What a World We Live In!

During this author/Publisher/Marketer journey I am on, I spend a lot of time on Twitter.  What a great tool, particularly as delivered on my iPhone 3GS.  The iPhone phenomenon has been covered ad infinitum by others; all I know is what it does for me!  As I work on my Dell Desktop, I have CNN on the TV in my Study.  That provides me a backdrop, to gather news and to keep this lonely soul engaged.  By my side is my iPhone.  It presents me with tweets and text messages as they come in.  Per CNN just now, Apple sells 80,000 iPhones per day!  Imagine that!  From Twitter I received a link that enables me to watch   a massive dust storm over the Gobi desert (in Africa) from my modest dwelling in Florida.  Is this an exciting world, or what!

Speaking of excitement, my Views from Sandhausen book designer, Walt Shiel, Managing Partner of Five Rainbows, sent me a PDF of three interior book layout and style options!  Wow!  I had a few design ideas that I had passed along to Walt, but he took them and really produced some very compelling ideas.  Do you have any idea how many parts make up a page of a book?  Further, any idea, beyond the page itself, the other components that make up what you see when you pick a book up?  Unless you are a typesetter or book designer, you don’t.  All of these elements work together in a well done book, or fight against each other in very subtle ways.  You don’t even think about it.

Have you ever picked up a book, onlt to tire of it?  The story is compelling enough, the text is large enough, but there is that subtle something that causes you to stop picking it up and working your way through it.  That subtle something is the design of the book itself.  What you may have is headers that don’t work with footers, text style that slows you down, even though it is large enough, and confusion on how to find a particular part of the book.  All of these subtle nuances conspire against you in a way that causes you to put it down and move on.  A book unfinished will cause you to tell your friends about it and that is a Killer to book sales.  Of course, done well and with a compelling story, you won’t be able to put it down, and you will tell your friends about it! A well-designed book is a treasure and a joy to read, and probably keep.  That’s the product of a good book designer.

Long story short, I chose an amalgam of elements from the three options that Walt sent to me.  I know that some options can fight against others, within a style.  That is something we have to resolve, but now we have a good basis for our conversation.  Another step towards our goal on this 200th day since my wonderful Lynn left all of us.

Love each other



2 responses to “What a World We Live In!

  1. Cliff,

    A very nice wrap-up of what’s involved with book design, without getting technical or delving into the “black art” part of the process.

    Sometimes, when I’m stumped for a new approach to an old design problem or a solution to a new wrinkle, I reach for one of the many books about typography and book design that fill a large part of the bookshelves near my desk. Just thumbing through them will often give me the creative kick I needed, other times I dive into the index on specific topics for a bit of a refresher.

    And every book, even the ones that an author or publisher has described as “just an easy, all-text novel,” presents some unique challenge. Once in a while those challenges aren’t recognized until I’ve spent some time with the book to understand its tone, viewpoint or intended audience.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention What a World We Live In! | FlaAuthor's Blog -- Topsy.com

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