It takes a community to grow a book

Most people are familiar with the African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child." The same concept applies to books. Rare is the book that is conceived, written, rewritten, edited, designed, printed, marketed, and distributed by only one person, with no input from other people. Every Wild Sage Press title has a back story populated with talented and generous people who, with the vision of a book leaping from a shelf into the welcoming arms of booklovers everywhere, spend time and energy to make the vision come true.

Central, of course, are the writers and/or artists who generate the raw material on which the book is based. But just as no man/woman is an island, neither is an author or illustrator. Most have people in their lives who support their creative process, from providing feedback to encouragement. And then there are those who turn a manuscript - whether a file on a computer or a pile of paper - into an actual published book. Editors help writers nurture the writing until it's as good as it can be, designers draw on their internal creative resources to create a setting that highlights the words and/or art to best advantage, printers bring their technical expertise to make sure the print is clear and the pages aren't wrinkled and the colours are true, the publisher researches and coordinates and agonizes over tough decisions on a myriad of details.

We can't forget the paper producers, the binders, the delivery people. Neither can we forget all the book- and publishing-related organizations out there who do essential work such as looking after ISBNs and CIP (cataloguing in publication) data and collecting and disseminating important information and conducting research and promoting supportive policies and... Funders and donors and book buyers are also hugely important because finances, as in almost every area of life, are a necessity. And of course there are the website designers and publicists and marketers and distributors and media people and booksellers who help get the books from their boxes onto shelves where they can leap into the arms of the readers whose names are being called...  

So many individuals and groups contribute to birthing a book and then ensuring it has a long and happy life - it definitely takes a community to grow a book. 

- This blog was adapted from the March 2015 Wild Sage Breeze monthly feature.

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