SSS #1: The single-sourcing sidebar
This section contains posts I make as I explore the possibilities of single sourcing, especially as it applies to making comics.
Single-sourcing, in general, refers to the idea of making your “content” (text, pictures, etc) only once, then marking it and dividing it up in such a way that it can be easily (and possibly automatically) rearranged to suit different output formats.
For example, a comic may be read printed on paper. But it can also be read on a screen, and on a wide variety of screen sizes and shapes.
It’s easy to create a single image from a page of comics, and simply export that as an image or in a PDF file. But large images can be difficult or awkward to read on smaller screens. And, single images do not incorporate some of the additional features that book readers can display, such as animation, video, audio, or narration.
Even on paper, comics have to deal with different pagers sizes and arrangements. Large newspaper comics published on the weekend had an arrangement where panels could be rearranged to suit different paper formats.
Single sourcing would allow a comics creator to design a comic, and when outputting it, have features automatically added as desired to the output formats which can support them. The comic might become a high-resolution single image for a poster, a lower-resolution image for a book, an image with limited animation for a website, an epub containing both large and small images and narration for use on a tablet and phone, an audiobook containing only narration, and so on.
The setup and creation of such a publishing system, especially on a low to nonexistent budget, is what I am going to explore in this series of posts.