All the ‘Joint Stool’ Books are in the Mail

It took seven days and seven nights, but I just dropped off the last of the pre-publication orders of “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” at the U.S. Post Office.

We still have cleaning up to do – our sun room is full of packing detritus and there are still a few odd packages where things went wrong. But before tending to those tasks I decided to sit down the with book for a little bit. All in all, I’m fairly pleased.

I’ve received the following questions from readers about the book as a physical object. Here are the answers.

1. Why switch to a larger size? “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” is 9” x 12”, which is considerably larger than the 6” x 9” we have been publishing since 2007. We decided to use the larger format because this book has more visual information than any of our other titles. And so we wanted to publish the photos and drawings as large as possible.

2. Why switch to color photos? As many of you know, I prefer black and white for my books. But other authors like color. Jennie Alexander and Peter Follansbee thought color would be best for this book. I agreed – especially after seeing the red stools.

3. Why a dust jacket and the plastic shrinkwrap? The dust jacket suits the large size of the book, and the shrinkwrap protects it during transit.

4. Why no glossy paper? With all the other changes, some readers expected us to switch to glossy, coated paper. Instead, I chose uncoated paper for several reasons. First, uncoated paper is more readable than glossy paper. I dislike the glare from glossy coated paper. (Yes, you can get coated paper with a matte finish, but what’s the point of that?) The second reason I chose uncoated stock is that it suits the subject matter. This is not a highbrow museum title – it’s about getting down to business with a hatchet. One last word on the paper: It wasn’t a cost decision. The price difference between coated and uncoated stock is inconsequential in my book.

Before I go, let me say just a couple more things about this book. First, I want to thank Peter and Jennie for taking a chance and letting Lost Art Press publish this book. Taunton Press would have been glad to publish this book. An academic press would have also pooed its ivory jodhpurs to get a book like this. It was an honor to work with both authors on this project, one of the highlights of my career in publishing.

Second, one of the reasons Jennie and Peter signed on with Lost Art Press is that we return a far, far greater share of profits to the authors. And the reason we can do that is because of the surprising, unflagging and (at times) almost embarrassing support of our customers. So thank you for all your support, economic and emotional. With the help of everyone who has purchased Lost Art Press stuff I was able to walk away from a great corporate job in June and not worry if my kids would be able to afford the koala ramen they love so well.

Mmmm. Koala ramen. It tastes like cough drops.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Chris Schwarz

Publisher of woodworking books and DVDs specializing in hand tool techniques.
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16 Responses to All the ‘Joint Stool’ Books are in the Mail

  1. frossm says:

    I’m so anxious to get my book. Shipped on Saturday, but still no loot at my door ;( Hopefully tomorrow! Crazy Chicago mail delivery…..

  2. James Vroman says:

    I got mine – love the book
    I am so glad you plastic wrapped them
    When I got it all the staples had ripped out except one that had snagged the seam in the shrink wrap. No damage and all is well.

  3. Mark says:

    Chris, knowing any recommendation you make can be trusted, knowing you will always take care of your customers and knowing there is so much inspiration to be found in your writing, well, that’s priceless. Looking forward to many years and many volumes from you and LAP.

  4. pfollansbee says:

    Chris – thanks for this note, it’s nice to see. I want to add one thing, though. The decision to go with Lost Art Press was simple for me…I had long ago lost track of what woodworking magazines and books were doing. As many of your readers know, my bag is principally 17th-century reproduction, but even before I got onto that scene, mine was a hand-tool shop. Only hand tools until I let a Tormek in about four or five years ago. But it’s still the only one…

    So when I wanted someone to help us promote a hand-tool book, it was clear that no one is better suited to that task than CS and LAP. Additionally it was a pleasure to work with you on it, simple as can be. Let’s do it again.
    PF

  5. lostartpress says:

    Well Peter, there are lots of fascinating forms and techniques to explore in the 17th century. So as long as you are willing to build and write, you will always have a home here.

    And now I see we have more orders in the queue. Back to the boxes.

  6. Fred L says:

    Chris – Tell your kids that shrimp ramen is good too. I eat it regurarly. Perhaps this is why I can afford books from Lost Art without blinking.

    Future books could be: Bowl Turning for Ramen Noodles or Hand Planing Chop Sticks the Easy Way. Kidding aside, keep up the good work and I look forward the the next books from Lost Art Press.

    Lastly, one major draw for me is that you publish in the US. I am tired of buying things made overseas. I support manufacturers in the good ole US of A whenever I can.

    • lostartpress says:

      Fred !!

      Good to hear from you, sir. Have you finished your Schoolbox yet? Send photos when you do.

      We will always publish books here. Period. The joint stool book was printed by Thomson-Shore, a 100-percent employee-owned company in Michigan. Check them out:

      http://www.thomsonshore.com/

      They did nice work. And there are lots of U.S printing companies that do good work and are competitive with the overseas quotes. Nothing against the Chinese printing companies, but shipping books across the Pacific is really slow.

      Chris

  7. Peter Pedisich says:

    Keeping Americans employed at creative, meaningful work, supporting themselves and their families with dignity… You are truly setting a fine example. Doing it all with a sense of humor and not taking yourself too seriously, and then supporting a fellow woodworker in a time of need shows your true character. And it does count in my book. Pun intended!
    As long as you publish books like this, I’ll buy them.
    Thanks.

  8. andrae says:

    It takes a while for USPS wagon trains to reach the Northwest, but my copy was finally waiting on the porch when I got home this evening. Although some of the staples had come loose, and probably USPS added the clear packing tape at the seam, otherwise the cardboard was in good shape, and the book unscathed.

    I am glad to see a color book from LAP, though the usual B&W photos do have an artistic quality. Sometimes color conveys something that pure line and shadow do not reveal.

    Heading off to start reading…

  9. Turnus says:

    Best thing one could do with a koala would be serve it with noodles. They are hideous little beasts.

    But dare not lay a hand on my beloved wombats – then we’d have a fight on our hands, I’ll tell ya what, mate!

  10. Eric Bennett says:

    I had been wondering what would become of publishing as an industry and thinking about the many evenings I spent with my son at Borders Books (who discounted themselves right out of business). Looking at my copy of Making a Joint Stool – I concluded that books will become valued possessions, like in old times when a person might afford just a few on their shelf. The price will be higher, but so will be the quality and the value we place on them. Back in the bookstore days, I would have waited for the 40% coupon to buy an expensive book. It’s a trend that bodes well for readers and forests.

  11. Publius Secundus says:

    My guess is that were you to survey, most folks would prefer color photos. Alas, perhaps. I have a Nikon F and a Rollei without Tri-X black and white film any more.

  12. Scott says:

    Received and beautiful. Thanks
    Scott

  13. Regis says:

    Received my copy Saturday and am around half way through the book. Great content and interesting techniques. Don’t know if I’ll ever start with a fresh oak log but I’ll be prepared when the opportunity arises, and I’ll definitely be applying some new know how to my work. A lot of good info for any hand tool oriented woodworker.

    Just let me know when I can pre-order “Mouldings in Practice.” LAP books are a great investment, the appreciation rate on my copy of “The Art of Joinery” has been staggering, what bank can touch a 365% rate of return ($17 to $500 in 2 years!), not to mention all of the great information.

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