Friends’ Books

by | Oct 2, 2010

I love producing books for my friends. The collaboration is a terrific way to create something together, and it can be a powerful experience for both of us.

This month I completed a long project with an old friend. It was a project that sent us looking all over the world to find exactly the right people to create the book with us. It involved many failures along the way, uncertainty and nonstop drama.

I have the book next to me and I’m pausing for a minute while writing an article about it for my blog next week. I’m going to go back to this article, but I wanted to let you know why there’s no article here today. I hope you’ll stop by next week and check it out. Maybe you’ll feel something of what I felt having a part in creating this very special book.

And don’t miss tomorrow’s This Week in the Blogs for links to some of the week’s best reading. See you then!


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P.P.S. If there’s a subject you would like to see explained or addressed on The Book Designer, please leave a note in the comments or write to me directly at jfbookman ( at )

P.P.S.S. You should also know that it’s my policy to try to answer any questions left in the comments here.

Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, original work copyright by Kristal Kraft – Denver Dwellings,

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  1. Christy Pinheiro

    I’ve been lurking, as usual, but now I felt compelled to comment. It’s wonderful working with people that you like. This work is so solitary and exhausting; sometimes the only way I can keep my sanity is to bounce ideas off of other people, so I do it a lot.

    I’m easily distracted, but also prolific, which is a great recipe for manuscript failure! A bunch of disjointed thoughts do not make a successful book. I couldn’t do it without my friends.

    Now, where was I?

    • Joel Friedlander

      Maybe I’ve hit on something here, because I’ve been thinking about it too. There’s a big difference between networking and collaborating, where you actually have some “skin in the game.” When we’re relying on each other to work at a high level, it stimulates me in a way I don’t get from working on my own. Thanks for taking a break from that important stuff you were doing, Christy.

  2. Betsy Gordon

    Joel — I have so much enjoyed your articles this past week, even if I haven’t commented. I intend to go back and remedy that right away. The one on “Beautiful Details, Beautiful Books” especially delighted me.

    I just keep repeating myself, it seems — saying once more that I am grateful I found TheBookDesigner, because I am learning so much about what goes into making a perfect book. Best of all the excellent qualities of this blog, I think, is your attention to responding to every comment. It must take huge amounts of time. (It’s pretty neat to make some new friends along the way, too.) Thank you for all of it.


    • Joel Friedlander

      Hi Betsy, thanks so much. Well, it does take time but the payoff is terrific because I get to interact with all the interesting readers here. That seems like a really good deal to me. And in the meantime I’m working on ways I can spread the “goodness” from the blog even farther. Thanks for the contribution you make, Betsy.

  3. Betsy Gordon

    @Barbara — Hey, girlfriend! I am so glad you like the way the revisions look. I had a lot of fun with that book of yours. Love the oh-so-fashionable sunglasses on the pictured pooch: which one is this one, now? I must do better at keeping them all straight.

    Enjoy your weekend: I know you will!


  4. Barbara Barth

    Nice way for me to wake up in the morning! An e-mail with good news from The Book Designer! Looking forward to seeing the book, Joel.

    And, Michael, this is a perfect way to end your week. A hello from me AND a trip to Manhattan for the Self-Publishing Book Festival. Go gently on them! Wish I was there too.

    Haven’t talked to Betsy for awhile, so if you read this, hello! Got my revised book back with corrections and I look like I know the English language now thanks to you!

    Everyone, have a great day. Barbara

    • Joel Friedlander

      Great to hear from you Barbara, I’ll have that post up next week. Nice to see you and Betsy creating something together, that’s neat!

  5. Michael N. Marcus

    Apparently you posted today’s entry about 20 minutes ago. I posted my entry for today at about the same time. However, you stayed up late on the Pacific Coast to do yours, and I–about three miles from the Atlantic Ocean–got up early. It’s now 3:23 a.m. I’m going back to bed for a few hours, and then I’ll take the 8:02 train into Manhattan for Self-Publishing Book Expo–an ironic conclusion to BAD BOOK WEEK.

    • Betsy Gordon

      @Michael — Oh, Michael, your review of David Rising’s “book” (quotation marks seem to be appropriate here) was absolutely side-splitting! Whoever he is, he must be lying somewhere bleeding to death. I haven’t seen the S-word used in a book review before, but I should have realized you’d be the one to crack that particular ceiling.

      I’ve been away from reading the blogs for a week or so, for various reasons, but you, Joel, and Barbara make me remember why I’ve become recently addicted to this wonderful pursuit. Thanks for Bad Book Week, and have a great time at Self-Publishing Book Expo. Hope you will tell us about it on the blog!


      • Michael N. Marcus

        This was probably the first time _I_ used the S-word in a book review, but my buddy Christy Pinheiro smeared “S” on her blog before I did.

        I’m sorting out my product lit, candy and free pens, and reading thru my SPBE notes, and will report on it next week. The quick assessment is that it was better than I expected, I’m glad I went, and I learned a few interesting things. The attendance was very good both in the “exhibit hall” and at the seminars.

        I spoke to a lot of SP newbies who found the show useful.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Pretty funny, I didn’t hear you say “Good night!”

      Hope you get something other than more bad books at the SP Book Expo, I’d love to have someone who attends write it up for my blog. Any takers?



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