60,000 Words and Another Test Print

Last week, the Riviera Project hit 60,000 words. With that number written and the 168 pages currently created, I can estimate that completion will come when I get to at least 66,000 words and 182 pages—and likely considerably more. It has taken over two years to get to this point.

I had previously decided to do another test print at 60,000 words (or so), so I uploaded the PDFs to the printer yesterday. By my count, this is revision 17—the previous test print was in December 2020.

Annotations on the title page say this:

Content not complete, brackets indicate questionable data, layout not optimized,
photos largely unedited, color correction not applied

—this is all true. Though I have worked a lot on the general form, there’s still much content left to go, so there’s been almost no attention made to optimizing the layout. Thus, nearly all of the photos and illustrations are in a few standardized sizes to get an idea of page flow and chapter length. Beyond using generic dimensions, I haven’t yet given consideration to cropping any of the photos or illustrations.

I also haven’t attempted any color correction except for the work I did on the exterior paint appendix. I sense that color correction will be fraught and will require some artistic choices—how closely, for example, will I try to get brochure selections to their original and unfaded colors?

Content that is known incomplete includes some option tables for 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, and 1983, along with completing the Development chapter and the Annotated Bibliography. Across the book, I keep finding things to add, amplify, and clarify.

The two most lengthy chapters remain those on the sixth generation (1979-1985) and the seventh generation (1986-1993) cars, which were the Riviera generations longest in production at seven and eight model years, respectively. I don’t see this changing because—at least to a certain extent—yearly changes drive chapter length.

1966 Buick Riviera photo
1966 Buick Riviera

Unsurprisingly, by far the most pages per year are for the first generation. However, that count only comes when I combine both the chapter on the Riviera’s initial development and the one on the actual three model years from 1963 to 1965. Otherwise, the second generation (1966-1970) leads, driven by its notably lengthy options lists and the onset of significant competition from Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Lincoln. All together, the chapters on each of the eight generations currently make up 84% of the book.

We’ll see how this test print looks—no matter how many times I look at something on a display (even a good display), there are always things I miss.

On to revision 18 …