Sunday, July 18, 2010

Onward, ever onward!

So, it has been a busy week. My buddy Bert has been working on my book, working out the format and fonts and uploading artwork. I forgot how labor intensive my books are. I have spent twenty hours this week working on artwork for the book and I think I probably still have another 50 hours. Bert on the other hand probably has another 90 hours. Bert got some good news this week. He was laid-off from his job in January and has been doing a lot of free-lance work since then. On Friday, he received a great offer from a local design firm for a better job than he had before. He and his wife are very excited. I am too. He starts on August 9th so that means we have a lot of work to do to make sure we are done before that.

My books have each taken about 100 hours to layout. That seems like a lot, especially when normal books take only about ten hours to design. I have never been normal. Bert anCheck Spellingd I have a lot of fun working together. It is like two kids sitting down with an endless supply of Tinkertoys. The fun never ends as we build on each other's ideas.

Each chapter of this book will begin with a numbered tile--each one hand-made. I think i might be insane to spend so much time on these books, but I am hoping you all enjoy them--that you feel like they are as much of an experience as they are for me--like you can find yourself in Niederbipp, eating Sam's bread, drinking Isaac's tea, falling in love with Jake and Amy as they discover the truths that are all around them. This has been a most enjoyable experience. I am excited to share this last book with you. It feels like it is by far the very best. I find myself dreaming about it at night and thinking about it all day as I am frantically trying to get ready for the Park City Arts Festival, the first weekend in August. So, try to stay cool. Read a good book, and Viva Niederbipp! Ben

Monday, July 12, 2010

Layout For Becoming Officially Begins Today

That's right. After a long and tedious editing time, we began today with the layout and design for the book. The cover art for this one is amazing. My friend, Erin Westenskow Berret, did the artwork--an amazing picture--she paints like Amy, and I can still afford her. You are going to want one of her pictures too as soon as you see the artwork. I spent the day working on my doodles and sketches for the book. I am a little stressed out with all I have to do. I was accepted to the Park City Arts Festival this year and have several firings I need to do in order to be ready so I will have a lot of late nights between getting ready and finishing the book. It is the twelfth of July and I am still hoping and thinking we might have it done for the festival which is on the 7th and 8th of August this year. Then I am really going to need a break.

I have been amazingly unmotivated to make pottery lately. I am sure the heat has a lot to do with it, but I am really enjoying the writing. I have two more books that are screaming at me to begin them, and I really want to, but I have to finish this one, make pots, provide for my family and find an agent.

I am glad folks are enjoying my books. I have sold over 12,000 copies now. Most of those have been passed around because we love to share books and, yes, we're cheap, :) so I am guessing that with only 12,000 copies sold, I have had nearly four million people read my books. ;)I may be off just a bit. I never hoped to get rich by this, but it would be nice to break even. Somehow, I know it will work out.

So, for those of you who have been waiting, I am going to suggest that if you want to get the most ouf to book three, you should probably reread the first two. You may have to get them back from Aunt Edna or your fourth cousins sister's grandpa, but I garauntee it will be worth it. Cheers. Ben