There are days when I feel like I should change my job title. Sometimes I feel like “bookmaker” better captures what we all do around here (pity about the other meaning of that term). With the roles of editors, agents, packagers, et. al. all so up in the air, it feels more honest to lay it all out, and declare our core expertise. And, boiled to essentials, that expertise is helping to make books we think people will like from manuscripts that authors write.
It will be abundantly clear to anyone who knows me that I like to use analogies to help explain to myself what I see around me. Cocktail parties helped me with social networking. Watches help me appreciate short books. Now, handmade bicycles. Here’s a custom-bicycle-frame builder in Portland explaining his craft.
There’s a lot about what he does that resonates with authorship (or illustratorship) for me. What I think is really resonant is the shout-out he gives to his graphic designer and his painter toward the end of the video. That’s where publishers come in. In an ideal world, this is how bookmaking and particularly cover design should work.
And, if you want to see why cover design is particularly on my mind, do check out |-1| author Steve Brezenoff’s blog.
Looks like my boss is thinking about process, too. Check out the Lerner blog.