The official weblog of the little-poetry-press-that-could, Plan B Press. Specializing in chapbooks, we have published of over 40 books from authors both local and international.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

joys of publishing

It can hardly be said that I am naive about publishing as Plan B Press enters its TENTH year. At the same time, while it can be said that there is a degree of terror for writers to stare at an empty page, there is a degree of excitement which can greet a publisher when agreeing to bring out a book. It's a realization of a dream. The experience can be particularly rewarding or particularly frustrating for the author and the publisher alike.

That has happened to us as well, but not often. I look at the book creation process as an extension of the book writing process. That's one reason that the website contains the quote from El Lissitzky that it does, "The book must be the unified work of the author and the designer. As long as this is not the case, splendid exteriors will constantly be produced for unimportant contents, and visa-versa."

One reason that Katy and I have been able to do such a fantastic job with the Press since 2002 is that I married this incredibly talented book designer. Katy Jean is extremely talented and makes covers that both reflect and anticipate the contents of the books she designs. Since the process begins with words on a page, for a designer - the text provides the colors for the blank canvas that each cover begins as. The whole book is mere concept until - and the "until" is the same for a designer as it is for a sculptor or a painter.

It's an idea - a word - a phrase. It sparks something inside the designer just as vital to the completion of the project as the work itself. More so, in fact, is the designer's effort to take the words and make "something" out of it, something that will attract readers not familiar with the author's work, attract them as moths to a flame. That's what a designer does. And the truism that El Lissitzky said is what the Press itself does. It's what we do.

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