Tuesday, February 11, 2014

about starting on a (broken) shoestring

We're working on getting a few of our small books ready for reprints.  When I say "we", it really means Maryanne, who thankfully does all the lay-out work these days.  I am terrible at that.  It used to bring me to tears before she offered to do it.
Right now she's working on Making and Using Herb Vinegars.  It will soon have a color cover and have a better (!!!) layout.  There are only about 50 copies of the old one left, so we're thinking ahead. 
But...
Working on this really took me back.  In discussion, we talked about how adding a recipe or two would require adding pages.  In printing, you can't just add one page.  It must be in multiples of 4.

It took me back, that discussion.  The vinegar book was one of the first.  Probably 11 or 12 years old now.
The maroon cover was chosen not because it is a cool color that stands out.  No.  It was chosen because it was leftover from another job at the printing company where I worked, and I rescued it from the trash.
The table of contents was assigned to the inside front and back cover - not because it was cool and unique - but because adding pages to that first printing would have added $10 or $15 dollars to the overall cost of printing, and I seriously didn't have it to invest.

I will be sure to hold on to a couple copies of the first edition before they are gone.  There are so many of us working with herbs, getting the word out, struggling with that torn or broken shoe-string.

So if you find yourself at an herb festival or gathering sometime and see a great product with less than spectacular packaging, give it a second look.  Not always, but sometimes there is someone with a good product struggling to find a way to share it with the community.

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