seven housekeeping tips for a smoother workflow

In a previous post I wrote about stumbling blocks to watch out for in your workflow. Today I want to write from the positive side: what you can do to make your workflow go more smoothly with less wasted effort and, most importantly, less chance of making silly errors. 1. Use styles. Styles have been [...]

five workflow stumbling blocks and how to avoid them

This is an update to a post originally published in March, 2010. Book design and production is a complicated process with a lot of moving parts: text and graphics, multiple people, as well as a fair share of technology gremlins. Some glitches are bound to arise, but many are predictable and thus can be avoided—or [...]

Can people trust your pricing?

Let’s suppose you were a builder and a potential client says, I’d like you to build me a structure out of this particular material that’s this size with this kind of a roof, one door, and four windows. How much would that cost? You go back to the office, look up prices for materials, figure [...]

thinking about [profitable] book design & production

It’s been almost a year since I introduced this blog with my first post What is Book Thinking to orient readers to this site. Here’s what I wrote: … I plan to share what I have learned about how to think about a book project, organize its content [particularly images], design and produce it—and make [...]

speaking of e-books

With the recent release of the iPad and the latest iPhone, there’s been a lot of buzz lately about e-books. Here I offer up some thoughts on the subject. You do realize, don’t you, that the “book” part of “e-book” is a metaphor? It’s used to describe a way of presenting text through electronic devices. [...]

project rhythms

I’m in the initial design stage of one project and in the final review/revision cycle of another so I’ve been thinking about project rhythms a lot lately. Here’s what it sounds like in my head: The beginning of a project needs a generous amount of calendar time at the beginning. If you’ve estimated 8 hours [...]

writing effective tasks and milestones

Warning: today’s post is a wee bit geeky, but if you do as I suggest, it will make your project management life so much better. [Like cod liver oil in orange juice – tastes yukky but good for you. At least that’s what my mother used to tell me.] Last week I did a teleclass [...]

time tracking: what are the numbers telling you

Last week I wrote about the importance of keeping track of all the time you spend on a project: billable and not billable, productive and spinning-your-wheels, brilliantly executed and fatally flawed. This week I want to show you the next step in my process: categorizing and analyzing the time. I used to have much finer [...]

time tracking: are you doin’ it?

I just spent most of a gorgeous Sunday afternoon figuring out how much time a project actually took compared to the proposal estimate. That part was easy: twice as long. Gulp! Now the more difficult question: how much of this was “beyond scope” and can be billed, how much was attributable to poor estimating on [...]

working with a designer-part two

In working with a designer-part one I offered some suggestions on how to begin to select a book designer. That post ended with arranging a time to talk to them on the phone to find out more. So what is it you want to find out? [No, actually, “What will it cost me to do [...]