When I started working at a college book publisher in Boston a few decades ago, my new friend there asked me whether I had been here long. By “here” she meant America. She’d detected a slight accent—an intonation, actually—revealing my foreign origins.

Because she was fifteen or so years my junior, I couldn’t resist quipping back, “Longer than you have,” which, of course, stopped her in her sweetly meant but somewhat condescending tracks (you know, the way you speak to foreigners, in that I’ll-talk-slowly-so-you-can-understand-what-I’m-saying tone). Continue reading

On the Way with Designer Julia

Hey Denise

Joel Friedlander’s tips on self-publishing on his blog, TheBookDesigner, are spurring me on. In his free booklet, “10 Things You Need to Know About Self-Publishing,” he clarified for me the next steps on the road to seeing my memoir of my family’s WWII experience, Bowing to the Emperor: We Were Prisoners of the Japanese, morph into a book.

Joel reminded me that if I want my book to look like professionals produced it, I need to hire professionals—unless, of course, I have those skills myself. He is referring to editorial, design, typography, and cover creation skills.

He goes on to say that four people are necessary in the whole process to make the book all it can be: the editor, the cover designer, the book layout artist, and the marketing consultant.

Continue reading