With the weather looking awful today – heavy thunderstorms with a chance of locusts – I knew the joint stool books would arrive from the printer. That’s why Lost Art Press has invested heavily – perhaps more heavily than any other publishing company in the world – in plastic tarps.
Sure enough, as large drops of rain began to fall, the truck pulled up to the driveway.
Luckily, the driver was strong, affable and good with a pallet jack. And thanks to our extensive investment in infrastructure (e.g. more tarps), all the books are now under roof.
We will start packing them up tonight and the first batch will go into the mail tomorrow.
In addition to the new size – 9” x 12” – the full-color printing and the dust jacket, there are a couple other changes you might notice. Each book is shrink wrapped to protect it. And we are using a new custom corrugated package to mail the books. They’re ribbed for protection.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. I can’t wait for you to read it.
Before I do that, let me say that we don’t operate like a traditional publishing company with a publishing schedule. We don’t release a book until everyone – me, the author(s), the layout artist – are happy. So I might tell you a date that we hope to have a book complete, but it will always be a guess.
So with that said, here’s where some, but not all, of our projects are this morning.
“Mouldings in Practice” by Matt Bickford. This will be our next book this year. The book is written and edited. The photos are processed. The hundreds of illustrations are converted to a publishable format. We have a design template, and the designer, Linda Watts, is starting to put all the pieces together on the page. I hope to send this book to the printer by the end of March.
“To Make as Perfectly as Possible” by Don Williams. As many of you know, this project stalled temporarily when one member of the translation and review team had to tend to some important personal business. Things are moving forward again, and the goal is to have this book ready for Christmas. Don has a new blog entry ready on the project that I will post this week.
“By Hand & Eye” (tentative title) by Jim Tolpin and George Walker. Jim and George are hard at work on this book – I’ve been following their collaborative process in GoogleDocs. This book is due in my hands in June. We hope to have this ready for 2012 as well.
We have lots more projects in the works, including two books that I’m writing myself and several projects that I can’t even talk about for competitive reasons. One of these books has been in the works here in my living room for two years and involved a network of helpers here in the city. It should be big – literally – maybe a five-pounder.
Now I’ve got to get back to the shop. I have to finish that secretary in less than two weeks. If I don’t respond to your e-mails quickly, that’s why.
Our printing company informed me that “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” was loaded on a truck and shipped to us on Thursday, which means it could arrive any time between now and Tuesday.
So, of course, I had a very bad dream about the book last night.
You do not need to shield your children’s eyes from the next few paragraphs. The dream did not involve nudity or a randy okapi. It was about the color red.
“Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” by Jennie Alexander and Peter Follansbee is our first book with color photographs, and so I spent about a week in January trying to dial in all the fleshtones and oak-tones in the photographs so they looked consistent. I am now intimately familiar with the color of Peter’s hands.
So in my dream I open the first boxes of the joint stool book and many of the pages are smeared with red ink. In fact, some pages are mostly blocks of red. I call the printing company to complain. They tell me that I am looking at books from the beginning of the press run and the press operators were still trying to dial in the color – this actually is a real-world excuse in the printing industry.
So I go on a search for books that were printed later in the run.
The rest of the press run is at a book-release party and is being handed out to the guests. I start complaining to the host about the color. They hand me some gray Play-Doh and a Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop. The gimmick of the book release party is that everyone will extrude their own Peter Follansbee beard in Play-Doh and wear it during the party.
No one will listen to me. I’m surrounded by men and women wearing big Play Doh beards. I wake up.