We began shipping of “Honest Labour” this week, and customers who placed a pre-publication order should receive their books soon. We received our first box of the books at the storefront yesterday. Our Michigan plant, as always, did a nice job with the printing and binding.
The act of unpacking a book that you worked on for years is always an odd experience. For me, it has offered more relief than joy. Relief that nothing went horribly wrong at the factory or during shipment. Relief that I didn’t misspell the title of the book on its spine (oh crap, I just had to check it again). Relief that I lived to see it.
That feeling fades after a couple days and is replaced with worry as I wonder: Will the readers like it? Or did we throw away months of (honest) labor and tens of thousands of dollars?
I guess we’ll find out.
Last night I took “Honest Labour” out for a practice run. After a long day at the bench I sat in our library with a beer, the book on my lap. I opened it to a random page and started reading at page 244.
“Money – has in fact, the most surprising limitations. Particularly in anything to do with craftsmanship….”
After an hour of reading, I had drained my glass and felt a lot better about the half-completed work on my benchtop, and the future of this book.
Also, this is important to know: Kara Gebhart Uhl and Megan Fitzpatrick did the lioness’ share of the work on this book. Kara selected the essays, typed them in using a variety of methods and proofed them. She also researched and wrote the 30 vignettes of each year’s news events (from 1936-1966) that begin each chapter. Megan designed most of the pages, a new role for her. Since becoming the editor of The Chronicle, Megan has taken a deeper interest in page design. This book was 474 pages of practice.
Our labor is, for the most part, done with this book. We are all now working on other titles. Your work – reading the essays and finding meaning in them – has just begun. We hope you enjoy it.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. If you would like to read some free excerpts from “Honest Labour,” you can find six of our favorite essays via these links: