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concept to publication

Month: August 2010

Links for 27 August

“Every separation is a link.” — Simone Weil

Duly Quoted

On this date, 27 August …

1616: The plan

1616 - table of contents spread

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.

1616 - table of contents chapter by chapter


Why does Pandora keep feeding me “Layla,” even though I’ve told it three or four times that I don’t want to hear that song? Apparently it has many different versions to offer and figures “You didn’t like those three? Then you’re sure to like this one.”

Along the same lines, it is convinced I’m a Jack Johnson fan no matter how many of his tunes I reject.

I think those genomes could use a little more tinkering.

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