In the seventh grade, all girls had to take home economics (while the boys got to take shop). Albeit, it was a public school in 1973. In my home EC class, we learned to cook and sew. Sewing was never my talent. But with my book, Smythe Sewn became a big deal.
When it came time to find a publisher, COVID had us in full lock down mode. Wanting to retain full intellectual property of everything associated with the book, my husband Robin and I had already decided we would self publish Surviving in a Dog Eat Dog World. [Having done some preliminary work, I had the name of Universal Bookbindery, a book binder who then referred me to a sales rep, Brad Dietrich, at Clear Visions, a RR Donnelley Company which happened to be located in San Antonio.] After speaking to Brad on the phone, Brad invited both Robin and I to meet at their offices.
I was excited to see exactly how a real book is published. I envisioned big, loud printing presses like those shown in old black and white movies.
Coming from the media business, I was at home with cameras and lights, but printing–that was undoubtedly exciting! I am not sure what I expected, but due to COVID, Robin and I got as far as the conference room.
Brad couldn’t have been nicer; however, he bombarded us with rapid fire questions: 50# vs. 60# paper? Paper color? Perfect bound vs. Smythe sewn?, Number of books? Timeline? Printed Size? Blame it on having to wear a mask, but my head was spinning.
I wanted a hardback book, not a floppy paperback book. Finally, Brad hunted down examples of printed books and we were given a quick tutorial in Smythe Sewn, saddle stitch and perfect bind.
We settled on a 5.5”X 8” laminate cover, wrapped over board, Smythe Sewn book and the promise that I would have a dummy mock up within 3 days after I provided Brad with a print ready PDF.
It would take more than two months for me to finally get back to Brad with a print ready PDF.