While I’m the public face of Lost Art Press, this company wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for a network of independent woodworkers, writers, editors, designers, indexers, researchers and proofreaders. Every book we publish is vetted by a team of people – some paid and some volunteers – who clean and refine our authors’ work.
Our network of assistants has gotten large enough that I am compelled to offer the following people the official title of “contributing editor.”
Before I list these people, I have to call out John Hoffman, who owns half of Lost Art Press. Without him, we wouldn’t have a new website, we wouldn’t have a smooth accounting system and we wouldn’t be able to ship books as efficiently as we do. John’s labor is the thankless donkey work that keeps this business going. He’s also been expanding his efforts this year into the editorial realm, which we’ll be discussing in the coming months.
But whether you know John or not, this business would not exist without him. And it’s important for me to mention that at every opportunity.
So here are the Lost Art Press contributing editors, in no particular order:
Suzanne Ellison. While we call her the “saucy indexer,” Suzanne is more than a writer of indices. She provides proofing, endless research and nudges (she is currently nudging me into Danish Modern). For example, when I started researching campaign furniture, Suzanne started her own independent investigation into the style. Without her help, I think my book would still be in the works. She also is willing to endless do-gooder donkey work: Right now she is transcribing the entire “The Naked Woodworker” DVD for customers who are deaf. She is doing this for no money (though I’ve promised her a dinner and wine).
We hope to have Suzanne write a book for us on Gillows of Lancaster, one of the most important and under-appreciated furniture makers of Great Britain.
Jeff Burks. Jeff’s research is fantastic. He finds images, articles and references that elude me and other people who plumb the history of the craft. His research on patents is impressive. And he has compiled some amazing original-source material on topics that needs to be published.
He has a sharp eye when it comes to woodworking imagery – paintings, drawings and sculpture in particular.
He also goes on hiatus at times. He’s a professional woodworker and sometimes his work becomes all-consuming. So for those of you who ask: “What happened to Jeff Burks?” My answer is: I don’t know. Let’s hope he’ll come back soon and return to posting regularly on the Lost Art Press blog.
Megan Fitzpatrick. Since we started this company, Megan has edited every one of our books. Some of them she edited for free – to help improve the product. On other books, such as Roy Underhill’s forthcoming novel, she has done more work than anyone besides the author. She even sneaks into the backend of our blog at times and fixes typos.
Though she technically works for a competing publishing house, we have found a way to make that relationship work. I promise not to publish any books on plunge routers; she vows to never publish translations of ancient French texts. All good.
Linda Watts. Though Linda is a book designer, she also has the sharp eye of an editor. Whenever she completes a design, she also gives us a list of errors and typos she finds. Linda has been in the woodworking publishing field longer than anyone in my circle of friends – she started at Shopsmith and designed its magazine “Hands On!” when I was in high school. My relationship with Linda is the longest (and best) that I’ve ever had with a designer.
There are lots of other people who helps us out on individual projects, but the four people above are involved in some way with almost everything we do. They are the reason that a lot of our books are interesting, fun to read and beautiful to behold.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. In a future post I’ll discuss the Lost Art Press mules – people who are the arms and legs of this company. These are the people who help move mountains of books or scan piles of pages.