A Day In The Life of a Blogging Book Designer

by | Jul 14, 2010

Today was a busy day at Marin Bookworks, home of TheBookDesigner.com. What’s up? After a chilly morning perfectly suitable to winter—oh, wait, it’s July!—it was a full day.

  • Completed photo research for a book cover project about sailing around the world.
  • Finalized 5 cover designs for the sailing-around-the-world book.
  • Answered several queries from prospective clients.
  • Answered comments left overnight on various blog posts.
  • Scheduled a social-media consult with an author for tomorrow.
  • Tried to track down 5 cover variants sent to Fedex/Kinko’s (yeah, I know they changed the name, very foolish) north of here for proofing for a client’s book.
  • Corresponded with another client about a book printing that’s gone sideways.
  • Started photo research for a cover design for a crossword puzzle book.
  • Posted a brief article to the SPANet community site on the Books & Blogs group.
  • Went to the gym, walked the elliptical for a half hour listening to Chris Brogan on blog writing.
  • Did a 5-minute freewrite in the gym parking lot on the iPad.
  • Consulted with the Sears repairman, back for a second visit, about all the new parts he’s having shipped in to fix the nuker. Try to look reassured when he says they’ll be here “soon.”
  • Tried to pick up a package at the mail drop, stymied by the parking lot oiling underway, bright yellow police tape circling the entire strip-mall parking lot, forcing everyone to exit via the entrance. Dicey.
  • Met with a printing salesman at our downtown Starbucks to review press proofs on a full-color art photography book being printed in Canada. Met an indie publisher at the next table who noticed the 24″ x 36″ press sheets hanging over the little Starbucks table, says he’s read the blog.
  • Had a long consult with the photographer of said art photography book about how to correct the one or two minor flaws in an otherwise incredible press proof. Starting to get excited about the book.
  • Set up an editing schedule with a client on yet another nonfiction book. (No novels in the house at the moment. How sad.)
  • Created and shipped off a PDF of the Foreword from a book for another client.
  • Assembled materials for next blog post on article marketing for publication later in the week.
  • Checked my Feedburner, Google Analytics, Alexa, Newsletter subscriber and Twitter stats. Do I have to do this every day?
  • Responded to 72 emails.
  • Failed to answer 7 phone calls. (Who has time to talk?)
  • Sent 13 Tweets.
  • Read 3 blog posts on other blogs.
  • Added 5 items to tomorrow’s “To-do” list.
  • Called it a day. See you tomorrow.
  • Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, original work copyright by flik, https://www.flickr.com/photos/flik/

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. Marla Markman

    You need to give a time management presentation! I’m exhausted just reading this! Curious–what time do you get up and what time to call it a day?

    • Joel Friedlander

      Marla, that’s pretty funny. I’m not very good at time management. I have to get up around 6 but only because of car pooling, and I admit I do stay up late, since that’s when I seem to have time to finish up my blog posts. Oh well, at least I’m doing things I really enjoy!

  2. Christy Pinheiro

    This is a crazy schedule, Joel! I spent six hours putting together the ISBNs, titles, and descriptions for a new group of manuscripts today. It was exhausting; mentally draining and very boring work. The creative part is fun– the writing and the discovery, but by the time the manuscript gets closer to completion, it gets more and more tiresome until I feel like I want to fling it out the window!

    • Joel Friedlander

      Spoken like a true author! And I move pretty fast so I do get through it. Just not a lot of “browsing” time.



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