Book Construction 101

Now that my Thieves of Fire project has moved from production to publicity, I have cleared production space in my days to produce a quilt book for the Parkinson’s Comfort Project.
Chloe's quilt top-2015
The working title is String Theory I but that could change.

I do a lot of workshops on publishing which give me the chance to realize how much of the process I take for granted because I’ve been doing it for so long. So I thought this would be a good time to capture the ABCs of creating a book from start to finish.

I chose a how-to book as my sample because it is relatively short, it is easy to illustrate and it covers all the basics in a single package. And when this series of blogs is complete, I will have an ebook to share.

When I start to work with a client, my first question is always: Why do you want to publish a book? What are you going to do with it when it’s done?

Answering these questions determines a book’s path through the production process so the answers are key.

My thinking about String Theory was sparked a year ago with a question from someone who does not quilt but would like to participate in the Comfort Project. “Do you have a pattern for something really simple that I could follow?” he asked.

Not really, at least not at that time. But his question lingered with me because I figured there had to be an answer.

The second genesis event was the Comfort Project’s first Piecing for Parkinson’s Day. I was so busy organizing the event, I never stopped to think about its results—a stack of quilt tops that had to be finished.

For the un-quilters among you, quilts are basically three-part sandwiches—a top (usually of several pieces of fabric sewn together in a pattern of some sort), a backing fabric (most often a single piece of fabric) and a middle layer of insulation, most often cotton or cotton blend batting nowadays.

When you sew the three layers together, you have a quilt. (This sewing-together process is called quilting, by the way.)

So the Piecing for Parkinson’s Day was great but the end result was a tsunami of unfinished tops flooding my quilting inbox.

What I needed was a simple pattern and process that gave folks the opportunity to make an entire quilt from start to finish.

That’s where String Theory began.

And who is my audience?

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