The Man Who Designed Books

I REMEMBERED, WHILE compiling a big list of production managers, small press owners, and anybody else I could think of who might need my services, that they always ask for samples, and it always takes hours to figure out just what they want and which things to send. If they specialize in how-to for sports-loving arthropods, I wonder if the self-help for anxious cetaceans I did will be quite the right thing to send, and I notice, while browsing EXO-STRIKE! An Invertebrate’s Guide to Bowling (in order to familiarize myself with the publisher), that it contains a lot of diagrams; there are none in my design for EASY ECHOLOCATION: Mackerel Without Worry.

Raves for The Man Who Designed Books

So then I thought, I should have something to send before they ask for anything, so it short-circuits that whole process. If they like it, maybe they’ll hire me based just on that.

And then I thought, send out actual books!

Eh. Too expensive to buy, too time-consuming to personalize, too expensive and time-consuming to ship.

Maybe a simple marketing piece.

But what should it be?

Copyright and title page: The Man Who Designed Books

Well, I make books. So maybe it should be a brochure that shows some books I’ve done. Not the covers, though, I don’t do the covers. Just the interiors. You know, a bunch of little white rectangles with teeny text, rotated jauntily along the edges of the brochure, and some zingy marketing copy in the middle: SEVERAL KINDS OF BOOKS IF YOU DON’T SEE IT HERE I CAN STILL DO IT PROBABLY THANKS!


Then I thought, I make books. My marketing piece should be a book.

A book in which each spread looks like a different kind of book that I’ve been hired for.

Chapterbook spread

That was it.

Two months later, still working on it, I thought, this really needs to be done faster, and I can’t send it anywhere until it’s finished. But wait…could I serialize it at my blog?

Oo, I could add editorial comments! Like it’s not done yet!

That would actually be fun!

Young Adult novel spread

So here’s the first installment: The front matter and first two spreads of THE MAN WHO DESIGNED BOOKS And Other Stuff. Coming in 2015 to a marketing effort near you.

Click on each for a high-resolution version JPEG or here to download a high-res PDF:

Link to high-res PDF

More T/K, per ed.


Filed under Anthologies, Arts, Books, Design and production, Divorce, ebook production, Employment, Fiction, Freelancing, Humor, InDesign, Kids, My writing, Other people's writing, Poetry, Self-promotion, Senseless Acts, Short stories, Whatever

3 responses to “The Man Who Designed Books

  1. Lori Snyder

    You should add, “He’s really funny.” — Lori Snyder. Little sister. and also

  2. Chris A

    And “He makes you wish you had written a book so that he could design it.”

  3. Patrick Knisely

    And he’s a really cool dad!

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