11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 13, 2011 11:08 AM by tm6550

    Need advice: v5 versus v5.5

    tm6550 Level 1

      Newbie with less than a month's experience using a free trial of v5.5 for the specific purpose of creating the interior layout and wraparound cover for a trade paperback needs advice on the following;

       

      It didn't take long to realize that my objectives barely scratch the surface of ID's capabilities. My guess is that everything I've done so far or will need to do in the future for other books, novels in black and white, simple chapter by chapter layouts with no images or columns, can be accomplished perfectly well with v5. To spend the extra money for features I'll never use seems unnecessary, and I'd appreciate feedback on whether I'm correct in my assumption.

       

      Thanks in advance for your advice.

        • 1. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

          What you describe could very well be done with CS (v3). And that's only because I don't have any experience with InDesign v1.

          • 2. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
            tm6550 Level 1

            That's kind of what I figured, thanks. None of this is to say that I won't want to do more in the future as I learn, but when I looked at the comparison Adobe provides advertising the improvements in v5.5, it occurred to me that even if I understood it all, I don't have enough time left on the planet to make use of it.

            • 3. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              I know there are legitimatecopies of CS5 availble, but they aren't that easy to find (Amazon is one source, though, I think), and they will get harder every day.

               

              For simple printed publications you are correct and the version doesn't matter much, but the world is heading more towards electronic distribution channels, and novels are ideal formats for e-book readers. CS5.5 is head and shoulders above CS5 in its capabilities for that market.

               

              Presumably CS6 and beyond will be even more user-friendly for electronic publication (nobody can tell you what will or will not be in future versions, but the handwriting is on the wall), so if you think you will have money for an upgrade in another year or so after the succesful print run of your book (and if the current trend on upgrade pricing is an indicator, it will be expensive), it might make sense to buy CS5 now, but my instinct is that you'd be better off with CS5.5 and the ability to get your book onto iPad or Kindle now (with some more study) without jumping through quite as many hoops.

               

              And just for reference, I only do print, myself, but I'm old.

              • 4. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                tm6550 Level 1

                I'm ancient, Peter, so that's common ground.

                 

                I have the novel formatted in epub and mobi and am planning to publish it with Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Smashwords (which distributes to the iBookstore, Sony, etc.) I accomplished the conversions with Calibre, and so far have been pleased with the results. Covers for the ebooks are obviously much simpler than for print, and I designed them in Photoshop Elements and saved them as jpeg for upload.

                 

                One of my current limitations is that once converted to ebook format, I don't have the capability to edit them because I'm html illiterate. If I find something I need to change, I make the edits in the source document and reconvert it. And although some ebookers maintain that if you're serious about it you should learn enough to use basic html, my bet is that most of them are about half my age. If v5.5 had the capability to edit ebook formats using "plain" language, however, that might make the additional cost more palatable..

                • 5. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  If you are indeed using Epub, then CS5.5 is worth every dime. The map styles to tags feature alone is worth the cost of the upgrade.

                   

                  However, this assumes you are not "HTML illiterate." Anyone trying to create Epubs without HTML/CSS knowledge is going to be in for a world of pain.

                   

                  Oh, I'm going to guess that I'm a great deal more than half your age and didn't dive into HTML and CSS until a few years ago. It's not nearly as hard as you may think but there is a learning curve.

                   

                  Bob

                  • 6. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Remember when you said you were using the trial for CS5.5? You wouldn't have had nearly the same pleasant experience in CS5.0

                    • 7. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                      tm6550 Level 1

                      Thanks, Bob, I really appreciate the perspective. It does, however, generate another question that relates to something I'm not seeing.

                       

                      My efforts to convert my novel from manuscript format in Word to filtered html, and through Calibre to epub and mobi have worked very well as far as I can tell. I've viewed the mobi version on my Kindle for Mac and a friend's Kindle, and the epub version on Adobe Digital Editions on my computer and a friend's iPad. None of these previews have demonstrated any problems that I'm aware of. It could be of course, that I'm unaware of how much better they could look, or maybe the whole process is much easier once I know enough about html to be comfortable doing what I have to do. Absent that, I'm sort of lost as to the practical benefit gained for the dollars spent.

                       

                      If you'd care to enlighten me further, I'd be grateful.

                       

                      And by the way, you are either a lot younger than I am or very well preserved!

                      • 8. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                        tm6550 Level 1

                        I remember that very well, Peter, and now my carefully conceived budget plan has been thrown into disarray.

                         

                        I contacted Adobe on a live chat (which is new to this dinosaur) and asked about any discounts for retired military veterans. You know, seeking the sympathy vote for serving my country, which I'm making light of here, but feel very strongly about. She told me they had a "government" discount, but she had no information about it and suggested I call the sales department. I plan to do that Monday and see if there's a possibility there. I've got about a week left on the trial, and that's not a lot of time to plan a heist

                        • 9. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          The process of creation and editing is far easier with a working knowledge of HTML/CSS.

                           

                          I'm almost 54. Compared to Peter, of course, that's young.

                           

                          Bob

                          • 10. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                            tm6550 Level 1

                            Unfortunately, compared to me that's almost a decade-and-a-half young. Assuming I still have sufficient brain cells remaining, how would you recommend that a really old guy learn enough html to format for an ebook?

                            • 11. Re: Need advice: v5 versus v5.5
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              I learned it doing websites.

                               

                              Bob