I have just finishing line editing the mockup of our first non-fiction anthology, Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money.
Producing a book takes time. And it feels a lot like an eternal loop of doing the same thing.
First, I read the pieces submitted for the collection and looked over the art. I selected the pieces I wanted and edited them. I then dropped them into an InDesign file for our art director, Gayle Hendricks, and we went back and forth on concepts. Gayle and I work well together. 95% of the time we are on the same wave length. So the initial design concept usually gains my approval without too many changes.
Once I reviewed the order, added the contributor bios and organized the book, I read the whole thing out loud to our poetry editor, Nancy Scott. Nancy is blind, and she also gave us some essays for the book. She was curious what others had written and so we read the book together and she asked some of our authors to add some more details to their work.
We also moved some minor punctuation and cleared up some words that looked good on paper, but didn’t have the same flow read out loud.
Gayle provided several cover concepts, maybe as many as eight, and I honestly don’t recall if I picked one. I know I rejected one. They all feature the abstract art of Heather Pasqualino Weirich, who has painting hanging in my personal home.
Heather and I went to high school together and I am thrilled that she allowed us to use her art. We had considered using one of her paintings with the feminine form central to the composition, but Gayle feared it wouldn’t be inclusive enough, as our book has male and female contributors.
So Saturday night the copyright returned from The Library of Congress, meaning the only thing standing between us and printing this anthology is a couple authors still making edits (three I believe), some final photo layouts that need to be tweaked, and my go ahead. And one more essay that needed to be read to Nan.
And we finished that tonight and returned the manuscript to Gayle to finalize the design.
It’s exciting and exhausting to think that maybe within the week I can email all our contributors a final proof, give them a week to review it and make sure they are happy with their piece and comfortable with the anthology as a whole and go to press.
I would love to see this book released before the end of January. But if it takes us a little longer, that’s okay, too.
This book provides first person experiences, from the Lehigh Valley, on issues including:
- Body Image
- Gender/Sexuality and Self Discovery
- Hearing Loss
- Life in Twentieth Century Working Class America
- Marginalized Identities and Perspective
- Self Awareness
- Socio-Economic Prejudice