Dawn DeVries Sokol


{More Book Process}

JournalcloseOnce the dummy is designed, a book interior design moves pretty quickly. But I hit a roadblock toward the end of the book, and it threw me. And I grew angry with myself!

Humming along, I placed 8 images of pages that for some reason, looked REALLY familiar. At first, I thought that I had just seen too many journal pages and I was hallucinating. But I double-checked the Excel sheet just to be sure. And there it was. I had duplicated these pages! AAAGGGHHH!!! The production director told me not to worry, I could fix it and what did I expect with 1000 pages? She said the book had gone extremely smoothly up until that point. Of course, she was right but I continued to beat myself up about it. So I ended up doing something I thought I wouldn't do: I included some pages of my own. I had been told by some contributors that I was crazy not to include my own journal pages—after all, they said, I was the author of the book! But I hadn't felt right about it. I wanted the book to be about OTHER journal artists. But with the clock ticking, my deadline looming and 8 pages short, I knew it was the only solution. So I sent my Black, White and Pink journal to Rockport for shooting. And that is why you'll see 8 of my journal pages as the very last ones in the book.

After the design was done, the interior pages were sent over to the publisher in PDF format, they printed out sets for everyone involved to peruse and the editing process was underway. Editors, my art director, creative director, the project manager, and the publisher all looked over the pages and made their correction marks on the lasers. Then all corrections were combined to one set of lasers, which were then sent to me. I made corrections to the Quark files, sent those back as PDFs to the publisher and the proofs were looked at by everyone again. There were a few design tweaks to be made, such as consistency of placement of credits and spacing between images. As this was happening, the Directory of Artists was created from the lasers and the Excel file. There were a few questions of where this person was or that image was, which is a great double-check. The Directory was flowed in during the final stages of design corrections. Once everyone was in agreement on the design and editing, I sent the Quark files and fonts to the publisher. From there, they sent those to the printer. We checked through proofs from the printer and a few more minor corrections were made.

And then I waited.

In the meantime, the publisher looked at more sets of proofs for color correction. Some contributors who had sent in their journals for shooting e-mailed to ask where their journals actually were. I e-mailed production and was told that they really needed to hold on to all the journals until color was corrected and production was satisfied with all of the images. Almost a year is a long time for an artist to be without their journal...I can understand that. But the publisher wanted to be sure all the images were true to the originals and were presented in the best possible way. I believe a few pages were re-shot at this stage.

On May 2, I received this e-mail from my editor:
"Hey Dawn!
Did you get your advance copy? Mine just arrived. WOW. The book looks stunning. The cover and endpapers are just fantastic, and well, the interior speaks for itself. I think anyone interested in journaling is going to want this book, without a doubt. Thanks for collecting and laying out so beautifully this fantastic collection. You should feel so proud."

I e-mailed back to say thank you and I hadn't received my advance copy...WHERE was it?!! My editor told me it should arrive in the next day or two, and then later that day, I received it.

And, wow. To hold almost a year's worth of work in your hands is a little overwhelming. And a bit humbling. I always come into a book's process near the end. I'm given the text and art and am told to make it look wonderful. This was a different journey altogether, but one I would never trade.

To show the book to my family and friends has been interesting. Some aren't familiar with journaling but then see the book and understand it better. Unfortunately, there's one person I can't show it to and that's my dad. I'm told he would have been proud. I think he would have browsed through it slowly, page by page and then told me what an accomplishment it was. And he would have stared at my name on the cover and said that he didn't have to go looking for the copyright page to find it... I  dedicated the book to him.

Now, the next stage is to receive my author and design copies and then to see it in bookstores.

Make sure to get your copy! ;-)