Crowdsource request: What size figures?

UPDATE: The decision’s been made. The two links in the post are now dead. The actual figures are here, in full-page form.

If you’re somebody who might remotely consider buying The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010, I have a question for you–and answers don’t in any way obligate you to buy the book when it comes out.


As usual, the book will be a 6×9″ trade paperback, with an actual text block about 4.3″ wide and 7.1″ tall (actually 26×43 picas, I think).

There are 34 figures–graphs–in the book (and oodles of tables), with anywhere from 600 to more than 4,000 data points.

In most cases–25 of the 34–I feel as though the width restriction results in graphs that could be more readable if they were larger.

I’d already decided to provide a separate PDF, with the URL provided in the book, consisting of printable American letter size (8.5×11″) pages with larger versions of the 34 figures.

The question

Should that PDF be 17 pages in portrait mode, with two figures per page, or 34 pages in landscape mode, with one figure per page?

I chose seven of the graphs that seemed exemplary of those that could gain from larger sizes (two scatterplot, four line graphs, three of them with four lines each, one with a single line) and printed them out in both forms.

And, frankly, I’m not sure whether it’s worth the extra 8 sheets of paper (assuming duplex printing) to scale them to one figure per page–that is, whether I should produce a 17-page (9-sheet) PDF or a 34-page (17-sheet) PDF.

That’s the question. To inform your decision,

UPDATE: The decision’s been made. The two links in the post are now dead. The actual figures are here, in full-page form.

Opinions that reach me by Monday, December 6 will be most useful. I won’t generate the separate PDF until the book is ready for publication, and that won’t be until at least December 6–but might not be long after that.

Either email your preference or add a comment to this post. I’m assuming you’ll print out at least one or two pages to inform your decision, although some of you may be able to decide based only on on-screen examination of the PDFs. I will almost certainly follow the majority advice.


2 Responses to “Crowdsource request: What size figures?”

  1. Diane says:

    Both of the samples are clean and easy to read. The half page version will work well within the confines of the book and readers won’t have to turn the page (literally) to view. However, I prefer the full page options as it is is a bit larger and the data is clear.

  2. walt says:

    Diane: Thanks. There may be a slight misunderstanding–neither of these applies to the book itself, where the figure can’t be more than 4.3″ wide for a 6×9 page. In either case, these will be separate PDFs for people who want the larger figures: the 34 figures will also appear within the book, but in smaller size. I’ll take this as a vote for the full-page option.