Sojourns in Publishing

Writing. Editing. Designing. Producing. Printing. Reading.

Month: August, 2012


Books I've Published in the Last Year: RSVP: Rice and Stew Very Plenty

Congratulations to my author Nazlin Rahemtulla on the release of her beautiful book! This autobiography expanded my world, and I loved working with this ambitious and driven author. Handling her artwork and family photos was engrossing, and I am happy to see such high-quality self-publishing be part of the local (Vancouver) literary scene.


Books I've Published in the Last Year: Mr. Otagiri's Promise

Continuing with highlights from my time with FriesenPress, I had to share another beautiful Canadian author. Deborah Roberts commissioned artists to produce some of the most breathtaking art that our design team has handled. My coworkers gathered around my computer when I first received these high-resolution illustrations. This project was very close to Deborah’s heart and it was an important milestone for her to see this book in print.


Books I've Published in the Last Year: Itsy Bitsy Stories for Itsy Bitsy Tigers

This children’s book about how to communicate with emotional intelligence with your friends featured exceptional and vivid illustrations by my author Jacqueline Newton-Kowalsky. That she both wrote and illustrated this book was exceptional, and being exposed to such creativity was an enriching experience. I have to admit that I loved referring to her title on a daily basis. To have a good reason to say “Itsy Bitsy” over and over in a business setting was one of those quirks of the publishing industry that I simply adore.

Books I’ve Published in the Last Year: Mushrooms of Autumn

Books I've Published in the Last Year: Mushrooms of Autumn

Ah, Don Gardner—one of my all-time favourite self-published authors. This man has a great heart and a fantastic sense of humoor. He took the cover image himself over 40 years ago and rocked my world when he submitted it. And how could I not love a book synopsis like this:

“The saga begins when our heroine is ten years old and naïve. Forty-three years later, Glory Anne Grimes is still naïve and proved to be a slow learner. Angel Peters and Michele Dionne, being at opposite ends of the spiritual and moral spectrum, have a polarizing effect on Glory Anne. She considers herself somewhere between them, and throughout these years is pulled from one extreme to the other searching for a deeper relationship with God, while yielding to lust amid her Catholic fidelity instilled in childhood.”

Scandalous good times from a robust, good-humoured and engaging author.


Books I've Published in the Last Year: Patience - A Gay Man's Virtue

A retrospective on the highlights of my work as a producer of self-published books with FriesenPress would not be complete without Jed La Lumiere’s book “Patience”. This man writes like he speaks, and he speaks from the heart. I was honored to have him come out to Victoria (with his dashing fiance) all the way from his home in New Brunswick, just to celebrate the release of his book and his first Pride parade. His message of equality is timely, and I expect lots more from him in the future. I am honestly jealous of the lucky Author Account Manager that gets him after I start editing full-time. He just better not love anyone more than he loved me! ♥


Books I've Published in the Last Year: True Calling by P.R. Slimko.

One of my all-time favorite authors and projects. How could I be anything less than excited to produce a book by a kick-ass bodybuilder? Working with her while she was encouraged by her husband, a NASA engineer, was wild. Her book was released at around the same time that Curiosity landed on Mars, so you can imagine that it was wild times for the two of them. Producing this book was a family affair all the way, because her son (yes, she has a grown son in his twenties, though you’d never know it from looking at this gorgeous woman!) did a professional and thorough editing of the manuscript.

To sweeten the deal, P.R. and her mother and husband took a cross-country train trip from Toronto to Victoria and came into the office to meet us before returning to their home in California. Seriously…one of the major highlights of my time with FriesenPress.

P.R. Slimko knew what she wanted right from the start, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if this book became a blockbuster movie. Authors like this are what make me feel amazing about the self-publishing business. I’m thrilled to call P.R. Slimko a soul sister and friend.

Books I’ve Published in the Last Year: Good For One Ride

Books I've Published in the Last Year: Good For One Ride

This was one of my earliest projects. Theo McGarry, a soft-spoken Vietnam Vet, wanted to work through his memories of the war through writing. It was an excruciating process for him as he suffers from PTSD, and definitely had his good days and bad days. Producing a book can be painstaking, tedious, and repetitive work, but his good nature and attention to detail prevailed. This wasn’t a book driven by ambition; this was a project meant for catharsis.

It was important to Theo that the spotlight was on the story and not on himself, so he chose a simple cover without including an author photo on the back. He wanted his cover design to suggest something of the fragmentation that he had lived with as a result of the trauma he’d survived. This book was a reminder to me that everyone has a story to tell, and that by listening to the story behind the story, we all connect to one another that much more as fellow human beings.

pam and her book photo

Author receiving freshly-printed books!

I absolutely love it when my authors get their books, especially when they send a picture of them holding it! I have touched absolutely every aspect of this project from cover to cover. To see this in her hands is so, so rewarding.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 500

I say … and you think … ?

  1. Course :: load
  2. Delusion :: grandeur
  3. Silly :: old bear
  4. Intrepid :: explorer
  5. Candle :: light
  6. Entrance :: gate
  7. Voracious :: eater
  8. Taste :: buds
  9. Bobble :: socks
  10. Horror :: story

Books I've Published in the Last Year: Rise of the Purple Orchid

Continuing on with the highlights of my self-publishing career: I really enjoyed publishing this book. The author was impeccable and had a strong vision for what her bookblock and cover should look like. The illustrations within are compelling, and the story is exceptional. I felt proud to put this together with her, researching cover photography and fine-tuning the typography.

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