A few SoFoBoMo observations
On May 1, 2009 at 6:42am Pacific time, there were 588 people registered for this SoFoBoMo 2009. I just checked. Right now, there are 846 people registered. That means (to my surprise) that 30% of the people who have registered (so far) registered AFTER the start of the two month window. Interesting, eh?
That total of 846 registrants (so far) is almost exactly 5 times as many as last year. And to think that on April 1, I jokingly predicted that we might get three times as many registrants as before.
So far, there are 148 books uploaded to the website. I don’t think we’re going to get 5 times as many books as last year’s tally (which was 60). Beyond that I’m not insane enough to attempt to project how many books will be finished and uploaded.
1. As I predicted, a lot of the people who planned on using Booksmart (the software you get for free from Blurb.com) discovered, to their horror, that Booksmart watermarks proofs that you print, thus making it really really hard to generate a clean PDF to upload for SoFoBoMo. Some of them have just gone ahead and uploaded that watermarked PDF, which I think is fine even though it’s perhaps stretching things a bit. Some of them have discovered this problem, and just given up, which I think is disappointing. But the whole business points out the value to working out the details of your workflow in advance of starting your month.
2. So far I’ve seen books assembled with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign, the free Scribus, Photoshop – and that’s just the toolsets I know about.
3. The 15MB limit on PDF size for upload caused some consternation as people came up against that limit. Some thinking will have to be done for next year about better ways to handle that.
4. Reading the blog stream, I have been struck by a) how many people thought it was easy, and b) how many people found it too hard. There’s a definite skill set to getting a book done.
5. I observe that some people who finished last year and registered this year have not finished books this year. Despite the ‘skill set’ observation above, doing a book remains hard. If things do not click, it can be really hard.
6. There are people who have participated twice now, and who have announced already that they will participate next time around.
Got thoughts or observations on this stuff? Comments welcome…