This is the 29th book I’ve done in 44 years of publishing, and something different has happened here.
Our output is slow because we put books together 2 pages at a time. Grown-up publishers get a book totally prepared — text and graphics — before starting production.
I collected materials, for about a year, stored both on the computer and in old-school 5th-cut file folders. Once it got to a tipping point, we started production. I’d pull out the best stuff, do layout with a cheap color copy machine and scotch tape. Our artist-sometimes-in-residence, David Wills, would tune up the designs, whenceforth they went to Rick Gordon for InDesign/Photoshop preparation for printers. Lew Lewandowski unearthed a lot of this material, and designed a bunch of pages. Evan Kahn contributed in various ways. The book assumed its form, with categories, 2/3 of the way through its production.
Bob Easton and I developed this seat-of-pants method of production out of necessity with Shelter in 1973: we only had maybe half of the materials ready, so we just started. I continued to shoot photos, write, and edit the book while it was in production. Photos kept coming in from contributors. Still our M.O.
Disadvantage: takes forever, is expensive, a bit nerve-wracking, sailing on unchartered seas.
Advantages: the book has an immediacy, a life of its own, and takes shape as it grows. Organic.
With our previous 3 books (Home Work, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Tiny Homes, we had 4 years in between each. With this one, only 2 years. Stressful. I ended up just about flat-lining in the chi department when the printing was finished. Into the end zone and collapsing.
Back to what’s different here: I got home and got better (2 weeks), and 6 of the bound books arrived 2 days ago from Hong Kong via FedEx and I was floored. All along, I’d thought that this book wouldn’t have as big an audience as Tiny Homes; after all, these were nomadic homes. Well, surprise! It turns out to be playful, happy, rich in color and adventure and joy in living. Everyone can relate to these people and their homes. They move! No kiddin! I’m just kinda blown away. FUN!
The 15,000 books are just about to leave Hong Kong on their 30-day voyage to the Tennessee warehouse, and should be in stores by early June. Phew! And wow!
(Krappy photos, I know, shot in a hurry; the book looks a lot better than this.)
A Few Notes From the Blogger:
•I know I repeat myself all over the place; it’s just the way my mind works. Say, did I ever tell you about the time…
•I throw stuff out there as it happens. For example, the pic of me at the airport. I look so stupid with all that luggage. But hey, life moves on.
•I’ve started dumping negative, or worse, ugly comments. This ain’t a forum (said that before), it’s my glass-half-full (maybe even Polyannish) take on the world around me. Fuck off, trolls.
•I’m going to be changing the general content in that I’ll be directing much of the shelter/garden/homestead stuff to our forthcoming theshelterblog. I’ll post more personal daily observations, trying to take readers along riding shotgun. I see a ton of interesting stuff going on out in the Universe, up to this point most of which doesn’t get posted.
Rock ‘n roll this sunny/cloudy Sunday. Feels so good after the rains + mas lluvia mañana…¡Orale!