Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Recipe Book & Deadlines

I'm the oldest grandchild on my mom's side. I have a cousin who's a couple months younger, and then a sister and cousin who are two years younger. When I was in university, my mom wrote down a bunch of family recipes and gave all of us a recipe book.

As time went on, the computer that had the original file crashed and the file was lost. As others grew up, the old recipe books were photocopied and shared.

Two or three years ago, I thought, "Hey, we should make this an ebook."

I started copying out the recipes one at a time. I was doing this at work on the days when I stayed late because it didn't make sense to come home after boxing.

After a few weeks, it occurred to me that scanners could easily scan the book, and I could use Acrobat (which was on my work computer) to translate the resulting PDF into text.

That was much, much faster.

There was still some proof-reading to do, but it was a good start.

I moved everything into InDesign (also on my work computer) and tried to figure out how to make each recipe its own link under a table of contents. (The answer, it turned out, was to make each one a separate file in the book.)

Then I discovered that I had too many recipes, because InDesign has a hard limit of 150 files. I'd have to make multiple books and then merge them in Calibre.

That was in December 2013. In January 2014, I changed to an earlier boxing class. I had no time after work to work on the book.

Last week I picked it up again. Now that I had a deadline - the work computer has to go back - it didn't take long to finish it. (Probably a couple of hours, and that was mostly because I found a formatting error that needed to be fixed in each of the 150+ files.) I made a title page on Wednesday and finalized the book.

It's finally done.

At least until someone finds a typo.