Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Green Press Initiative

For those of you who, like me, find the blow-by-blow on the book publication process endlessly fascinating (o noble work! o midwifery of knowledge and wit! o bookcrafter's art!), here's the latest on the current book projects.

First, the publisher is still desperately in need of cash to produce two cartoon collections by that most excellent of witty northerners, Jamie Smith. It's Gonna Be A Long Winter is living up to its name, and Nuggets is pending a bit more financial digestion. The books are all ready to go to the printer, the printer estimates have been obtained, but the hole in the publisher pocket is not yet stopped up, loans notwithstanding (many thanks, you who know who you are!). Please help!

Second, the manuscript for Jorgy is awaiting the final minor tweaks from the author/editor; layout will commence upon the publisher's return from her vacation. (This is the autobiography of Holger "Jorgy" Jorgensen, Inupiat bush pilot and airline captain, as told to Jean Lester. Really interesting life Captain Jorgensen's led; lots here of interest to aviators and flying history buffs, as well as people into Alaska history.) I'm working on a blog for the book, but there's really nothing there just yet, just a title, although this should change in the next few weeks.

Third, the printer for Mired in the Health Care Morass has returned the CIP page for approval, complete with the Green Press Initiative information. The publisher has given said approval, so the printing should begin any day now!

Other books in the works are two or three poetry collections, an informal history and songbook of the Chena Ridge Militia (those of you who were members, send me your stories!), and, if my cartoonist ever sends me his completed manuscript, A Cartoon History of Alaska. This is actually the oldest manuscript I've got.

The Green Press Initiative is a coalition of publishers, printers, and papermills pledging to conserve resources and preserve endangered forests. That means using recycled papers (as much post-consumer content as possible), soy inks, chlorine-free bleaching processes, conservation of energy and resources in regular business as well as in the materials and procurement of same to create books, et cetera.

I've signed up with the Initiative (although they don't have my name on the list of publishers yet) and plan to use at least 50% post-consumer content paper on each of the books I publish. I already recycle like mad at the Republic office, using old paper (and junk mail) to print my office records on. It's going to be trickier getting the Republic printed on decent paper; I'll probably have to buy a year's supply of New Leaf paper at a time and get it shipped up to the printer. Not quite there yet financially, but probably by next year I should be able to do it.

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