Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Publisher's Dilemma

I have started taking private lessons in the operation of this press. These are from a hardened business man, who helps me get the business side together.
You see book publishers are forever between two opposite sides, each pulling in a different direction. On the one hand there is literature - the will to publish good books, books that explore new ways of story telling, and do it well. On the other hand there is business, the will to publish books that sell.
The thing is: if the books you publish do not sell, you cannot make other books, and cannot do good literature. On the other hand if you only care about the money, what's the point of this whole exercise, there are enough trashy books out there even before drop of light published anything. So it really is a dilemma.
In the next few posts I will tell you about all the books that we have published, or intend to publish in the near future, and how with each one, we are faced with this constant dilemma, and how we might solve it with some careful business planning. Feel free to comment on any of this, It might help me pull my thoughts together.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Addition

A new addition was recruited a few days ago – I. Yes, the press is growing, ever so slowly, yet in a determined manner.
I hope to contribute as much as possible to the wondrous world of Israeli fiction press. More to come in the very near future, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Penguins in progress

After a long break due to prior engagement, I've recently returned to working on the book about the penguins. I would like to share bits of the process.
This is the story of an illo which tells about tourists that visit the penguin's beach. The tourists take pictures and sometimes throw coins at the penguins. This was the first version:

(click the image to enlarge)

I wasn't happy about it, but I didn't know why exactly, so I asked for my mentor's help - Mr. Danny Kerman, who is a well known illustrator and writer in Israel, a very nice person, and an excellent teacher. His remarks were that the people are all facing forward in an unnatural way, and look detached from the penguin. He also said I should improve the way different materials meet - for example, the way the ship's body meets the see, the way the water meets the shore, and so on. I found his remarks inspiring, and created a new version for this illo, which started with the following sketch:

I've done a few changes in the sketch, which were reducing the tilt of the ship, so that the people won't look as if they're falling, and moving the penguin down and out of the frame. This is the final outcome:

(click the image to enlarge)

This is better, although I'm afraid that the people and the penguin still look a bit detached. However, I'm not sure if I'll have the emotional strength to do it all over again... for the third time! I'll wait till the rest of the book is done, and decide than.

Here are two more sketches which are waiting to become colored illos:

I'll tell this sketch's story on my next post:

Let me just add, after two days of hard work, my back is killing me. Just one of the risks in this trade. I have to go back to Yoga.

Monday, October 1, 2007

So Far So Good

We actually sold our first two books on Icon yesterday, and we are going to keep doing it today. Our sales figures are nice, and considering the short time period, and our anonymity, they're really amazing.
More about our Icon adventures when I comer back. Right now I have to go sell some more books!
See yall.