Here are some of the books I have done on contract for individual authors and organizations. More examples of my work can be seen in my catalog of books in print published by the Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop. Also see my portfolio on Elance.com.
In 1992, I was approached by the Boone County Historical Society of Belvidere, Illinois, to reprint A History of the Ninety-Fifth Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers, by Wales Wood, originally published 1865 in Chicago. The Historical Society provided an original copy, which I had disbound (always necessary when doing a facsimile reprint), plus 44 photographs, most of which were taken from a large photomontage of officers of the regiment. These were inserted, three to a page, at the beginning of the book, following the new introduction, written by one of the officers of the Historical Society. Also added to this edition was a new index. The resulting book measures 5 ¼ x 7 ¼", 283 pages, is printed on acid-free paper, smyth-sewn and case bound in blue Roxite B cloth, with gold foil stamping on the front and spine.
Publisher of record: Boone County Historical Society (Published 1993). A few copies are available for sale in Our Books.
In 1994, Brad McGowan was on a one-man crusade to repair the Iowa Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Des Moines, a magnificent 130 foot-high statue that had fallen into a sad state of disrepair since it was built in 1894. As a fund-raising project, Brad, in conjunction with the Civil War Round Tables of Cedar Rapids and Ottumwa, Iowa, contracted with CPP to reprint the very informative Hand Book For Iowa Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, written in 1898 by Cora Chapin Weed, and sell it to interested donors as he traveled around Iowa giving countless fundraising speeches. The cost of publishing the book was generously defrayed by several area businesses and individuals, so that all proceeds could go toward restoration of the monument. In all, Brad raised $52,000 in private donations (sales of the Hand Book brought in more than $5000), which was unfortunately not nearly enough to get the monument restored. Eventually, Brad was able to get the state of Iowa involved in the process, and the restoration of the Iowa Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument was finally completed in 1999. The Hand Book was published as a paperback (same format as the original), notch-bound, printed on acid-free paper, 5 ½ x 7 ¾", 120 pages, with 54 original photographs and diagrams, a new introduction and index.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 1994; ISBN 0-9628936-6-8).
Early in the spring of 1998, retired high school history teacher Morris Wilson of Des Moines came to me with the manuscript of a novel he had written about the Civil War in northeast Missouri, entitled Friends, Enemies and Lovers, seeking advice on how to get it published. We decided the best solution for him was to self-publish under his own name. To save costs, I explained to him how to format the document in Microsoft Word so that a laser print-out could be submitted to the printer as camera-ready copy. We contracted out the cover design to someone who specialized in book covers, and Mr. Wilson did the rest of the work. CPP arranged for printing and binding, and I even made a special trip to the transport company’s terminal so that Mr. Morris would have his books in time for a 4th of July book signing in Missouri. The result was a quality notch-bound paperback, 6 x 9", 379 pages, printed on acid-free paper.
Publisher of record: Morris D. Wilson (Published 1998)
For a number of years after she first read an article about the Camp Pope Bookshop in her local newspaper, Harriet Stevens had been in touch with me off and on discussing the publication of her great-grandfather’s letters and her grandmother’s diaries. Even before this she had been attempting to weave them together in a book about the 37th Iowa, the “Graybeard Regiment,” of which Lyman Allen (Harriet’s great-grandfather) was the major. She had done some research on the 37th, corresponded with historical societies and libraries, even taken creative writing courses, but the book was going nowhere. Finally, Harriet determined to have CPP edit and publish the book. There are 22 letters from Lyman Allen to his wife that have survived over the years, some from every place the 37th was stationed. For the times that Lyman’s wife joined him at a post, such as Rock Island, and of course no letters were written, his step-daughter’s (Viola Baldwin) diaries filled in the gap, as she usually accompanied her mother wherever the mother went. So we had a continuum of primary material. To tie it all together I wrote for Harriet a narrative history of the 37th Iowa, using some of the research she had already done. CPP then typeset the book and had it printed on acid-free paper and notch-bound into a quality 6 x 9"paperback, 128 pages, one map, 19 photographs, and index. The Graybeards is a nice little book full of rare family pictures, on a subject that has never been treated at book-length before.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 1998; ISBN 0-9638936-7-6).
Des Moines, Iowa, historian Roxana Currie has long been interested in the service of Polk County, Iowa, men in the Civil War. In 1996 she wrote and published a small history of soldiers from her town (Polk City) who fought in the war, entitled Brave Men Shouldered Their Muskets. She contacted me in 1998 about the possibility of reprinting Leonard Brown’s American Patriotism, a memorial to Polk County men who died in the war, originally published in 1869. The book was never much of a success; however, today it represents a treasure-trove of primary research material covering several Iowa regiments (letters, diaries, interviews) not available anywhere else. Ms. Currie wanted to do this as a service to area libraries, schools, and historical societies, which meant she wanted to have a small number of books printed without any intention of making the book available commercially. The cost of doing less than 200 copies of a fairly long hard cover book with no means of recouping investment proved prohibitive. An external source of funding had to be found. Three years later Ms. Currie was able to secure a Community Betterment Grant from Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa, through the Friends of the Polk City Community Library, of which Ms. Currie is an officer. She wrote a historical/biographical introduction and a new index, which I typeset for her in Corona, a font that matched the original. She submitted her personal copy of the original book, which I had disbound locally. My offset printer in Michigan scanned the original book and outputted the resulting digital file direct to plate (a new process; 10 years earlier they would have had to photograph each page, strip the negatives into signatures, and impose the plates from them). My electronic files of the new introduction and index (plus an addendum of Brown’s poetry) were added in, and the result was a handsome 624 page, smyth-sewn, 5 x 7" book, case bound in blue Arrestox B linen, with gold foil stampings on the front and spine. The quality of the binding and the acid-free natural paper stock means that Polk County area libraries will be able to make this historical resource available to their patrons for many years to come. Although, as mentioned, American Patriotism was not published for commercial resale, I do have a few copies available for sale to showcase my contract publishing services. Email Roxana Currie if you would like to know about her experience with the Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2002; ISBN 1-929919-03-4). Retail Price: $40.00 (Very limited stock available in Our Books).
Roxana Currie published Murder! in 1997. Her booklet tells of the 1882 murder of the mayor of Polk City, Iowa, an incident that so riled the people of the town that when another, unrelated murder was committed the following year, the suspects were hunted down by a mob of local citizens. One suspect was killed on the spot and the other later lynched. Ms. Currie had continued her research into these events and wanted to update her book, but didn’t want to go back to the quick print shop that did her first edition. Since we had already worked together on American Patriotism (see above), she contacted me about typesetting the new edition. She wanted to start with only a small quantity, so I suggested we have the book printed by Lightning Source, Inc., a print-on-demand book manufacturer in Tennessee. Although not a Civil War book, Murder! (5 ½ x 8 ½" paperback, 80 pages, one photograph) was an interesting project: in addition to laying out the text in a new, larger font, and redesigning the cover, I helped with editing and proofreading. All of my work with the author on this new edition was carried out via email, and, to speed up approval time, I posted PDFs of different cover designs and text formats online so that they could be viewed immediately by the author.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2005; ISBN 1-929919-07-7). Retail price: $14.00 Copies are available from RLC Creations, Box 47, Polk City, IA 50226. Add $2.00 for postage and handling, Iowa residents add $.98 Sales Tax. (Copies also available in Our Books).
Polk City, Iowa, historian Roxana Currie published a compilation of her articles in 2000, entitled Polk City's Early History: Before 1900. These had been written for the local newspaper, the Tri-County Times, in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2010 she felt it was time to redo the book in a new format, adding many of the photographs that had appeared in the newspaper. I took the original cover illustration of her first edition (the tree in the middle of Highway 415) as a kind of logo, using Photoshop to isolate the tree from the background of the photo and superimposing it on each chapter title page. Ms. Currie chose the fonts, the text design, and wrote new captions for the 26 photos, both historical and new. The publication of Polk City's Early History: Before 1900 was underwritten by grants from the Polk City Chamber of Commerce and the Big Creek Historical Society. The book is a 5 ½ x 8 ½" paperback, 150 pages.
Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2010; ISBN 978-1-929919-25-73). Retail price: $17.50. Copies are available from RLC Creations, Box 47, Polk City, IA 50226. Add $2.00 for postage and handling, Iowa residents add $1.23 Sales Tax. (Copies also available in Our Books).
I was approached in the fall of 2003 by Kenneth Lyftogt, history professor at the University of Northern Iowa, to reprint his Left For Dixie: The Civil War Diary of John Rath, which was first published in 1991. Rath served in the 31st Iowa Infantry and saw action in the Vicksburg, Atlanta, and Carolinas Campaigns. Professor Lyftogt wanted to add a few more illustrations, update his ad card, and brighten up the cover, keeping the existing book mostly as is. I designed the new cover, the new photograph section, and typeset the new index using Adobe InDesign 2.0.2. Matching the font was fairly simple as the original publisher had utilized a fairly common desktop publishing font. A copy of the original book was sent to my offset printer in Michigan Thomson-Shore, Inc., where it was scanned and digitized. The new material was then stripped in digitally. The new edition is a 5 ½ by 8 ½ inch perfect bound paperback, printed on acid-free paper, 112 pages, with photographs, maps, notes, bibliography, and a new index. Email Kenneth Lyftogt if you would like to know about his experience with the Camp Pope Publishing.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2004; ISBN 1-929919-05-0). Retail Price: $8.00 (Copies available in Our Books).
Kenneth Lyftogt, author of Left For Dixie (see above) returned in the late summer of 2005 with an original manuscript he wanted CPP to publish. Iowa’s Forgotten General: Matthew Mark Trumbull would be the first biography of this English immigrant and northeast Iowa pioneer who raised a company of soldiers for the Third Iowa Infantry, rose to the command of the regiment after the Battle of Shiloh, then in 1863 was chosen to command the Ninth Iowa Cavalry. In 1865, Trumbull was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General. Professor Lyftogt provided the finished manuscript in MS Word files, which I imported into Adobe InDesign. Font choice and page layout were approved by the author, as was the final cover design, chosen by the author from several different examples that I posted online on my website. The book (5 ½ x 8½ paperback, 128 pages, with maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index) was printed and bound by Thomson-Shore in Dexter, MI. In 2007, Iowa’s Forgotten General was picked up by the University of Iowa Press for inclusion in its fall catalog, and I was contracted to make the author’s revisions and redesign the cover to the UI Press’s specifications.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2005; ISBN 1-929919-06-9). Retail price: $10.00 (Copies available in Our Books).
In the spring of 2006 I reprinted Veterans And Events In The Civil War In Southeast Missouri for historian and author Bob Schmidt. This title was originally published in 2000, probably by a local print shop, as a comb-bound book. I carried this book when I had a retail store, and once when I called Bob to reorder, he said he was out of copies. I offered to have a new edition published for him. We went with POD to produce the new softbound edition. A copy of the original was sent to the printer to be scanned, and I laid out a new cover (to match the original), title page, and copyright page. The 249-page, illustrated book retails for $25.00, and copies are available in Our Books.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2006; ISBN 1-929919-08-5).
Regional historian Bob Schmidt, continuing his writing on the Civil War in southeast Missouri, has produced a new book this year. The 460-page Civil War Veterans and Union Troop Organizations in Southeast Missouri contains biographies of nearly 100 individuals, drawn from various obscure sources, plus short histories of southeast Missouri Home Guard and Enrolled Missouri Militia Units. The text is supplemented by dozens of facsimile documents, drawings, maps, and other illustrations. Instead of a digital file, Bob sent me a clean printout of the manuscript and illustrations. I scanned each page as a high resolution .tif file and laid out the book in InDesign CS3 using the ImageCatalog script. Because he was pleased with the quality of Veterans and Events in the Civil War in Southeast Missouri (see above), Bob opted again to have the book printed POD, and this time distributed via Lightning Source and Ingram, which includes the Espresso Book Machine. Now readers as far away as Alexandria, Egypt, and Melbourne, Australia, can purchase a copy in a matter of minutes. The 8 1¼ x 11 inch, softcover book retails for $29.95 and can be ordered from the Our Books page.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2010, ISBN: 978-1-929919-24-6).
Bob Schmidt is back with another book about the Civil War in southeast Missouri. Civil War Justice in Southeast Missouri documents seven cases involving both civilians and soldiers in the Missouri Bootheel: The Murder of Samuel Vance McFarland; Cpl. John F. Abshire, Martyr of the Confederacy; The Arrests of John Benton and Missouri Coffman; The Killing of Addison Cunningham; The Killing of Joseph Jokerst; Found Guilty: Spitting on a Soldier; and Drinking On Duty: The Case of Pvt. James Shields. 8 ½ x 11 , 230 pages, including over 25 facsimiles and illustrations. The softcover book retails for $25.00 and can be ordered from the Our Books page.
Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2010, ISBN: 978-1-92919-29-1).
Originally published in 2003, this is the second edition of "Boys of the Best Families in the State": Company E, 2nd Missouri Confederate Cavalry. The unit was originally organized in the Missouri State Guard early in 1862 as McCulloch's Cavalry Battalion, Second Brigade, then was transferred to the Confederate service with four other companies as the 4th Battalion Missouri Cavalry. Company E's commander was Mexican War veteran Captain William H. Couzens.
In July of 1862, the battalion was increased to regimental strength. It held the distinction of being the only Missouri cavalry unit to serve mounted while in the Confederate service. Co. E fought in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama under Generals Frank C. Armstrong, James R. Chalmers, and Nathan Bedford Forrest. The regiment surrendered May 5, 1865 in Citronelle, AL. "Boys of the Best Families in the State" is a meticulously detailed roster of all the men of Co. E, drawn from National Archives and Records Administration microfilm records, period newspaper accounts, soldiers' letters, local histories and court records, and interviews with soldiers' descendents. Included is a day to day record of events for Co. E, also a complete bibliography and index.
This is Bob Schmidt's fourth book published with CPP. "Boys of the Best Families in the State": Company E, 2nd Missouri Confederate Cavalry, second edition, 456 pages, $32.00, is available in Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2011, ISBN: 978-1929919-32-1).
Bob Schmidt's latest work concerns two seemingly unrelated violent events of the Civil War: the murder of William Pickles in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, on August 11, 1861, and the killing of John Highley by Missouri Militia soldiers in a skirmish outside of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, on April 6, 1864. The book is a continuation of Schmidt's Civil War Justice in Southeast Missouri, published by CPP in 2010. The manuscript as submitted to me consisted of a Word document (the main text), plus 82 loose pages of illustrations. Bob sent me a hard copy with the illustration pages inserted where he wanted them. In some places a single page was inserted, in others there were 8 or 10 pages of inserts. I scanned each page and saved them in groups, converting each group to the proper output format for the printer using Acrobat 9 Pro. Using Bob's Word document (the main text file) as the layout, I simply outputted it to the proper PDF format, then combined it with the separate PDF files to be inserted. This is also a very useful way of constructing books if one is dealing with a very long Word document: break the chapters up into separate documents, create PDFs, then combine them. Makes it easier to edit and correct each document without affecting the whole and without having to work with a single unwieldy Word document. I used this method in laying out Larry Freiheit's Boots and Saddles.
Civil War Mysteries Solved, 8 ½ x 11", illustrated, with an index, 276 pages is available in Our Books for $25.00. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2012, ISBN: 978-1-929919-43-7).
Howard Terrell had always wanted to write novels. The retired electrician and avid fisherman wrote a fishing column for years for his local newspaper, and readers and other friends had always encouraged him to do more. To get his westerns into print he investigated online book publishers, but found that the fee-based, print-on-demand model would not give him the control he wanted over his work. He had ideas for how he wanted to market his book and wanted to take advantage of the smaller per copy cost of traditional offset book manufacturing. We agreed on minimal editing of the text (mostly checking for typos and standardizing punctuation in the original Word document) and a reworking of artwork a friend of Howard’s had created for the cover to fit the printer’s requirements. Howard wanted the book to be barcoded with an ISBN to facilitate his marketing, therefore I published it as part of the PCPB catalog. The 160-page, 5 ½ x 8 ½" book was printed and bound by Thomson-Shore Inc. of Dexter, Michigan, and retails for $12.95. Email Howard Terrell if you would like to know about his experience with CPP, or if you would like to purchase a copy of his book.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2007; ISBN 978-1-929919-11-6).
This is the first scholarly, in-depth study of the Battle of Athens, Missouri (August 5, 1861). Using scores of contemporary and historical sources never before brought together in one book, author Jonathan Cooper-Wiele places a detailed narration of the battle against the backdrop of the historical events in Missouri and the rest of the nation that led to the Civil War. The maps are new, drawn by Athens Park Ranger Matt Kantola, making use of archaeological discoveries of the last 20 years. And most of the 55 photographs have never before been published. Skim Milk Yankees Fighting is a 168 page quality paperback, with 55 illustrations, three maps, notes, bibliography, index, and, published here for the first time ever, the reconstructed rosters of men sworn to the service of the United States in the 1st and 2nd Northeast Missouri Home Guard, as gathered in 1863 by the Hawkins Taylor Commission. $14.95. More info.
Publisher of Record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2007; ISBN 978-1-929919-12-3.
Professor of Christian Ethics Ronald H. Stone is the author of 20 books and dozens of articles on theology, ethics, and the history of religion. His ancestor, farmer and teacher Eber Stone, was one of the first settlers in western Iowa in the 1850s. He left a number of letters, essays and other documents, which Professor Stone gathered from all branches of the family to compile into a book. He sent me digital files and a hard copy of his manuscript, in which each chapter represented a year, from 1854, when Eber first came to Humboldt County from New York state, to 1875, the year he died. Included are family photographs, facsimiles of certificates, and a copy of a painting of the original homestead, which I incorporated into the cover design. Since Professor Stone only wanted a small number of copies for distribution to family and friends and for limited sales to interested parties, we decided to use POD technology. The high quality paperback book is 236 pages, with illustrations, notes, a map, and index.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2008; ISBN 978-1-929919-13-0). Retail price: $24.00, postage paid. Order from Ronald H. Stone, 6920 Rosewood St. Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Copies are also available from the Our Books page.
Joe Michaud, my old comrade in the used book business, did much to inspire and gratify my book buying habits 20 years ago, when he ran an open shop in Iowa City, and Camp Pope Bookshop was just getting started. In the 1960s, Joe proudly served his country as a trooper in the 14th Armored Cavalry along the East German Border. When his enlistment expired, he re-upped into the 28th Infantry, and after some training in Kansas, he was returned to border security in Germany. This all took place at the height of the Cold War, and Joe was in the honor guard when President Kennedy gave his famous speech in West Berlin in 1963. 45 years later, Joe decided to write a memoir of his experience. The fact, as he did his research, that he could find very little written about the history of US border operations in Germany during the Cold War, only encouraged his efforts to produce a quality memoir. Along with his personal memories, Joe added a history of the 14th Armored Cavalry in Germany from 1945 to 1972, plus a number of fascinating historical photographs, many taken by Joe himself while on duty at the border. In the summer of 2008, Joe called me and we discussed the most price effective way of getting his memoir into print. We decided to go with POD. He sketched out the cover design he wanted and gave me his text files in several Word documents. I laid out a simple text design based on his Word format and scanned several original photographs. After some searching we were able to come up with a copyright free map of Germany showing the towns out of which Joe worked, and I drew in the border using Adobe Illustrator. The result is Along the Iron Curtain, a handsome 8 1/4 x 11 inch softcover book that Joe is offering at $17.00/copy (add $4.00 for Media Mail, or $6.00 for Priority; Iowa residents add $1.19 sales tax). Copies can be ordered from The Bookery, 28 Stanwyk Drive, Iowa City, IA 52240, or by email. Copies may also be ordered from the Our Books page.
Publishers of record: The Bookery and Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2008; ISBN 978-1-929919-15-4).
Joe Michaud, author of Along the Iron Curtain (see above), has seen years of boom and bust since he opened his first used book stall at the Antique Mall in Iowa City, Iowa. It's a bookish place, Iowa City—UNESCO's "City of Literature" (one of only five, and the only one in the United States), and home of the world famous University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop. There have always been used book stores here, and Joe has operated The Bookery at one location or another since 1984. Now that he has officially retired from the used book business, Joe has written a memoir of his years buying and selling used books in the eastern Iowa area. Included are thumbnail sketches of 48 used and non-corporate, new book dealers, past and present, that have given this university town a part of its literary cachet.In the text design I went for a clean, uncluttered look using a bold, sans-serif font. Joe submitted so many pictures of book dealers and their stores that I decided to make a montage of them for the cover. We went with POD again to keep production costs down. $18.00. 8½ x 11” paperback, 146 pages, with 48 illustrations. Publishers of record: The Bookery and Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2009; ISBN 978-1-929919-21-5). Copies are available at bookinginiowa.com.
Author Joe Michaud originally intended to write a single volume about the book culture of Iowa City. The project grew so large that he had to split it into two books, the first of which, his memoir of 25 years in the used book business, we published in 2009 (Booking in Iowa: The Book Trade In and Around Iowa City, A Look Back). So he has been at work on the present volume Iowa City, City of the Book: Writing, Publishing, and the Book Arts in the Heartland for at least three years. Having edited the book, I can vouch for the fact that it was an enormous undertaking. Based on research and interviews, City of the Book attempts to present all aspects of Iowa City's unique book culture, from the communitywide programs celebrating our exciting new status as a UNESCO "City of Literature" (the only one within a 3078 mile radius); to a historical review of writing in Iowa City and the numerous University of Iowa departments that foster all aspects of writing, printing, publishing, and making books; to the private individuals, companies, and libraries who write, publish, print, promote, sell, collect, lend, and repair books. Joe has attempted to find, photograph, and interview everyone who could conceivably fit into one of these categories and tell his or her story. Some were difficult to find; some were undoubtedly overlooked by accident; some, unfortunately, didn't want to be involved. I have to say I marvel at the scope of this book, and I think Joe has brought off the writing of it admirably. If you are in Iowa City copies are available for sale at Prairie Lights, Iowa Book, Murphy-Brookfield Books, and the Haunted Bookshop, or you can order a copy online at City of the Book.
$21.95. 8½ x 11” paperback, 272 pages, with 190 photos, bibliography, and index. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2011; ISBN 978-1-929919-33-8)
Few Iowa towns have the level of name recognition of Winterset. It’s the birthplace of John Wayne. It’s the county seat of Madison County, with its six famed covered bridges immortalized in the best-selling novel and movie Bridges of Madison County. Winterset also has one of the oldest Civil War memorials, erected in the late 1860s. In 1878, a local congressman was able to get four Civil War cannons from the federal government to place around the central marble monument, this at a time when the government was not giving away cannons as freely as it might have done right after the war. Winterset’s cannons are unique in that, while many parks and cemeteries that display cannons often set them in concrete or remount them on steel carriages, Winterset’s cannons have always been mounted on authentic wooden carriages. These have required repair and replacement several times in the last 130 years.
In late 2007, Madison County Supervisor Joan Acela suggested that the history of Monumental Park be preserved in a book. Retired attorney Walt Libby, who had had thoughts of writing just such a book before, offered to do it, and soon had a first draft. Fast forward to the summer of 2008. The book had been revised and rewritten several times, and Joan and Walt thought that it would be good to have it finished and available for sale at the annual Covered Bridge Festival on October 11. Joan contacted me in August and told me her plan. She wanted to know their options for editing, printing, and binding the book economically and in time for the festival. I suggested Print on Demand, mostly because of the fast turnaround time, because here it was August and the book was not entirely ready to go to press. More time passed, and more phone calls were made, and work progressed on more revisions and the procuring of illustrations. Joan wanted to know the absolute final deadline for getting the book to me in order to have it finished and delivered in time for the October 11 event. I said I had to have everything by September 15. I spent an entire week editing the text, laying out the book, and designing the cover. Everything was proofread, corrections made, and the design approved by September 22, at which time I uploaded the book to the printer.
Now, my POD printer is very fast with some things. A small book can be ready for proof approval within a day or so. But the larger the book (this one is 248 pages), the longer it takes to get production rolling. When I hadn’t received word from the printer by the end of the week of September 22 that the proof was out, I called Joan and said that we were getting uncomfortably close to her deadline. She had asked for 400 copies. I suggested that we order a minimum quantity to have available at the event, have the production expedited (for a 10% surcharge), and the books shipped UPS 2nd day air. The remaining 350 copies could be ordered at the same time, but not expedited, and shipped via UPS ground. If everything arrived before October 11, very good. But at least they would have the 50 copies.
On October 1, I received the good news that the printer was offering a promotion for the month of October, 10% off 50 to 99 copies, 20% off 100 to 249 copies, and 30% off 250 to 999 copies. This cancelled out the surcharge for the first 50 copies and amounted to a nearly $500 savings on the remaining 350. Sure enough, the 50 copies arrived in plenty of time. As Joan told me over the phone the week of October 6 that her son would be coming though Iowa City in a few days to pick up the 50 copies, we imagined how great it would be if all 400 copies were there to be picked up. As it turned out, Joan’s son was on his cell phone to me, asking for directions to my house from the interstate just as the UPS truck pulled up with the final 350 copies! So, Winterset was able to have its history of Monumental Park in time for the Covered Bridge Festival (but oh, that was a close shave).
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2008; ISBN 978-1-929919-16-1). A Monumental Place (248 pages, 6 x 9 paperback, with illustrations and index) is available from Joan Acela for $15.95, plus shipping. Contact her about how to order.
Back when I first discovered the wonderful, rare holdings at the State Historical Society here in Iowa City, about 15 years ago, one of the books I asked to have a xerox of was the privately published diary of B. F. Thomas, entitled Soldier Life. I don’t know how many copies of this book Thomas had printed for family and friends back in 1907, but it wasn’t very many. His diary covers the whole of his service in Co G, 14th Iowa Infantry, including his participation at the Battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Pilot Knob, Missouri, plus fascinating details of early imprisonment in the Confederacy (before the days of Andersonville) and camp life. Naturally I thought this would make an excellent reprint, but it was just one of those things I never got around to doing. Fortunately for all of us, the Traer Historical Museum in Traer, Iowa, located in Tama County, where many of the men of the 14th Iowa came from, decided to do a new edition the Thomas book, and asked CPP to publish it. It was a long process, as I was first approached by a member of the museum board in 2006. Over time, it was decided to add to the book by reprinting the extensive Peter Wilson Letters (originally published in the Iowa Journal of History and Politics by the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1942). Peter Wilson, also of Co G, was a friend of Thomas—both were members of an informal group of volunteers from Tama County who called themselves the “Wolf Creek Rangers.” I don’t often get requests to do hardcover books with dust jackets, but the Traer Museum wanted to have the very best product as a tribute to the men of the 14th Iowa and to the many friends of the museum who helped underwrite the project, contributed rare photographs (there are 21 photos and maps), and worked so hard to transcribe and annotate the work of Thomas and Wilson. In addition to the two main parts of the text, the editors have added letters and poems sent by members of the Wolf Creek Rangers to their hometown newspaper during the war. Copies of the 288 page book can be ordered from the Traer Historical Museum, 514 2nd St., Traer, Iowa 50675, for $30.00 plus $5.00 postage (Iowa residents add $2.10 sales tax).
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2008; ISBN 978-1-929919-17-8).
Ken Ossian, a Civil War buff from the Quad Cities, contacted me years ago concerning a project he had in mind to write a history of the Civil War service of his mother-in-law’s grandfather Micajah “Dick” Peyton, of the 14th Iowa Infantry. Although Peyton, 22 years old with a wife and baby when he enlisted, wrote home often, all but one of his letters were destroyed in an unfortunate house cleaning incident after he died. So Ken had to reconstruct a history for Peyton using two diaries written by other members of the 14th Iowa, the Official Records, and various secondary sources on battles that Peyton would have fought in. One of Ken’s employees drew maps for the book, and his son drew sketches of two of the prisons Peyton and others from the 14th were confined in after being captured at the Battle of Shiloh. Other maps and illustrations were taken from copyright-free sources. I designed the cover using Adobe Photoshop to create the look of a map with burned edges, over which the title was superimposed. The book is a quality clothbound hardcover with dustjacket, of 136 pages with 74 illustrations and maps. Although Micajah Peyton: The Civil War Years was written and published primarily for private family distribution, Ken’s original research, especially on the subject of the mutiny at Benton Barracks, will be useful to others interested in the 14th Iowa. Therefore he is offering copies of this limited edition book for sale at $30.00 each (Iowa residents add $1.80 sales tax), plus $5.00 p/h. Write to Ken c/o Ossian, Inc., PO Box 4076, Davenport, Iowa 52808.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2009; ISBN 978-1-929919-18-5). A few copies are available for sale in Our Books.
Former teacher and homemaker Dorothy Mae Blass has lived a good life, full of fond memories of her family and life on the farm in Sac County, Iowa. With the help of her daughter Sue Cox, she wrote a 60 page memoir and wanted to publish just a few copies for her family. She had about 40 photos, some in color, to be included at the end of the book. Dorothy and her daughter wanted this to be a permanent record, therefore imagined a hardcover book, either with a printed case or cloth bound with a dust cover. We considered the limited choices with POD hardcovers and the high cost of such a project done as an offset book (where price is the only limitation), finally I suggested we go with a paperback format, but, to make it special, print all the pictures in color. This is easily done with POD, although the per copy cost of a color interior book is higher than black on white interior. My job consisted of formatting the pictures and adding captions, which I did in InDesign CS3, then exported to PDF. My work on Dorothy’s text was limited to adding page numbers and exporting the Word document to PDF. The two PDF documents were then merged into one to upload to the printer. I designed the cover based on Sue’s concept. The colors were obtained using a new online service provided by Adobe called kuler, where, among other things, you can upload a photograph and kuler will create a five-swatch color theme drawn from the image. The colors on the cover of Dorothy’s book are taken from the photograph of the adult Dorothy on the cover. The nice thing about Print on Demand is that if Dorothy’s family decide they want more copies of the book one day in the future, more can be ordered without repaying setup costs.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2009; ISBN 978-1-929919-19-2).
This was an unusual project. Marie Ausborn wanted to give her children and grandchildren a record of her and her husband’s long life as a farm family in Iowa, along with histories of their families’ origins in Canada and Germany. She had been compiling this information with hundreds of family photos for years in a scrapbook. The project for CPP was to turn the scrapbook into high quality paperback book with a color interior. I started out scanning each page as a PDF, but found that the resolution would not be high enough to make the typewritten captions that appeared on the pages as legible as the original. Therefore, I scanned each page as a .tif file. With 200 pages and each page/file being from 1 to 22 MB in size, the final document was huge, nearly half a GB in size. This was no problem when it came to laying out the document in InDesign CS3 as long as I kept the display quality at a minimal level, but it meant that the final output-ready PDF had to be sent to the printer on a disk rather than uploaded via the internet. It only slowed down the production schedule a little, however.
I wanted to add page numbers to the document, but there wasn’t enough room on each page as it was. Also, on many pages illustrations and captions ran to the very edges. So I scanned each page at 88%. This gave me large enough margins and room for page numbers, without obviously altering the page images. Once scanned, I opened each page in Photoshop CS3 to remove stray marks and flaws such as toner shadows (most of the captions had been typed on strips of paper which were then pasted on a mounting page with the accompanying illustrations; the page was then Xeroxed and the actual photographs pasted in place; the edges of the caption strips usually left a shadow on the final Xerox). In ID, I created a document with a master page to hold the page numbers. To speed up the process of placing 200 separate images, I used a script in ID called ImageCatalog, which will place any number of images in columns and rows in a new ID document. Since I wanted one image per page, I specified one column and one row. The only problem with this script is that it creates a new document, so it wasn’t possible to place the images into my existing document with the numbered pages. No problem, I just imported the master page of my existing document in to the new one. Marie supplied a cover photo and some ideas for the cover. I put together 6 possible covers, out of which she selected the one she liked the best. The book was manufactured POD in a small print run for family and friends, which makes it possible for Marie to order more copies any time she wants them.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2009; ISBN 978-1-929919-20-8).
Adam Stone, author and owner of Global Dialogue Press, contacted me in the summer of 2009, after having seen my name on the "Pre-Qualified Typesetters" list put out by book manufacturer Thomson-Shore, Inc. His third novel The New Harmonies was finished, and he needed someone to format it to Thomson-Shore's output-ready PDF specifications. He emailed the book to me as a Word Perfect document, which, to keep things simple, I resaved in MS Word. After checking that his layout had transferred to the new format properly and making a few edits to keep it within Adam's maximum page count, I exported it to PDF per Thomson-Shore's requirements and returned the document to Adam, who took it from there. Adam designed the cover on this 5.5 by 8.5 inch paperback and offers it for sale on his web site, adamestone.com.
Author Mary McKimmy is one of many who are taking advantage of the easy self-publishing procedures offered by CreateSpace.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Her first novel is a western set in California. But as easy as CreateSpace (or other self-publishing sites such as Lulu.com or Blurb.com) try to make things for people, it's obvious that text formatting and file creation to the printer's standards is not as easy as it sounds. A look at the community forums at these sites show that people often are lost and confused, and can get little guidance or help from the site itself. Mary contacted me and asked if I could prepare her Word file and put together a cover for her book. I did some basic editing of the text, and, while Mary was making her revisions, I laid out the cover based on her ideas and using digital pictures she had provided. I uploaded the files to CreateSpace with no problems, Mary ordered and approved a proof copy from the printer, and now her first novel is listed on Amazon.
Joyce Carman had written a memoir of the first 18 years of her life, a thoughtful recollection of long gone parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles—sparked, as these things often are, by an old family photograph. She had had her text professionally edited, she had had her photographs professionally scanned, now she needed a printer. But it was the first week in December, and she wanted copies of her book ready by Christmas to give to her children and grandchildren. On the recommendation of a friend, she contacted me. I told her it would be possible to have the book ready in time, but we would have to get it to the printer in the next few days. She had dozens of old photographs, most of which she had grouped into montages using a program called Picasa. Trouble was, although most had been scanned at the proper resolution for print (300 dpi), the montages were only suitable for web viewing (72 dpi). I am not familiar with Picasa, so I don't know if there is a setting to preserve a picture's resolution, but the fact of the matter was that all her montages had to be reconstructed. Joyce sent me all the digital files she had and brought me all the original photos (fortunately she lives in Iowa City), and I set to work redoing the montages and laying out the book. Rather than recompose the text, to save time I just standardized the page setup in Word, made a few other edits, and exported it to PDF. The new montages were done in InDesign, then exported to PDF. I then combined the two documents in Acrobat. Joyce had designed her cover, so I just reconstructed that on the printer's cover template using InDesign. Since she only wanted 20 copies and had to have them by Christmas, our only choice was Print on Demand. Everything was ready to upload by December 10 and the printer's posted holiday schedule promised that books ordered by December 11 would arrive by Christmas. The only problem was that Joyce's book was not yet in the printer's system. It had to be set up and proofed, a process that could take a week or more. So I made the decision to forego viewing a proof. I'm confident in my ability to turn out what book manufacturers call "trouble-free" files, so, with Joyce's approval, we went ahead. On December 15, I got an email from the printer saying that the book was ready to print. I ordered the 20 copies, specifying rush processing and 2nd day air shipping. And on December 20, The Gifts They Gave Me arrived, looking perfect and in plenty of time for Christmas.
Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2009; ISBN 978-1-929919-23-9). You can Joyce to ask her about her experience with Camp Pope Publishing.
Civil War buff, collector and author Robert Jones has written and self-published two other books on the Civil War, through Lulu. He wanted to go another way with his newest, a children's book on the Battle of Gettysburg. He contacted me via the Get Quote function of Camp Pope Publishing after having seen my ad in the Civil War News. Bob laid the book out himself as a series of Word documents. I exported each to PDF then combined the group into one document to upload to the printer. The 65-page paperback is filled with original illustrations by Richa Kinra, plus some classic paintings by Winslow Homer, Thure de Thulstrup and others. While the per copy price to Bob for a full color interior book is not cheap (by comparison to black and white), I did save him more than 50% over the price that Lulu would have charged. The book is now available here and at Amazon and B&N.
Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2010, ISBN: 978-1-92919-26-0).
Barbara Sharik writes a weekly humor column "Life in the Last Lane" in the
Bastrop (Louisiana) Daily Enterprise newspaper and a monthly humor column
"Runnin' the Roads" in the Louisiana Road Trips magazine. Besides
having published several books of poetry, a couple volumes of short
stories, a humorous novel, a collection of cartoons, seven annual
compilations of collections of her newspaper and magazine columns,
she was published in Dark and Stormy Rides Again (Penguin Books)
and in the World's Best Short Stories (of all time) (Quality Paperback
Barbara loves her animals, especially the "thrice rejected, emotionally conflicted," black as coal BooCat, who appears on the cover of BooCat Unleashed. But you would be wrong to suppose that this is simply a book about a cat. It's a memoir of a long life filled with joys and sorrows, an essay on the beauty of nature, and an exploration of the mysterious bond between humans and animals.
Barbara originally wanted thumbnail color photographs at the head of each chapter (there are over 70 chapters), but that would have meant a full color interior, which would have been prohibitively expensive. I converted all her color digital pictures to grayscale, ajdusted each for optimal printing, and standardized the size of each to place in the chapter opening pages.
BooCat Unleashed, 440 pages with 90 photographs and illustrations, is available here, but for a personalized copy, autographed by both Barbara and BooCat, send $20.00 plus $5.00 postage to Barbara Sharik, 16813 McGinty Road, Jones, LA 71250. Read a review of BooCat Unleashed here. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2010, ISBN: 978-1-929919-27-7).
Malika Bourne and her friend Grace Rose had written their first novel, a sci-fi/fantasy about good versus evil, light versus darkness, and the cyclical process of self-discovery. They wanted to self-publish the book and went to a well-known online subsidy publisher, the kind that offers a "package" and promises to promote your book. The subsidy publisher laid out the text and cover, but didn't pay a lot of attention to what they are doing because an unfortunate computer glitch while the authors were preparing the digital manuscript lead to part of one chapter being repeated, and the publisher went ahead and printed the book like that. When the authors complained there was an argument about who was to blame, and the best solution the publisher could offer was for the authors to purchase another package and start over. Self-publishing is a learning process, but in this case it was shaping up to be a very expensive one.
I met Malika Bourne at the Iowa City Book Festival last summer. I explained how CPP works and offered to republish her book as part of my catalog. She got the corrected manuscript to me, and although she didn't want to pay the cost of line-editing, I looked out for problems that had cropped up in the first edition. The authors had an offer from a relative who is a graphic artist to redo the cover, but that deal fell through, so they added a new cover to the work they wanted me to do. They are very pleased with the result and so far their efforts to promote the book themselves have been very successful. They have several positive reviews on www.goodreads.com and at this writing have three book signing events lined up. You can read more about Secrets of the Unwritten Book at www.graceroseangelspeak.com.
Secrets of the Unwritten Book: Fate of the Golden Heart, 286 pages, $13.95, is available in Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2010, ISBN: 978-1-929919-28-4).
In 1978 David Wildman received an interesting old document from his grandmother. It was the enlistment form signed by his great-great grandfather, Charles Whitman Sawyer, Sergeant, Company I of the 38th Infantry Iowa Volunteers. The document piqued David's interest, and he wrote to the National Archives to obtain Sawyer's military and pension records. But further investigation was put on hold for nearly 20 years. In 1996 David's interest in his ancestor's service was revived, and he began to delve more deeply into the story of the 38th Iowa. He read the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion at his local library. He ordered microfilms of old Iowa newspapers through interlibrary loan. Eventually he resolved to write a book about this unlucky regiment.
L. D. Ingersoll, in his 1866 Iowa and the Rebellion, characterized the history of the 38th Iowa as "the saddest of all our regiments." While other units marched off to renown on the fields of Wilson's Creek, Prairie Grove and Shiloh, the 38th saw no action—with the exception of digging trenches before Vicksburg while under artillery fire. The regiment would go down in Iowa history as having suffered the most losses due to disease. In its two years of existence over 300 officers and men died of disease, with another 140 discharged for ill health. At one point so many men were sick that there were not enough capable of caring for the sick or even burying the dead. By the last year of the war, the ranks of the 38th were so reduced that it was ordered to consolidate with the 34th Iowa. As the 34th and 38th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry Consolidated, the veterans who were left went on to their only moment of glory in the field of battle at the siege and capture of Fort Blakely in Alabama (April 1865).
Drawing from extensive research in primary materials, including contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished official correspondence, court-martial records, and the letters, diaries, and memoirs of 50 members of the regiment, David Wildman has written the first ever comprehensive, scholarly history of an Iowa Civil War regiment and the first regimental history of any kind to appear in nearly 100 years.
Iowa's Martyr Regiment: The Story of the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, 344 pages, 32 illustrations and maps, $24.95, is available at the author David Wildman's website on the 38th Iowa. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2010, ISBN: 978-1-929919-31-4).
Toyiah White accepted my bid on Elance to lay out the cover for her daughter's book on the difficulties of being different. Six year old LaNiyah suffered from bullying at school because she was overweight. In order to help other kids in similar situations she wrote (with her mother's help) Not Fat Because I Wanna Be, about the fictional Jessica, who has problems similar to LaNiyah, and how she overcame them. The cover and the interior illustrations were done by Laura Pérez Ricaud. I designed the back cover and added the author and designer's names to the front. A week after the job was completed Toyiah contacted me again to lay out the interior. The text of the book consists of 17 two-page spreads with full bleeds of Laura Ricaud's illustrations. I added a title page, copyright page and the text on each spread. The book is published by Amazon's Createspace and is available on Amazon.
Since her book was published, LaNiyah has become quite famous. She and her parents have appeared in interviews on NPR, CNN, and Fox News, and her story has been covered in the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Mail (UK), the Huffington Post and other news outlets.
Tiffany Durant contacted me via Elance with a problem. She had to get her book Escalating Success, the autobiography of football player Keshawn Durant, to her printer within 24 hours, but her designer had not completely laid out the cover. When I got a look at her material I found that wasn't the least of her problems. The files were the wrong dimensions, wrong format, and too low a resolution for print. I had to start from scratch using her original illustrations and resetting the text of her cover. I was able to get the job done by her deadline. Escalating Success: 101 Ways to Move Past Depression, published by Pointsettia Publications, is available on Amazon.
This is the second project I have done for the North American Business Press. The first last year was to design the cover for a collection of essays on Cost and Management Accounting Practices. For Marketing: A Primer For Business Executives, I was first contracted to design the cover. I submitted several abstract designs created in Adobe Illustrator and they chose the one they liked the best. Later they asked me to format the content, which was a Word document that needed a two-page introduction inserted, page numbers added, and the index updated. They are nice people to work for and I hope to be undertaking more projects for them in the future.
Lee Miller, a retired engineer living in Muscatine, Iowa, has always been interested in the Civil War. He spent six years researching and writing a history of Crocker's Iowa Brigade. His work on this book drew his attention to the Muscatine County Civil War Memorial, where he noticed a conspicuous disparity between the number of names displayed on the memorial and the actual number of Muscatine County soldiers who died during the Civil War. The explanation was that when the memorial was built in 1875, the full account of Iowa's Civil War dead had not been completed.
Miller became chairman of the Muscatine County Civil War Memorial Committee and raised over $270,00 for a new memorial, which was dedicated on July 4, 2011. This new monument bears the full complement of 513 names of Muscatine County men who died in the Civil War.
Miller's work on the Monument Committee brought to his attention the fact that over 40% of those names come from one regiment, the 35th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Thus he was inspired to write the first regimental history of the 35th.
The 35th Iowa had a unusually active combat record. Beginning with the Siege of Vicksburg, the regiment fought at Jackson, Pleasant Hill, Yellow Bayou, Old River Lake, Tupelo, Nashville, and Spanish Fort. Forty-nine offices and men were killed or mortally wounded in combat, including their beloved commander Sylvester Hill, and another 188 died of disease.
Based on primary material and contemporary sources, Triumph & Tragedy is a 6 x 9 quality paperback, 154 pages, and features 29 maps, photographs, and illustrations, a full roster, and index. It is available in Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2012, ISBN: 978-1-929919-41-3).
I've been working with author Larry Freiheit for a year and a half to bring out his original study of cavalry operations before, during, and after the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862). Ready now for the 150th anniversary of the battle, this massive study, the product of years of research and topographical analysis, will surely be the definitive scholarly resource on this aspect of the Civil War for years to come. The author's interest in the Civil War began when he moved from Washington, DC, to Ashburn (formerly Farmwell), VA. After retiring from employment with the U.S. Veterans Administration in 2000, he decided to continue his education by pursuing a master's degree. The nucleus of Boots and Saddles was a paper he wrote for a graduate history class in 2006. Painstakingly researched in primary and secondary sources and thoroughly documented and annotated, Boots and Saddles: Cavalry During the Maryland Campaign of September 1862 is a 594-page, 8½ x 11" hardcover, with over 200 maps, photographs, and illustrations. Included is a driving tour written by Craig Swain, with modern maps and GPS coordinates. It can be ordered at www.bootsandsaddlesmarylandcampaign.com and in Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2012, ISBN: 978-1-929919-42-0).
Please note: Camp Pope Publishing will not consider working with any material that promotes discord, hatred, or violence; that promotes or defends discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age; that promotes illegal or questionable activities; that contains sexually explicit materials; or that violates intellectual property rights. I reserve the right to refuse to do business with any group or individual.