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