Yesterday the first six (6) copies of The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook arrived at the publisher's. This morning, I received an overnight box.
What you probably can't see on that package is the weight on the label: 5 pounds (that's 2.27 kg). Of course, that includes the packaging. Yet it's unquestionably a substantial shipment.
I want to share with you one of the most magical moments in publishing: the first glimpse of the completed book. It's still thrilling, even after all these years in publishing. Despite the fact that it's a given that the work will not be perfect (no book ever is, no matter how hard everyone works to achieve perfection). The experience of seeing and opening the REAL book for the first time is an event to savor.
There are lots of photos in this post. I have made them as small as possible; I hope they won't tax anyone's internet connection, so you can enjoy this process along with me.
Packaging components = outer carton, bubble-wrap, and lightweight brown paper protective wrapping.
The people at Storey understand how special this moment is. Editor Gwen Steege made sure this copy got shipped to me as soon as possible, prepared like the treat that it is.
Wonderful paper, tied with yarn. Need to examine the wrappings properly. There's a little hide-and-seek involved.
And a variety of critter variations—I'm only including those that regularly provide fiber.
Turning the package over to open it without tearing the paper, more sheep show up:
Inside: a real book. You mean we've been making a book? That's been the theory, but this is when it feels like something other than a mirage that keeps receding into the distance instead of getting closer.
I took it downstairs to the office and weighed it. Book alone: 3 pounds 10 ounces (1.6 kg).
Opening up: We ran out of room for the maps inside, so a creative decision put them on the front and back endpapers. Editor Deb Burns masterminded this piece. Easy to refer to!
Here's the official first spread:
And looking at a few familiar pages, out of order because I'm just browsing, seeing them finally in the form they have been destined for:
. . . I remember spinning those . . . and these. . . .
Those are the Lincoln Longwool samples up there. Here's part of the treatment of the Romneys:
Co-author Carol Ekarius is especially brilliant at locating material for fascinating sidebars. We all ended up searching for just the right animal photos, but Carol did the heavy lifting on that part of the book, in conjunction with photo editor Mars Vilaubi at Storey. I'm especially fond of that Romney photo, although don't, please, ask me to choose favorite pictures. I can't; there are too many candidates.
Shortly after the book arrived, Carol and I were on Skype, typing messages back and forth. She had meetings all afternoon and was going to have to wait until she got home to see if she had a box, too.
Here's some of the Karakul information. . . .
And something I'm seeing for the first time: the index, prepared by Kathryn Bright, who is a fiber and animal person as well as a professional indexer (among her other amazing skills). I'm so pleased that she was available for this job.
Area maps from the back endpaper, and photos of two relieved writers (my photo was taken by Kristi Schueler, another multiply gifted fiber person—thanks again for making me look so good, Kristi!).
And the back cover, with a bunch of wonderful quotes by people I didn't know had seen advance copies and sent such encouraging words to introduce the work to potential readers (and browsers: the book is really friendly both to random-and-casual and to linear-and-comprehensive encounters).
Both Carol Ekarius and I thought we'd see copies for the first time at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It's delightful to have this opportunity to get to know the book ahead of time.
Yes, this is the book I have wanted to consult myself. It's in a form that is beautiful and, unlike the clutter of research notes and files or even the proofing pages, easy to leaf through.
Wow. It's real.
Interviewer: "Tell me about a particularly interesting shoot or challenge that you have taken on, in photographing fiber arts/textiles."
John's response, shortened: "A new release this Spring titled The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook authored by Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius. . . . The process of shooting that book with the author and the art director, here in my studio, and keeping all these fibers organized and labeled was immense. But the result is probably the most beautiful book I’ve ever worked on."
It is indeed beautiful, thanks to all the folks associated with Storey who worked to make it so—more wonderful folks than I can mention here, but Mary Velgos devised and implemented the most amazing design concept I've ever worked with. Maybe ever seen. I'm very, very grateful to everyone involved.
And I'm delighted that it's almost ready to share with other folks . . . as soon as the main shipment arrives on the ship, clears customs, and gets delivered to the various warehouses. Soon!