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Yesterday was a big day for me. My first book of any kind, Insects in a Flash, was published as an e-book. I was very excited and if you saw about this post on Facebook or Google+ then you know that already. As you can probably imagine though, there was a lot of work building up to this.

Obviously, there was all the time photographing the insects. I’ve touched upon this here before and it is not the subject of this particular post.

The process as far as producing the book begins when I discovered Flatbooks (advertising banner to side.) I can’t remember how this exactly happened, but it all started from a suggestion by Scott Kelby that we check out Trey Ratcliff, the founder of Flatbooks. Eventually, I found Flatbooks and clicked on one of the various links about becoming one of their authors. I had an idea in my head about teaching my methods for photographing insects. I proposed this idea to them and in a little while, just long enough for the whole thing to slip my mind, I got a reply back that they were interested in the story.

After this came a short discussion on schedule for delivering the book etc. Once that was ironed out I began work on the book.

I essentially considered the photography complete unless I happened to make a few more images before submitting the completed work. Turns out that spring has been unusually cool here in Oregon and thus photographing my preferred dragonfly species has not been very productive. So, there was the writing to do. At one point, I found writing reasonably easy, but I am out of practice. Thus, it was a bit of a struggle and one I faced mostly alone, except for some editing and inspirational help from family.

After that step, came the design. I decided to get a subscription of Adobe’s InDesign and tackle this step myself. I completed an initial draft and had family check it for real obvious problems. Then I submitted it to Luke at Flatbooks. This is when it became real obvious just how helpful Flatbooks can be. Luke did the real obvious proofing, plus a great deal of design advice. It was great to see the design move along pretty dramatically, but still keep the essentials of what I originally envisioned. After, a few iterations of this process, Luke thought it was time to hand it off to Griffin for a final polishing.

Griffin worked mostly autonomously, but did come to me for digital assets necessary for completion of the book as well as my approval on the work. In no time at all, Griffin was completing is final polishing and the book was installed on the web site ready to go. Griffin has also offered help on a few issues I’ve been having with the banner ad, etc., items he had no obligation to help me with.

The most unusual thing about the whole process to me was I sure can’t figure out what sort of hours these guys work. I got e-mail messages from them at all sorts of strange times. Being that I’m passionate about this and willing to address things completely outside the window you’d normally consider work hours, meant this allowed for faster progress.

Please check out my new book, Insects in a Flash.

Now I need to come up with a new book idea.