Printed Books Are Fun

Aren’t those lovely? What are they, you ask? Well, I was feeling very adventurous so I printed up my children’s story ‘Lulu Buys A Hat’.  For those interested, making your own book isn’t exactly easy.  Especially when you don’t have a printer that likes collating.

You have to know how to stack pages so that they come out in book format. Again, not easy in the least.  Fortunately, I’ve done this several times for my own personal thing, or gifts. (stacked books, not printed my own books) Also, this was only three pages, four if you count the cover with the title. The hardest part was actually creating the binding and making sure the scrapbook paper covered the card stock I used for the binding.

Inside the cover

They turned out better than I expected, and it is somewhat thrilling to see something of your own, printed and bound.  I can’t wait for the day that these actually have pictures.  Because, yes, these are supposed to be picture books.

My father finally got to read the completed, and edited version (funny story about that. See below this paragraph).  His comment was totally girly.  Well, duh!  It’s about a girl who buys a hat.  Do you know of a guy that is really going to want to read about a girl buying a hat? I don’t.

Regarding the editing?  Well, apparently, even though I have gone over this story several times, I missed a few words.  It wasn’t until I printed it the first time Mrs. Day asked if I had edited a second time. Of course I hadn’t, so she ran through it. And obviously she found some words I had missed. The one that I laughed the most at was ‘window’ being ‘winder’.  What was I thinking there? Well, it’s all pretty now. I’m sure there are still mistakes. I don’t actually have an editor for this, sorry George. While I totally trust everything you say, even you have missed things.

Anyways, it was fun to do this.  Now to finish the query letters for this one, collect a few agents to query and we are getting somewhere.

(for those that read Escaping the Inkwell, sorry for the double post)

Signing off

~Kate

If Persephone Had Been a Publisher

I will gladly admit I love books.  I live for books.  I cannot go through life without books.  And when I come across books printed in a very classic way, I want them. Sometimes I want books just because they look nice, even if I don’t plan to read them.  I know, scandalous.  However, you might understand this when I tell you about this fascinating publishing company.

Shop photoPersephone Books out of the UK is  a publishing company that only publishes books by women authors.  With a  heading of “Rediscovered twentieth century novels, Twentieth century female authors and Inter-war Novels”, how could you go wrong?   From obscure titles like

Endpaper of Marchioness

The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett to

Endpaper of Saplings

Saplings by Noel Streatfeild.  Did you know Streatfeild wrote for adults?  Neither did I.

 

Persephone Books boasts 96 books in their selection, each with a different end paper.  This is one of the charms about Persephone Books.  While their covers are a pleasing dove-gray, it is the end papers that really catch your eye.  Each book has its own endpaper set to the book style, or the time period it was printed.  Each is completely different, and completely charming.  Along with that, each book comes with its own matching bookmark; a book mark that matches the endpaper, that is.  How completely wonderful is that?

 Below is the original article from February 2010’s Vanity Fair.  This is the article that introduced me to the imprint.

” A Woman of Substance

PERSEPHONE BOOKS’ FEMININE MYSTIQUE

Nicola Beauman, Persephone Books founder

Persephone, the British imprint founded by Nicola Beauman, evokes cozy and nostalgic memories of London train rides, Yardley English Lavender, freshly brewed tea being poured into a proper china cup, a spring popping out of a slightly doggy-smelling armchair. The tiny catalogue’s 86 titles are a compendium of short stories, memoirs, cookbooks, and republished works by neglected female writers from the interwar years. Authors such as Dorothy Whipple, Marghanita Laski, Winifred Watson (whose book Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was made into the 2008 film), and Mollie Panter-Downes, the London wartime (and peacetime) correspondent of The New Yorker, tell stories of gentle, respectable domesticity, of outward seemliness and inner turmoil which, through the banal minutiae of a housewife’s day, unravel to who life exquisitely and often darkly revealed.  “These are books where nothing and everything happens at the same time, ” offers Beauman, a Cambridge-educated mother of five.  “They are an acknowledgement that the small-scale should never be overlooked. ”  Frustrated by been able to find her favorite authors only in second-hand shops, Beauman, herself an author and a passionate champion of  “the middlebrow,” opened Persephone in 1999 in a shabbily genteel former grocery store on London’s Lamb’s Conduit Street

Eleven years later, the imprint, with its uniform dove-gray book jackets and beautiful endpapers, lovingly handpicked by Beauman and her staff, has developed a cult following.  For example, the endpaper for Doreen, a 1946 tale by Barbara Noble about a child evacuee torn from her mother, was taken from a 1940 “London Alert” print silk scarf belonging to a Persephone reader.  For Dorothy Whipple’s The Closed Door and Other Stories, Beauman chose a design from a 1930s tea gown she’d found at Camden Passage Market.

“Allergic to the corporate” and admittedly “short” with people who tell her she  ought to expand the business into wallpaper and greeting cards, Beauman nonetheless dreams of the day when all those British-costume-drama producers will leave Jane Austen alone, stop trying to  do the definitive Sense and Sensibility, and instead look to Dorothy Whipple for inspiration.  Tea gowns instead of bonnets?  Oh heppy, heppy day.   -Christa D’Souza”

I must make Persephone Books a place to stop when I go to London.

Isn’t that brilliant?  I think so.  The idea completely invokes the thought of cozy nooks to read and drink tea, a vase of peonies on the little table next to your chair.

While I do love the look of these books, and wouldn’t mind owning a few, I am a bit disappointed they are paperback books instead of hardbacks.(at least they seem to be paperbacks when I look at purchasing from Amazon)  I am a hardback person.  However, the paperback doesn’t diminish their charm.  I also am not willing to spend  £12 (or whatever the dollar’s conversion of that is)  Seems a bit steep for a paperback.  Hence, Bookmooch I’m calling on you.

Well, I hope you all will check out this charming imprint, even if you don’t plan to order from them. The site is well worth a look, and set up in a very nice manner.  I love that they show the endpaper of each book and most tell where they got the design from.  Along with a very nice section of mini biographies of the authors themselves. 

My concluding thought is they should have an imprint of male writers.  I know that there are plenty of books written by men, but think about how interesting it would be if there was one for men titled, oh  I don’t know, Apollo Books.  (or anything else Greek)  I think some of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries would be good.  Or who knows what.  Dark brown books with a cream label and end papers that are clearly masculine.  I think it’s an interesting idea.

Well, check out Persephone Books.  Trust me, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Charming doesn’t even begin to describe this company.

Signing off

~Kate 

My Take on LGBT in Literature

“]Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

Yesterday, blogger Amanda Rudd posted about her LGBT bookshelf, and the lack of that theme in many YA books, along with it being harder to have books published with that orientation as a focus of the books.  I wanted to voice my opinion here, instead of just commenting on her post.  You can read her original post here, My LGBT YA Bookshelf, which also has another link to a couple other things relating.

I think one thing about YA literature, for one is, most young adults are not reading it.  It is a harder age group to publish in because of the lack of reading.  Having worked at a library, I can honestly say that the Young Adult section was one of the least used sections.  Rarely did anyone check out books from there.  That right there in itself, is a reason why publishers would be leery of publishing a book that might not be as popular as others.  As LGBT is not a majority of the population, it isn’t as popular, obviously.  You are taking a risk to publish within the YA books, and an even greater risk with something that may not make a go.

It is becoming more common to see a LGBT theme in adult fiction, but it still isn’t the norm.  Personally, I do not go out of my way to read books that have that theme, as I don’t fully agree with it.  If the lead characters are of that world, then no, I probably won’t read it.  If there are minor characters in a book that are either gay or lesbian, fine, but it wouldn’t be my main attractor.

Now, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that would like to be able to read books with that theme, but unfortunately, it isn’t as common of a practice yet.  I think it will take time for it to work its way into fiction.  But in my opinion, the reason it isn’t in YA books is because it isn’t the world’s easiest genre/ age group.

Now, this isn’t the most put together post.  I’m sure I could have delved deeper into the subject, but, as it was only meant to be a comment in regards to Amanda Rudd’s blog, I think it’s long enough.

Check out her original post, and see what you think.

Signing off

~Kate