Well, it’s off to press. My last official book for Stephens Press. It’s titled: Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State. This baby has been in the oven for about a year. It’s good and done. My midwifery career is culminating in the birth of an important and, dare I say, damn good book.
I can’t take credit for that. Not its damn goodness. I helped make the baby pretty, and eased it’s path into the world. That’s what I’ve done this past decade or so—help the dreams of authors become the actual books they hoped to see born. (That’s how I see it anyway.)
My job as a book designer has been to be the creative conduit for the visual embodiment of the authors’ visions. I don’t see in my work my vision so much as theirs—I’ve succeeded if I can get out of the way and bring their vision forward in a way that enhances their voice—and yet addresses the needs of the market. (And, hopefully, looks really good besides.)
Stephens Press had a nice long run and we, Publisher, Carolyn Hayes Uber, the editors, other support team members, authors, and myself included; we produced many, many books of which we can all be justly proud. This one, perhaps fittingly, may just be the most important one.
Have to shout out kudos to editor Geoff Schumacher for his tireless efforts on this project. In addition to the managing editor job (on top of his other job as publisher of the Ames Tribune in Iowa) he wrote an article and the eloquent introduction to the book, and he herded cats (er, more than 70 writers and numbers of photographers). No small task! Rick Sherman, in Las Vegas, wrangled sponsors, without which this project wouldn’t have seen the light of day. And of course Mike Ferguson, former CEO of Stephens Media, who believed in us long enough to see this project become a reality. And again, Carolyn Hayes Uber who successfully pitched this book to the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission and got the ball rolling in the first place. I handled design, production, print management, and all things birth related.
This year, 2014, the state of Nevada celebrates its Sesquicentennial—150 years! We were honored to have been chosen to represent the state with the official book for that milestone. And now my work is nearly done. The final files are uploading to the printer, literally RIGHT now.
In the springtime this large volume will hit bookstores in Nevada and online everywhere else. But here’s sneak peak at the cover, and a spread or two. Nevada 150 Years in the Silver State is 12″x9″ and 296 pages! (Told you, it’s big!) It’s chock full of great stories about Nevada past present and possibly future, and tons of photos. It will retail for $29.95. Actually it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon now.
Read more about it:
This is the story of Nevada, told on its 150th birthday.
More than seventy Nevada writers have contributed their words to capture the state’s rich history, diverse culture, and amazing places. Their words are complemented by hundreds of photographs depicting Nevada’s gritty past, desert vistas, and urban splendor.
Nevada’s rugged landscape is a prominent character in this story, but the people, from regular folks to the world’s most famous figures, give this book its narrative force. The persistent prospectors who discovered the state’s hidden stores of precious metals … the mobsters who built the casino business … the entertainers who lit up the stages … the politicians and business leaders who led the way … the homegrown artists and athletes who have made the state proud. They are all here.
Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State delves into the state’s nineteenth century origins and its twentieth century triumphs. But today’s Nevada, in all its ragged glory, is well represented as well, particularly through a dozen beautifully written personal essays.
This book is an informative and entertaining companion to the array of commemorative activities taking place across the state. But it will endure well beyond 2014 as a testament to Nevada’s kaleidoscopic grandeur.
As a final project for a publishing house, we could do worse. And it’s a nice parting gift. As for me, I have some new tricks up my sleeve. I’m moving on to a new and exciting career, building on the things I’ve learned from this one. Not leaving book design entirely, and I’ll never stop loving books. But things are evolving for me. I’ll write more about that later.
Meanwhile, happy 2014 to you all!