You suddenly had the means to support yourself without going to that pesky job? Not like lottery winnings, we could all fantasize about how our lives would change with immense wealth. But enough to maintain your current style of life (or maybe a smidge better). What would you do with the time to do what you want?

Would you work anyway, save and invest in making your life more materially successful? Would you travel, and see and do things others only dream of? Would you change your social life–maybe make it more, or less, active? Or find a new circle of friends?

Would you go back to school, learn something you’ve always been interested in, but never pursued, something say impractical like . . . archeology? Would you write the great American novel? Create art? Laze around in a hammock with a Corona? What?

I’ve often said that given no time constraints, and no other distractions, I’d write, and art, and maybe do some hammock time. And travel some—but not maniacally—slowly, savoring the places, peoples, culture, and foods.

Last night, I didn’t sleep. Yet another story idea badgered me all night long. I don’t know why they bother—I’ve never enough uninterrupted time to devote to finishing one. So I guess that’s what I’d do—finish some of these darn stories, and get some sleep.

What would YOU do?

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Well, it’s over. I finally made it back after a nightmarish time trying to get through a line of 200 disgruntled would be United Airlines passengers . . . giving up after two fruitless hour being shuttled from one line to another and buying a seat on Frontier with no waiting!

But here I be, hard at work once again, ;-). Our trip to BEA was fruitful in free books given away by bigger publishers, with money to burn apparently. Is that any way to make money? The show was overwhelming to me. For three days I walked through the hall (picking up freebies) talking to folks, and looking, analyzing, and sometimes puzzling over book cover and interior design choices.

I saw a lot of neat design, some very strange design, and some really awful design. Who knows how or why these will or won’t be “successful” (earn a profit) or how much the design even contributes or takes away from that success or failure.

More than 411,000 books were published in the U.S. last year. Yet, only something like 37% of the population ever sets foot in a bookstore. Clearly this cannot continue. What’s the next big thing in publishing? Technology, for sure, but beyond that? I don’t think anybody knows, but they are spending money like water trying to figure it out.

Meanwhile I’ll keep on doing what I do, trying to do it better, trying to read the trends (and the books) and figure out what makes a successful book design. I’m hoping to outlast the end of the book…if not, well I still know how to garden and raise chickens.

Here’s our little booth. Graphic courtesy yours truly.

My feet hurt! BEA is SO big. And dangerous. I can hardly ever leave a bookstore without books–when I have to PAY for them, so FREE advance copies and thousands of them OMG! Stop me! Having a blast.

I am at my daughter Emily’s house now, we’ll both be going back tomorrow. Judging from her bookshelves and stacks here, she shouldn’t be going either.

I forgot my camera, I’ll try and remember to take it for a pic on Sunday.

We’re back. Today was just booth set up day. We’re all set up—doesn’t look too shabby. I’ll post a pic tomorrow. The expo floor is HUGE! And we saw only a fraction of ONE hall there are two. I’ll be trying to snag a free advance copy of Neil Gaiman’s the Graveyard Book first thing. He’ll be doing a breakfast thing, but I didn’t get a ticket to that. Still, SO MUCH to see! You can’t believe the booths the big boys put up, wow. Like walking in to a whole Borders.

We’ll be taking turns manning or rather WOmaning the booth, and going out to sample the wares. Should be fun. Then in the evening I’ll get to see my eldest daughter who lives in Santa Monica.

Test post from Blog it. I have taken the plunge and signed up for Facebook. I’ve done that so that I can use Blog It which allows you to post one time and have the post show up in one or all of your selected blogs. Here’s seeing if that works!

http://www.powells.com/blog/?p=1148
Chip Kidd chimes in on cover design by committee.


I came across this video on another blog. It’s a wonderful discussion about book cover design with the legendary Milton Glaser, brilliant (and funny) Chip Kidd, and weird Dave Eggers. 100 minutes (with visuals) and moderated by Michael Beirut of Pentagram.