A lasting legacy for author and church
When Michael Gery offered to chronicle his church's story, it was with the understanding that he would work alone. Gery understood it would expand his "workload immensely," but that didn't matter. He was, he wrote, "always more interested in the quality of the project" and feared writing by committee would result in a book that was "disjointed, and written in different voices."
Though he died before he was able to publish his work, Michael Gery did complete an impressive amount of writing and research. Gery's wife, Lisa, states in the dedication that, "He spent years collecting and reading books and historical documents, visiting local historical societies, conducting interviews, and culling the church's voluminous files of sermons, logs, and annual reports. At the time of his death, he had more than three hundred files of partially written chapters and appendices."
Lisa Gery, with the support of church member and editor, Jo Ann Augeri Silva, pulled together the work her husband had done, created a manuscript, and contacted Composition 1206 to make it a book.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead: Transformation Through Time is an impressive body of work. The book holds not only the history of the church, but the history of the "political and religious movements that led to its founding."
From a design perspective, it is a complex text with deep footnotes and few photographs. Understanding that it would be a hefty book (the spine is just under an inch thick), it is designed in a larger format with a wide inside margin.
The result is a book that opens easily, has plenty of white space, and gives readers room to breathe.
Though I never met Michael Gery, his interest in creating a body of work he could be proud of will, I imagine, inspire his congregation and readers alike as it inspired me.
If you recognized the headline from this post as the title of a Rolling Stones song, you're right.
You can't always get what you want.
I’m in the final stages of finishing my book and discovered a problem. A new problem. I’ve already worked out other issues: a new book title and new book cover. I’m pleased with the new title and cover, but it's the layout that’s causing me fits.
So what’s the problem?
It’s a workbook and I wanted to design the book in landscape format with a spiral binding it so it would open flat and offer plenty of elbow room for practice writing.
But I also want to publish the book through two self-publishing houses: IngramSpark and Amazon’s KDP. IngramSpark offers the landscape option, KDP does not. Neither offer spiral binding.
From the beginning I knew I would publish and sell the book from my own websites, but I want it to go further than that. Publishing through IngramSpark and KDP will broaden the book's reach and get it into more hands. After all, that's the reason I'm writing the book. So I made the decision to reformat it.
Get what you need
So yes, it’s true. You can’t always get what you want. But, as the song goes, “if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
Turns out, I like the cover better and though it’s been time consuming, the portrait layout is working well.
And getting what I want? When the book becomes a best seller, I'll think about a special edition ... horizontal format with a spiral binding. Wouldn't that be something.
p.s. Here's the new cover.
nonfiction book development and design
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