(Note: this issue is by Michelle Haas - Managing Editor of Copano Bay Press - Mark will be back next issue)
As you know, we bring back obscure Texas books that were published in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
I'm a reader of modern Texas history, as well as the old stuff, so each time I read a book, I scour the bibliography looking for obscure titles that I might republish.
Once I track down a copy of the old book and give it a first reading, do any research that needs to be done for annotations, additional material, etc., then I get to work on the design.
The design phase includes everything from what the dust jacket will look like to choosing a typeface matches the voice of the author and makes the book more readable.
This phase also includes any extras that will be included with the book, be it a map, a print, a heritage medallion or whatever fits the book.
Having read the book through once, I already have a feel for the author’s tone and attitude, so I then design a jacket to put a “face” on the book, if you will. If Jon is the designer on a particular book, I sit down with him and we review a variety of ideas for the project, and then I settle on one. Or, if I'm already set on an idea, I do it myself.
Then the words begin.
The type is completely re-set digitally from the original hard copy of the book. The first round of editing actually happens while I set the type. As each paragraph is laid down, I check it for odd commas, missing words, sentence structure, etc.
A lot of the books we do were privately published at the expense of the author 150 years ago…and he likely did not have an editor other than perhaps his wife.
While I don’t change the author’s original voice or intent, I do as much in the first round as I possibly can to the end of making it readable to 21st century eyes. Victorian commas, Edwardian semicolons…they don’t play well with modern eyes.
Once this is done, we have a book with a “face” (dust jacket) and a page count.
Then I put the book through my little pre-flight checklist and I print a copy here at the office. I take that copy and my purple editing pen with me everywhere, reading each page for content, spelling/grammar, white space issues and the like.
After the final edits are done and the corrections made, the order is sent to the printer/bindery. While the books are in transit, limited edition numbers are assigned and logged, and dust jackets are printed in-house to your specifications. (Note: we currently produce our custom dust jackets, limited edition maps and prints in-house. By the end of the year we will be producing everything in-house...which will allow for some really fun customization.)
Once the books arrive, books and jackets meet up…and they head out to their new homes.
It’s a heck of a process, now that I look at it written down. I don’t think I’ve explained it to anyone but my banker before, beginning to end, in one sitting. Heck, I don’t think my Mom and Dad even fully understand my job! But if you’ve made it the bottom of this email, you do.
Here is our current crop of Limited Edition Books if you want to see what I've been up to the last several months: Click Here
All the best from us,
Michelle M. Haas, Managing Editor
Copano Bay Press
PS - We have non-limited edition books too. You can CLICK HERE to see them.