I’m designing and typesetting my book as well as writing it. I requested this assignment from my publishers, and I’m glad they agreed. I felt that I know the book best, and I have the skills, so why not? The exception is the cover — I suggested they get a different designer to do that. I felt a fresh take might be beneficial there.
The publisher accepted the book on the basis of the preface, prologue, first two chapters, and a part of the third. That means I still have about 5/8ths or more of the book still to write. Above is the table of contents spread as it stands now. The trim size, which I suggested, is 7.25 x 10 inches. I didn’t want it to be so big that it seemed like an art book, but I wanted it to be bigger than the standard significant trade title, which is often around 6 x 9 or 6.25 x 9.25. There are a lot of images in my book, and a lot of material in the form of sidenotes (a favorite element, which I am also using extensively in the Bali catalogue I’m currently designing for the Asian Art Museum).
The image is a detail for a manuscript of the Razmnama (from 1616–1617). The Razmnama is a Persian translation of the Mahabharata, one of the great Hindu epics. I am trying to get a good diversity of different cultures represented in the book, since it represents a very global view of the year 1616. (I’m doing maps as globes from different perspectives — more on that later.)
Here’s the current TOC text close up. We’ll see how this changes a year from now when the final pages have to be delivered. The typeface is Garamond Premier Pro, my current favorite.