For a book to stand out in the marketplace, the typography element must be as important as all other aspects of the cover. All of the pieces must work together to cultivate a feeling or message about what one can expect inside the book.
At the Waterline
Brian K. Friesen stands at the front of the room, a microphone in one hand and a small orange notebook in the other. “The Attic” of the Buffalo Gap Saloon and Eatery is packed full of people to celebrate him and the release of his new book, At the Waterline.
The benefit of placing an editing team on location isn’t something that is readily apparent, as it is difficult to measure an increase in authenticity, quality, and design acuity during a production process that lasts more than a year. But if one were to observe an At the Waterline meeting, they’d notice certain camaraderie that can only come from collective experience. They’d hear of the abundance of creative and extraordinary ideas that have gone into At The Waterline’s production. A lot of big ideas are coming from that tiny team.
At the end of every winter term, students at Ooligan Press have the opportunity to become project managers (PMs) and department leads, and a year later, they must pass the torch to next year’s students. As managers are currently in the process of training their successors, three departing project managers reflect on the challenges and achievements throughout their tenure and give advice to future Ooligan PMs.
I’ve always judged a book by its cover even though the saying tells you not to, and I doubt that anyone would completely dismiss the cover when deciding whether to read a book. After researching some cover trends both today and in recent years, I wondered how well At the Waterline stands against today’s market trends.
With a couple cracks of thunder, a light hail baptism, and an enthusiastic welcome from an amazing crowd, At the Waterline was launched into the world (and onto the Powell’s staff picks shelf!). If you’ve been following our journey, you already know what Team Rivers has been up to. We helped Brian edit his manuscript, we added maps and diagrams, we dreamed up a killer marketing campaign, and we planned a citywide celebration to top it all off. At the Waterline is sailing smoothly into readers’ lives, with lots of fun stops planned for the future. It’s the nature of the publishing process that eventually we have to let one book go and turn our attention to the next. But before At the Waterline slips over the horizon on its world tour, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the crew that helped make her seaworthy.