I just received another proof copy of The Hungry Black Bird from CreateSpace. This one used the original image files, the ones that had produced proofs with okay shadow detail, but not as much as I’d hoped for.
Unfortunately, this third proof looks nearly identical to the second proof, the one made with lightened images, that showed less shadow detail than the first proof. So much so that I had to check that I’d used the right files–I had.
The lesson here is that the POD process has variables that are beyond our control. Sucks for us control-freaks, but that’s the way it goes. Oh yeah, each of the three proofs has a slightly different color balance–not bad, but definitely different. (sigh)
Honestly, I’m probably the one who’ll notice any of these things, because it’s my baby we’re talking about. But other authors and artists are likely to have the same issues with their own work.
If you’re working to self-publish your own words and art, try not to get too hung up on these things. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Revel in the fact that publishing this way is even possible–then do it.