Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fun with Trim Sizes, Part 2: Anne Lamott's "Help, Thanks, Wow" Gains 1/4 of an Inch.

Yesterday I wrote about two changing trim sizes when a book is a strip and rebind. But recently a Boswellian came to me with a dual trim issue that was clearly not a strip and rebind.

Last fall, Anne Lamott came out with Stitches, a follow-up of sorts to the surprise runaway bestseller, Help, Thanks, Wow. The book is holds an inspiration about how to cope with tragedy. Our job, paraphrasing the publisher, is "collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time. It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity."

Lynette Lamb in the Minneapolis Star Tribune observed that "with its discussions of Lamott friends who’ve faced cancer, ALS and mental illness, this book isn’t exactly a beach read. But ultimately, with its gentle exhortations to 'keep taking the next necessary stitch,' it is a hopeful one."

Riverhead was also hopeful that folks would see Help, Thanks, Wow as a collection that could be bought together. I don't know if enough folks saw how beautiful these packages are. While HTW was printed in dark blue ink, Stitches is dark green. They actually redid the spine to match the new book. But somehow in the process, the trim size changed, and we found ourselves with two different editions of HTW.

To be precise, the old edition was 4.75 inches in width while the trim of the new edition is 5 inches.

What's going on? I asked our friend Katie at Riverhead and she said it was all about a production shift. For non-standard sizes, I assume that different printers had different capabilities. So it wasn't my thought that a particular retailer requested this slightly wider trim for some display or other, and dangled the promise of a large order if it was fulfilled.

The only thing that surprises me is that the new editions have a smaller font size and less contrast, and that doesn't seem like it would be a great thing for Lamott's customer base.

I also asked Katie if there was another color on the horizon. She said no, but if they are looking for input from the peanut gallery, I think a maroon, brown, or really dark purple would all be quite fetching.

I should really do a blog post on great books with colored type. For some reason, Michael Ende's The Neverending Story comes to mind, but I really am not sure if that book did indeed have colored type.

1 comment:

john eklund said...

How about colored paper? New Directions once printed Stevie Smith's "Novel on Yellow Paper" on........guess!