Making Books

My blogging has been brief the last few days because I’ve been putting the last of the 2012 entries into my blog book for that year. Any time I’m placing blog entries into one of these books I spend some of that time wondering why on earth I’m so very wordy. The book for 2012 is 496 pages long, which is a full 96 pages more than the 2011 book. I wrote more this year. The project is packaged up and off at for printing. While I was in my Lulu account I paused to count. I’ve created 22 books through their website. These are the family photo books, blog books, and a couple of other personal projects. Add in the ten books I’ve produced through offset printing and I’ve created 32 books in the past eight years. It is amazing what accumulates when I’m not looking.

While I was doing layout, I noticed that Lulu had an option for pocket sized books. I’ve always been a bit dissatisfied with the trade paperback size of Cobble Stones. It is a sampler book meant for gifting or as something small to be taken along. A smaller book with the dimensions of a mass market paperback would be better suited to the material. So I spent a few hours and re-packaged Cobble Stones into a pocket sized format. While I was at it, I added 2011 to the title so that it will match the Cobble Stones 2012 book when I release it later this year. This project was one of those moments when I realized that I’ve accumulated some significant skill in producing books. A similar moment occurred when I assembled a cover for my blog book in only a few hours. Last year’s cover took hours and hundreds of pictures while I figured out how the format needed to work. This time (Thanks to a nicely placed snow bank and some fortuitous late afternoon sunlight hitting that bank of snow) I think I’ve got the cover shot I need in a single photo session. Next year may require more effort, but I’m trying to just believe that I’ve learned and grown as a maker of books.

I’ve got four book projects in process right now. The Body Politic is the next Schlock book and my role there is pure graphic design and art direction. Howard does the heavy lifting on creation. For Cobble Stones 2012 I may already have a cover, but the editing has only begun. I need to finish selecting and arranging essays. After that will be critiques, revision, and copy editing before the book is ready to print. Putting together the book Strength of Wild Horses will be fairly simply for me, but before I can get to that fun part, I have to face the Kickstarter process to secure funding for the book. Also in the beginning stages is the 2012 Family Photo Book. I’ve collected the stories, but I have to select pictures, scan pictures, and then take time to lay out everything into pages. It is a massive project every year, but one which I always enjoy. Even better is when I see the kids sitting down to read the stack of photo books from previous years, re-living the family stories from their earlier childhoods.

Bit by bit all of these projects will become books. After that there will be new book projects. Because I like making books and intend to keep doing it for as long as I like it.