Wait! How many books did I design last Spring?!
So, every publishing season (for the past few years) I seem to take on more and more books. One Spring, it was a couple of coffee table books, a kids’ book and a cookbook. Then the next Fall I was able to throw in another cookbook or two. The numbers grew…and grew and grew. But it wasn’t until I met the folks at Cantata Learning that I realized exactly what I was capable of in a publishing season.
I met the Joan and Chuck at Cantata in time to design their first season of picture books. The imprint brings music to the learn-to-read moment. The original and public domain stories and songs come to life, not only in the pages illustrated by some pretty wonderful artists, but also with the music accompanying each book (CD and online).
I remember my first meeting with Joan when she told me about the project. We agreed that taking these books that still fall into the educational category into a visual space where each one feels like it’s own trade picture book. Sure it’s a little more work, but let’s make these books special, right? Right!
“Wait! How many titles are you launching with?”
“mmm … about 30.”
“That’s what I thought you said."
Now, years ago, I’d been taught to lead with "yes”. No matter the challenge, you find a way to get it done. And so I did just that.
“Sure, I can totally design 30 books in the next couple of months on top of my cookbooks and origami kits under contract already.” (Naturally, this happened as I was entering my busiest publishing season to date with The Book Shop, Ltd. with books for Thunder Bay, Sterling Innovation and Race Point Publishing).
A handshake, a few laughs, and a contract later, the manuscripts and art started rolling in!
After a fun couple of months we did it. Last Spring we produced the first season of Cantata Learning books … and it was a joy! It was such a joy that I’m in the late stages of completing a 40-book second season with this amazing team. In fact, this season I art directed AND designed the books. I even illustrated a couple books myself!
No matter how much work it felt like, it’s not until you get three boxes of samples in the mail that you realized how much you just accomplished!