't like this. My argument is that I'm not a known enough quantity to put out a book yet without my name on the cover. In fact, this is the first time my name is in the title of the book!

I did with reluctancy redo the cover and recolored it with help and now it looks like this version. I must say that if you kick me in the pants, sometimes I do a much better job.

Now I'm working on the interiors. reformatting it into two columns. A lot of work, but it will pay off in the end. I'm so anxious to get things done, but now I am striving for quality, not quantity, and if it takes me longer to do to get it right, so be it...

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