partnering for profit

Being among a small community of book designers within the Association of Personal Historians [APH], we often discuss among ourselves how to find more opportunities to partner with writers on book projects. On Saturday, October 24, I will be part of a panel discussion at the APH Annual Conference in Valley Forge, PA, entitled “Partnering […]

personal histories and freedom of speech

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” That was A. J. Liebling’s cynical remark in the early 20th century decrying the monopoly of William Randolph Hearst to control and influence the news. As we celebrate National Freedom of Speech Week, I’m wondering how Liebling would view our world of everyone […]

why not design the book yourself?

This is a question I hear frequently from personal historians and others who are writing non-fiction books that will either be privately published or self-published and marketed. [For the purposes of this discussion, let’s consider design all the things that happen in between finishing a manuscript and delivering the digital files to the printer.] The […]

typography: a primer

Like book design in general, typography is noticed more in its misapplication than when it is well-chosen and well-set. Typography is far more than just picking a font face and size and getting on with it. It’s an artisan’s craft, particularly suited to those who are mildly to moderately obsessive about the tiniest elements: hanging […]

information design: an introductory syllabus

“What is the best font to use for my book?” That’s a question I hear frequently from writers who want to design their own books. And it’s not a bad question; it’s just usually raised at the wrong point in the process. Before we can choose a font, we need to determine the kinds of […]

the creative habit by twyla tharp

While we all have varying degrees of natural talents–athletic, musical, empathic, creative–these by themselves are not enough. In The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp, shares her working process and the rhythm of her life that cultivated her natural talents as she became one of America’s greatest choreographers. Interesting as both memoir and inspiration, this book is […]

keith smith books

In my mind Keith A. Smith is professor emeritus when it comes to thinking about books. He’s been making books for over 40 years and writing about them for at least 25. When I researched the links for this post, I was delighted to see that both of these books have been revised and expanded. […]

photo editor: an unappreciated job

“How did you find so many photos with exactly the same sepia tone?” This question was recently asked of my client Suzanne Fox, author of Grief Country: a meditation on the landscape of loss. The answer was, she didn’t. The images in the book were licensed from a range of photographer’s work on and […]

what is “book thinking”?

I first heard that term from Sas Colby, a gifted book artist, when I attended one of her workshops years ago. And since then I have been thinking a lot about books. Not so much about the content in the book, but about the book itself. Its physicality. Its underlying conceptual structure and how that […]