I love the booklet format as it’s the perfect size for your pocket when out and about, but they need to be displayed in such a way that the covers are seen to full effect…not so easy when they’re on a shelf. I had considered using the bellyband that are used for packing the books for transport, but it is difficult to find a design that isn’t ugly, or is in keeping with the rest of the book. I wondered about a sort of trompe l’oeil cover but it will need a barcode, and frankly the books are prettiest when you can see the covers. This could be a problem for shops who of course want books that go on shelves rather than things on display that get knocked and take up a disproportionate amount of space.
In order to be a able to have an informed conversation and experiment, I bought a wire greetings card display unit from eBay. The books are a little smaller than A6 so a standard unit is quite good as there is room for manoeuvre around the sides. This rack is quite large but I will have some art fairs over the summer and autumn so it will be good for that, even if it’s a little on the ungainly side for a shop.
Obviously I only have the 2 books I’ve published so I printed off the covers of the rest and sat them in front of the packs. They look rather scrappy but I am really pleased with the result:
I just have 5 books deep but it will take more, meaning it could easily hold 120+ books. I have also ordered a smaller, 2 book acrylic stand which might be more appropriate. I am really pleased with how they look en masse and it has reassured me that I need to be steering conversations towards display rather than sets. I realised that although I am technically doing a set of the habitat books, it makes more sense to group them as a pick-n-mix/mix-n-match as it might be more appropriate to group them in to areas. I am doing a book of the Cuckoo Trail near me, as well as the South Downs Way so perhaps geography is a better grouping factor? I could also have a set of Urban, Westminster and Notting Hill for example. I am no longer doing the “Birds of…” series as a set as I want to be able to do as many of those as I like so I have changed the back page blurb to reflect this – here is the back cover of Birds of the Isle of Wight:
What with the ongoing faffage of covid and getting around and about, I am thinking of putting the London books on the back burner for now and concentrating on the Sussex books. I am waiting to hear back from Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and I have a meeting this afternoon with Much Ado Books in Alfriston this afternoon which is my first proper discussion so that’s really exciting. I went up on to the Downs the other day and took some photos for the cover illustration so perhaps I’ll get on with the South Downs Way next. Westminster and Notting Hill need the birds written up but are all in place to go if I have to get a wriggle on.
Back at the illustrations, I painted a buzzard as although I have been putting it off (they are not interesting birds to paint!) I couldn’t escape it any longer and I need one for the IoW and the Cuckoo Trail. I used a photo by Leah Taylor (@leahtay.photography)as a reference;
Here is my Cuckoo Trail illustration:
I have given my parents the final book of the Habitat selection for proofreading, and I am hoping to send off the PDFs to the printers. I have uploaded the published titles to Nielsen Title Editor so they should be up on the system in the next day or two.
Thanks again for all the wonderful feedback on the little logbooks – I really love hearing how you are using them!