A Hard Case

Update: Now, with pictures! All right, kids. You like details? Here are some details. Pick up three hardcover books, preferably from different publishers, and remove the dust jackets. Look at the spines. Do you see the title, author, and publisher’s name or logo stamped on each spine in metallic foil? Probably. Are the colors of […]

Don't leave me dangling

Checking some proofs the other day, an error leaped out at me. Appearing on the acknowledgments page, I couldn’t help noticing this dangling modifier: Like all other authors . . . , there are many others who helped me get this book together. Leading a paragraph in which the author thanks his two proofreaders, I […]

Study Questions

I have been shocked—shocked!—by the amount of interest in this post since it was written up on Usually when I talk about what I do, people are like, “Uh huh, that sounds really, um, interesting. So, do you design covers, too?” Covers are sexy; everybody notices book covers, even if they don’t read much; […]

Making Castoff

Last week I attended a reunion of people who used to work at a certain nonprofit literary organization. Some are in publishing now, many are writers, and all are bookish people who buy and read books—past page 18—regularly. Yet I was asked several times, while catching up with folks, what it is that a book […]

The mountains! the mountains! we greet them with a song

The mountains! the mountains! we greet them with a song

Here’s a cheerful tale of something I don’t feel like I worked very hard on turning out to be exactly what the client wants. This project was for a publisher that had been tearing up my samples pretty consistently, so I decided to not put much design into it.

Even More Puzzling

Speaking of puzzles, I also recently got to design and assemble a book of crossword puzzles from a certain weekly progressive newsmagazine. There wasn’t much to design, and what there was of it I cribbed from the magazine itself. Nor was there much to typeset, since after a not inconsiderable amount of wrangling we were […]

Puzzling Samples

Puzzling Samples

Since that puzzle book I mentioned earlier (math, design) has now been printed and should be appearing in stores, I figure it’s time to post some pages of it here, for your viewing pleasure. What I started with A very complex manuscript overflowing with cartoony illustrations (none of which are shown in these samples), line […]

A satisfied customer!

So yesterday afternoon I submitted sample pages for that puzzle book, and today I received an e-mail from the publisher saying the “design is drop-dead gorgeous . . . I think it’s lovely.” The author hasn’t seen it, though, and I had some queries about structural issues, so there may yet be changes. But I’ll […]

Indexes, indices, indixes

Okay, first off, here are the last two books I’ll ever index: These happen also to be the only two books I’ve indexed. Professional indexers are special people, and I am not that kind of special. Trivia: Appeal to Reason, most of which I also typeset and the copyediting of which I supervised, had the […]