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 [...]

it’s messy, this creative process

Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been working on a personal book project that I’m referring to as my 2011 Inspiration Book. Over the years I have developed pages of material based on various strategic planning systems: year end summaries, goal setting, etc. They have always been written as a business document in Word, printed out on 8.5×11-inch [...]

how “real” women make books

This is how books have been made since the time of Gutenberg in the mid-15th century. And, despite the changing equipment to execute the various steps, the same tasks need to be accomplished: text and images transferred in some way to the page, signatures bound and trimmed, covers attached. This is why I consider e-books [...]

print production circa 1970

A recent episode of Fringe [my favorite must-see tee-vee now that Caprica has not been renewed for a second season] centered around a series of cascading and deadly events triggered by a ballpoint pen. When the agents from Fringe division started investigating, they found ballpoint pens at each scene. Charlie: When was the last time [...]

why making a book is hard – and fun!

I am just wrapping up a book project that I impetuously started late last Friday evening. I have created a few books “from scratch”, but usually I function as the designer, only responsible for the photos, design, layout and sometimes coordinating with the printer. So conceiving, writing, designing and producing an entire book—alone? This was [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

a brief history of book printing and binding

The other night in my Print Production Workflow teleclass, some questions came up about terminology and how, exactly, the physical book got put together. Youtube is an invaluable source to help us visualize a process. Here is a curated overview of book printing, from letterpress, the same process that produced the Gutenberg Bible, to the [...]