Publishing

Blogging My Book: Climbing Design Mountain

It took six weeks and a day, but I got it done! Hooray! And what is this “it” that I’m talking about? It’s the design of my book about nature in the city, and I finished it up to the point where the index will be added. Tools of the Book Design Trade For this…

Blogging My Book: Notes on Aesthetics

Earlier this month, I talked about the physical dimensions of my forthcoming book. Thinking about dimensions raises larger questions about aesthetics, which I will address in this post. A mentor advised me to ask myself these questions about the books I’ve been using in my design research: What appeals to you about the design of…

Blogging My Book: Class is in Session

In my last post, I introduced my living room design studio. While I’ve been ensconced on my couch, I’ve been creating book layout sketches. I’m not going to lie – this has been a tedious process. It also has forced me to view page layouts as part of a cohesive product. Am I ready to…

Blogging My Book: Dimensional Adventures

In my last couple of posts, I’ve talked about using the library for book design research and taking a field trip to my printer. What do both of these activities have in common? They’re physical! And tactile! Since I get around Tucson by bicycle, there’s nothing that gets my attention like hauling a stack of…

Blogging My Book: Field Trip

In my previous post, I talked about a free design research tool that’s available to all of us. You’ve probably used it many times, and not just design research. In this post, I’m all about hitting the road. That’s because it’s time for a field trip! Field Trip Report Monday morning’s bicycle ride to the…

Blogging My Book: Free Design Research Tool!

Although my employment days are long gone, some things haven’t changed. One of them is the recipient of my Most Inspiring Coworker Award. Still goes to a lady named Liz. I met Liz at a Tucson-based fundraising organization. She was the computer system administrator, and I worked in the publicity and publications office. Liz wasn’t…

Blogging My Book: After Editing

Now that the editor is finished with my book manuscript, what am I doing? Here’s a process-oriented post to explain. First agenda item is to review the editor’s feedback. She’s a real stickler for grammar, punctuation, and small, easy-to-miss items like extra spaces between words and sentences. Color me impressed – I’m more of a…

Blogging My Book: Buyer Personas, Part 2

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m planning on selling my book online. So, I just completed Startup Tucson’s eCommerce Masterclass. Among other things, the instructors assigned me the task of creating buyer personas. As I see it, a buyer persona is a brief sketch of a potential book purchaser. These personas will guide what…

Blogging My Book: Buyer Personas, Part 1

Since I’m planning on selling my book online, I just completed Startup Tucson’s eCommerce Masterclass. Among other things, the instructors assigned me the task of creating buyer personas. As I see it, a buyer persona is a brief sketch of a potential book purchaser. I’ve created 10, and here are the first five: Blue for…

Blogging My Book: Printer Talk

Just got a call from the sales rep at my printer. He reports that there’s great excitement around the plant – a new press is coming! This press will enable the printer to offer a process that I may want to use in my book. Note the use of the word “may.” I’m a long…

Blogging My Book: A Single Step

You’ve probably heard that old expression, “The longest journey starts with a single step.” That’s an apt description of my publishing journey. But, in my case, the journey started with a single pedal stroke. After I graduated from the University of Michigan, my parents gave me $500 to spend in any way I chose. I…

Blogging My Book: Now what?

Looks like my book manuscript will be at the editor’s office until early April. She told me that she’ll be taking her time and doing a thorough edit, and I’m good with that. So, now what? I’ll sum things up in one word: Bookification. If you’ve been following this blog series since I started it…

Blogging My Book: Teamwork

Three posts ago, I talked about the process of marrying my book’s words with the pictures. I’m pleased to report that they’re officially married and off on their honeymoon. Where are they spending it? At the editor’s office. You’ve met the editor before – last October, I introduced you to her. As mentioned previously, she…

Blogging My Book: Thinking Like a Designer

Good news! My book’s photo selection process is almost done. Is it time to don the party hats and break out the noisemakers? Not yet. The photos that made it through those multiple rounds of selection still have to fit into a larger book layout. They also need introductory copy and captions. In short, there’s…

Blogging My Book: Starting the Design Process

In my previous post, I discussed the difficulty of thinking about my words and pictures without imagining how they will appear in page layouts, and how those layouts will flow as the book progresses from beginning to end. I went on to note that, as much as I’ve tried to keep design out of my…

Blogging My Book: Marrying the Words with the Pictures

Now that the photo selection is done, it’s time to join my book’s pictures in holy matrimony with the words. This week, I’ve been figuring out how to work the photos that support the narrative into their proper places within the manuscript. This process sends me right back into wordsmithing mode, because most of these…

Blogging My Book: Summiting Photo Selection Mountain

Just finished meeting with my mentor, and hark! She helped me summit Photo Selection Mountain. Let me tell you, the view from this peak is amazing. In my previous post, I said that I didn’t think that our photo selection process would take more than an hour. Wrong. During previous meetings of this type, I…

Blogging My Book: Climbing Photo Selection Mountain

The good news is that I can see the summit from here. However, I still have more climbing before I can plant my flag atop Photo Selection Mountain. I started by shooting thousands of photos for my urban nature book project. Then I winnowed them down to 530 that deserve consideration for inclusion in the…

Blogging My Book: The Four Personas

As mentioned during previous posts, I’m working on a book about nature in the city. In preparation, I have shot thousands of photos, most of which are from my yard. Will all of them make it into the book? No! My cycle of shooting and selecting involves four personas: Excited Martha! I just shot some…

Blogging My Book: Wearing Three Hats

Now that my book writing process is coming to an end, it’s time to take a look at what’s coming next. As mentioned in this post, I’m also shooting the book photos. The final photo selection will happen within a month to six weeks. Check two hats — writer and photographer — off the list….

Blogging My Book: Nature Delights

Here’s the thing about urban birds: They seize our built environment and use it for their own purposes. Fence tops, utility poles, overhead wires, and electrical equipment, they’re all fair game. In 2018, I had rooftop solar installed, and I’m pleased to report that my grid-connected 1.7-kilowatt solar electric system generates 150-400 kilowatt-hours a month….

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