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This is a historical view of 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

History of the 95th Regiment

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). .

Hand Book

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).

Friends, Enemies and Lovers

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, as things were done in those days. 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)

The Graybeards

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 unfortunately 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).

American Patriotism

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's Early History

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).

Left For Dixie

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).

Iowa's Forgotten General

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).

Veterans and Events

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).

Civil War Veterans and Union Troop Organizations

Regional historian Bob Schmidt, continuing his writing on the Civil War in southeast Missouri, came back to CPP in 2010 with the 460-page Civil War Veterans and Union Troop Organizations in Southeast Missouri. This book 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's Civil War Justice in Southeast Missouri, published in 2010 by CPP, 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).

Boys of the Best Families in the State

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).

Civil War Mysteries Solved

This work by Missouri regional historian Bob Schmidt 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).

Civil War Mysteries Solved

This work by Missouri regional historian Bob Schmidt was published in 2015 by CPP. The same layout and printing procedures were followed as with Bob's earlier books. Read about the subject matter here.

The Military Destruction of Slavery in Southeats Missouri, 1861-1864.8 ½ x 11, illustrated, with an index, 376 pp. (Published 2015, ISBN: 978-1-929919-63-5)

Line Rider of the Valley Grande!

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.

Publisher of record: Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop (Published 2007; ISBN 978-1-929919-11-6).

Eber: Pioneer in Iowa

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.

A Monumental Place

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 140 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.

Soldier Life

Back when I first discovered the wonderful, rare holdings at the State Historical Society here in Iowa City, 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).

Micajah Peyton

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.

Along the Way

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).

Marie's Saga

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).


Author Mary McKimmy is one of many who are taking advantage of the easy self-publishing procedures offered by, a subsidiary of Her first novel is a western set in California. But as easy as CreateSpace (or other self-publishing sites such as or 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.

The Gifts They Gave Me

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).

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 Books).
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.

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 first Iowa City Book Festival in the summer of 2009. 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 additional cost of copyediting, I kept an eye open 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 and at this writing have three book signing events lined up. You can read more about Secrets of the Unwritten Book at

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).

Iowa's Martyr Regiment

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).

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Toyiah White accepted my bid on the freelancing platform 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's, 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 was 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.


In 2011 I did several book projects for the North American Business Press. The first 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 originally 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.

Another layout for North American Business Press, this one with cloth binding and dust jacket, printed by Lightning Source, Inc. The author of Global Environment of Contemporary Public Action Dr. Walter Gérard Amedzro St-Hilaire has tuaght public finances, international development, and strategic management courses, as well as research methods in organization studies, and systems analysis and design in various universities. He also directs the prestigious Global Journal of Strategies & Governance.

Little Henry American Histories is a collection of stories—personal, allegorical, and bitingly political—by expatriot German teacher Dr. Norman Lewis, a long-ago colleaque of mine from graduate school. Dr. Lewis describes his book thus: "A sometimes curious, occasionally humorous mix of short pieces reflecting a time long gone by and a nation which is viewed as having since strayed off that enlightened course envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Fact is, George Washington was the Father of another Country." The book is 5½x 8½, paperback, with 20 illustrations drawn by Carsten Bruhns, 70 pages. It's available on Amazon for $10.00. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2011, ISBN: 978-1-929919-37-6).

The Mysterious Vase The Mysterious Vase: The Wobeter-Vobejda Discovery. Retired Iowa City psychologist Tony Wobeter contacted me after he had heard about the work I had done for Sackter House Media in Iowa City and its director Ann Wade. Tony has spent the last 20 years researching his family origins from rural Tama, Iowa, back to the village of Prosec in the Czech Republic. He worked with his late father and other family members to gather photographs and genealogical records and even traveled to eastern Europe to put together his family history. He had the text of his book laid out the way he wanted in MS Word, but to be certain the many photographs and illustrations printed properly, I reformatted and reinserted them in the Word document. Since he only needed enough copies for the members of his various family branches, but wanted a little better quality than was available with Print On Demand, we decided to do a digital printing with Thomson-Shore of Dexter, Michigan. I designed the cover using illustrations provided by Tony. Since we did this first book, Tony has come to me to publish two others dealing with his and his wife's genealogy. The Mysterious Vase is 8½ x 11 paperback, illustrated, 256 pages. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2012, ISBN: 978-1-929919-40-6).
Triumph & Tragedy

Lee Miller, a retired engineer living in Muscatine, Iowa, had 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. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2012, ISBN: 978-1-929919-41-3).

Boots and Saddles

Beginning in 2011, I worked 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) in time 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 is available in Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2012, ISBN: 978-1-929919-42-0).

The Toughest Man in Montana Gene Murdock was a local historian down in southeast Missouri, a colleague of author Bob Schmidt, and a sometime customer of the Camp Pope Bookshop. He had written several books on local Civil War subjects and published them himself under the name of Murdock's Historical Publications. Unfortunately Gene died in 2012, leaving a manuscript about a notorious Montana pioneer named Pike Landusky, originally from Gene's part of Missouri, who gained fame as a cattleman, miner, scout, and Indian fighter, until being murdered in his own saloon by the gunfighter Kid Curry (of the Hole in the Wall Gang).

Gene's widow Elaine thought it would be a shame to see all of her husband's research go to waste, so she contacted me to have Gene's last book published. The Toughest Man In Montana thoroughly tracks the genealogy of the Landusky family, while telling the true history of Powell "Pike" Landusky, a story that some tried to sully after the pioneer's death.

The Toughest Man in Montana is a 202 page paperback with maps, photographs, appendices, bibliography, and an index. Copies can be ordered from Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publising (Published 2013; ISBN 978-1-929919-47-5).

Boots Anthony Gero wanted a Civil War vintage picture of a dog for the cover of his novella. He found an image online that had come from Frank Leslie's Newspaper, but like most images copied from the internet, it was too low resolution for print. I looked around and found the actual print for sale on eBay, entitled "An incident of battle—a faithful dog watching the dead body of his master." This wasn't exactly how the dog was portrayed in Anthony's book, but it was a dog, and there was a Civil War battle involved. I purchased the print and used it in the cover layout. The title word was set in Boston Truckstyle, a decorative font from Letterhead Fonts, which specializes in signmaker fonts, many with a decidedly Victorian look, which fit right in with Civil War theme. Copies of Boots: A Novella of the Civil War can be ordered from Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2013; ISBN 978-1-929919-52-9)
McLellan Speaking of the Victorian look, I was approached in 2013 by retired Fort Collins, CO, police officer Tom McLellan, who had written a history of the Fort Collins Police Department. He had gotten my name from the Thomson-Shore Pre-Qualified Typesetter List. He sent me his text, plus dozens of pictures from the department's 140-year history. For his cover he wanted the picture of Fort Collins's first constable incorporated into a kind of Police Gazette-ish layout. I used two versions of the Letterhead Signmaker font, over a background that incorporated several images from the book and a sunburst, plus several gilded ornaments for the typical overdesigned Victorian look. I don't know what it is, but for some reason I just love this kind of stuff. The back incorporates a decorative frame and inset that I had hoped to use for an earlier book, but which was declined by the client. Publisher of record: Tomac Publishing (Published 2013; ISBN 978-1-63068-180-7).

This Jolly Little Gunboat Pat Purcell, who in his retirement took a position as docent at Philadelphia's Civil War Library and Museum, found among the Library's holdings an anonymous manuscript written by a common seaman (specifically a fireman or coal shoveler, or as he referred to himself, a "smut") about his experiences on the Union gunboat Winona. Pat researched the crew of the Winona and, with indications from the text of the journal, determined that the author was one Montgomery P. Griffis. Knowing that the journal was a unique resource for a little known area of the Civil War, Pat transcribed and edited it. He had contracted with Blake Magner, publisher of C. W. Historicals, to publish the book, but Blake unfortunately passed away before he could finish the process. So Pat contacted me.

Much of the material that had been sent to Blake was lost. All Pat had were a few scans of the illustrations he wanted to use, a map drawn by Blake of the Winona's area of operations, some preliminary studies for the cover, and a print-out of his manuscript. The first thing I did was contract with a freelance typist to produce a digital version of the manuscript. I was able to track down originals for the rest of the illustrations Pat wanted to use. The book consisted of passages from the journal interspersed with editorial comments and background history written by Pat. To keep the two separate I set Pat's narrative in a modern roman font called Minion Pro and the passages from the journal in Bodoni, which has a bit of an antique look, but which has an integral italic style (very important since Griffis mentions the names of over 150 other ships and boats).

For the cover Pat requested that I use what Blake had designed. But I felt that the design was very tentative, and I wanted to start over. Since Pat had already paid for the cover once, I told him that I would not charge him for what I did. His only stipulation was that the picture of the boat had to be on the front. I noticed that the title was quite long, and with Pat's name and that of famed Civil War historian Ed Bearss, who wrote the Foreword, made up a lot of text to go on the front. Given my weakness for Victorian clutter, I used a vintage advertising ornament, some flourishes and corner elements, a couple of nautical symbols, and one of my favorite Letterhead fonts, Billhead 1900 ("The USS Winona" is set in Chevalier). The background is a scan of some old paper to complete the antique look. When I was finished I realized that the cover resembled a piece of old sheet music, which is apt, in that the title This Jolly Little Gunboat is taken from a song, which, along with others, is included in an appendix of the book. Copies can be ordered from Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2014; ISBN 978-1-929919-54-3)

From Vicksburg to Cedar Creek Thomas P. McKenna spent years researching and writing the history of the 22nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and in the fall of 2013 approached CPP about having it published. As you may know, the 22nd is a particular interest of mine as most of the men who joined this regiment were from Iowa City and the surrounding Johnson county area. We had already published two other books on the 22nd, Samuel Jones's Reminiscences of the 22nd Iowa Infantry (reprint edition published 1993) and Samuel Pryce's Vanishing Footprints: The 22nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (edited by Jeffry Burden, published 2008). For the first time, CPP is offering this title in a split edition, both paperback and cloth with dustjacket. Copies can be ordered from Our Books. Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Published 2014; ISBN 978-1-929919-55-0, paperback; 978-1-929919-56-7).
The Three of Hearts Authors Cheyenne Miller and Larry Cuddeback found they had more stories than would fit into their first very popular hardcover tribute to Iowa soldiers who fought in World War II We Lucky Few: Portraits of Courage & Sacrifice from SE Iowa. So in the fall of 2014 they came out with The Three of Hearts: Stories of World War II from Southeast Iowa, and again contracted with CPP to publish it. Unlike their earlier volume, The Three of Hearts comprises mostly remembrances passed down from veterans who are no longer with us in the form of letters, diaries, postwar memoirs and interviews, rather than strictly first person interviews. Cheyenne Miller, who is a graphic designer for an Iowa agricultural firm, laid out the book and cover in InDesign and sent it to me to check to make sure it was print ready. As the authors intended to self-distribute the book and wanted to have the highest quality product possible, we had it offset printed by Thomson Shore, Inc. of Dexter, MI. The result is a high quality, smyth-sewn, case laminate hardcover, 522 pages, with dozens of photographs and facsimiles, and index.

The March to the RiverRobert G. Schultz, a retired chemist from St. Louis who took up teaching history as a second career, has published several articles and books on Missouri history. He has spent years researching the subject of General Samuel R. Curtis's campaign against Little Rock, Arkansas, following the Battle of Pea Ridge (March 7-8, 1862). In the summer of 2014 he contacted me about doing the layout and publishing the book through CPP. It's a very long book and it took several months to get it finished. But he and I are proud of how it turned out. He had one illustration that he was particularly excited about, a slightly fanciful depiction of the assault by the 46th Indiana Infantry on the Confederate works at St. Charles, AR (June 17, 1862), which was published in the London Illustrated News six weeks after the battle. He thought it would look good as a cover illustration, but perhaps not in the original black and white since he also wanted to use a period photo of Samuel Curtis. He found a service online that colorizes old photos and engravings ( and they did a great job as you can see from the cover illustration. The March to the River is available in Our Books. See also the most recent book I've designed and laid out for Bob, Thomas W. Knox: Civil War Correspondent in Missouri.

Campigns of the 20th Iowa Infantry

I got a call in late 2014 from a young lady named Heather who said her grandfather had been a long time customer of Camp Pope Bookshop and that he had a book he wanted to publish, but that unfortunately he had died before he could discuss the matter with me. And Heather wanted to see if she could get me to look at the book. I told her I would be glad to, and I explained the sort of services CPP provides. I got a few emails with attached Word files of the book from her, but after a while the email stopped coming. I didn’t hear anything else about the book until a year later when Pauline Shannon, Heather’s grandmother and the widow of Lawrence Shannon, called and wanted to start the process for real (Heather had gone on to other things).

Lawrence Shannon had Campaigns of the 20th Iowa Infantry completely ready to go before he died. He had transcribed all the newspaper articles Civil War veteran J. D. Barnes had written; researched, selected, and captioned several photos; written an introduction, notes, an epilogue, a roster of Barnes’s company, and a bibliography; all of which Pauline sent me on a CD. Shannon had even commissioned an original piece of art by Glenn Kapheim for the cover. Pauline said she wanted the highest quality book that could be produced, which to me meant a Smyth-sewn cloth hardcover with dust jacket from a traditional offset printer. I decided to also do a paperback edition for those who didn’t want to invest in a hardcover.

I worked on the layout and cover design through the fall and winter of 2015 and submitted it to the printer in January of 2016. Two separate paperback printers had trouble getting the title printed correctly on the cover, but eventually things were all worked out. Thomson-Shore of Dexter, MI, who have always done my offset printing, did an absolutely beautiful job on the hardcover edition. An interesting sidenote: this is the first book of mine that I exported as a reflowable ePub, viewable on any eReader and available from Amazon. It has a linked index, which you don't often see in eBooks. Campaigns of the 20th Iowa Infantry, both the hardcover with dustjacket and the paperback, is available for sale in Our Books.
Antares Boxed Set I’ve done a lot of work for clients on the freelancing site Elance, and then on Upwork when they bought out the former service. For the last 10 years or so most of my work has been in the area of freelancing. I do page design, page layout, conversion to ePub format (for Kindle, etc.), and cover design and layout. One of my repeat customers, starting in 2014, is novelist Bob Cooper. He wanted a cover for his book The Antares Codex, which I designed for him, and then as the sequels came out, we expanded the design to these. I did a mockup of a boxed set for Bob, although these titles are neither hardcover nor are they available in a box like this. It’s an interesting visual however, for advertising purposes, and I offer several 3D mockup designs.
My Other Family

I didn’t meet Ann Wade when she first returned to Iowa City, the town where she was born, from Minnesota in 2001. I worked getting her new condo ready and after she moved in she sent me a nice letter thanking me for the job I had done. She had me back for some further work in following years, and we talked about our other interests. She had been a bookkeeper and executive secretary in Arizona, then Minneapolis, before retiring, and had decided to do some freelance editing work. I told her of my publishing services sideline. The first job I did for her (2008) was to publish a book of drawings by one of the clients of Sackter House Media in Iowa City, a non-profit dedicated to assisting disadvantaged persons with writing, publishing, and filmmaking, of which Ann was the director. Three years later I published her Writings of Ann Wade.

Ann and I had a good working relationship. She would send her editing clients to me, and I would publish their books. Then in 2016 she asked me to publish a book about her life in Arizona, to where she had moved with her husband and two-year-old daughter in 1956. The marriage ended seven years later, but Ann’s life opened up to a new career and a circle of dear friends that she would always remember as My Other Family. The book is filled with snapshots of her life in Tucson and scans of the famed art of close friend Duane “Dick” Bryers.

Ann and I were both pleased with the layout, which intersperses photo placement within page boundaries and bleeding off one or more edges. She ordered several copies to give to friends and family, a group that by 2016 had grown sadly smaller. Ann herself suffered a stroke shortly after the book was published and passed away in 2020.

Publisher of record: Camp Pope Publishing (Privately published 2016).

Poems of Poop To date (2022) I have laid out 64 children’s picture books and 14 children’s chapter books. Poems of Poop, which I did in 2016, is certainly one of the most usual books I’ve even done and slightly uneasy-making, though it seems to have been well received on Amazon. The client provided the images and I was to insert the rhyming text from a master Word document. There was an issue with the illustrations right off, however. The artist had assumed this could be published as a landscape book and all the drawings were in landscape aspect. The client wanted the book printed by Createspace (the forerunner to Kindle Direct Publishing), but CS did not offer a landscape trim size. He couldn’t go back and have the illustrations redrawn. The solution was to reduce the size of the images and center them in an 8.5 x 8.5” layout (a trim size that CS did offer). I went on to do a second volume of Poems of Poop the following year.
Awaken Wellness

In my freelancing I do work for clients all over the world, most naturally from English speaking countries. I’ve done several projects for clients in Australia: five book covers for an expert in international construction management, three books by a man once known as the most hated man in Australia (in his own mind, at any rate), and several individual projects, one of which was to edit the English of an Australian book to make it more accessible to American readers, another of which was to layout the cover of a book that predicted the end of the world in 2012 (I don’t think that one is selling very well anymore).

A nice tame project, was Awaken Wellness for Dion Murtagh, in which I did the interior layout for both print and eBook distribution and designed the cover. For that I purchased a stock drawing of a dragonfly and created background effects in Photoshop over a soothing solid pastel blue-green.
Pirates of the Epiphany The definition of a chapter book is a story book for beginning readers (6-12 years), which contains easily comprehended prose, usually set in a larger than normal typeface, with a smattering of illustrations. I’ve done several, a good representative of which is Pirates of the Epiphany, for an author/client named Rick Steromer. The book is about a special Christmas tradition, combining mysteries with presents, enjoyed by one fictitious family. The book contains eight full color images that cover the spread. For the cover I used an usual font called XAyax, which sadly I haven’t been to find another use for since.

Free Range Brands

I have to admit that I designed neither the cover nor the interior of this book, but rather took it over from the original designer who for some forgotten reason couldn’t finish it. I include it here because it is very typical of a lot of the work I do (finishing InDesign projects started by other designers); because the layout was very unusual, idiosyncratic, and posed problems that were often difficult to solve; and because the author/client was a truly wonderful and generous person. I worked on it and revised it for over two years before the client and I declared it was perfect. FreeRange Brands, in paperback, hardcover with dustjacket, and eBook formats, has multiple five-star customer reviews on Amazon. It was #1 in Marketing, #1 in Consumer Behavior, and in the Top 10 of Business and Leadership categories on Amazon for the year it was first released (2017).

Publisher of record: Stone Road LLC (Published 2017; ISBN 978-0-9974597-4-6).


In 2016 and 2017 I laid out 11 novels for writer Dennis Nehman, both for print and eBook. The last one I did for him, called Wrapped, was a reprint of an earlier novel with something added. His son is a musician and composer and had written 17 songs for this novel. Dennis wanted to embed the songs in the book file so that a person reading the eBook could click on a start button and hear a professional recording of the song (while following along with the printed lyrics). This worked out ok as a reflowable ePub (when read on Apple Books), but the Kindle Publishing Guidelines say that embedding music into reflowable Kindle can’t be done. So that the book could be sold on Amazon, I exported an interactive PDF with the lyrics, then using the Kindle Textbook Creator (precursor to Kindle Create), inserted the audio files and exported it as a fixed layout Kindle (.kpf format). The songs play fine in this format. This would only work on a tablet that has speakers, of course. I don’t believe Dennis ever uploaded it to Apple Books or any eBook platforms other than Amazon. Note: I did not design this book cover.

Publisher of record: Golden Poppy Publications (Publishsed 2017)

The Low Oxalate Cookbook

Tracy Breen, an Upwork client, first approached me in 2017 to convert her Low Oxalate Cookbook, which she laid out in Microsoft Publisher, to an eBook format. I told her that we could create a fixed layout Kindle (also known as a print-replica book, where each page is basically a static image on your eBook reader), but that the Publisher format could not be converted to a true fixed layout ePub file, which she would need to offer the book through Apple Books, B&N, Kobo, etc. She agreed to just the Kindle, which I created by exporting her Publisher document to PDF, then running it through Amazon’s then current software for creating fixed layout Kindles, known the Kindle Textbook Creator.

Tracy came back the following spring to have me do a paperback version of her cookbook. I developed my own system for doing the layout, based on a procedure I had been using for children’s picture books. This involves formatting the manuscript in Word with page breaks at the end of each section of the text. Since a cookbook generally consists of the same kind of information for each recipe, repeated over and over (title, description, ingredients list, procedure, and a picture of the finished product), I could format each of these uniquely and, thanks to the page breaks, flow the text into an InDesign template set up with threaded primary text frames. The idea is to speed up the layout process by automating everything as much as possible. I have seen other ways of doing this that are very clever, but I think mine is more flexible. You can see a few pages of Tracy’s cookbook here:

Publisher of Record: Twisted Thinking, Inc. (Published 2018; ISBN: 978-0692088210)

Floral Sea

I have done a few coloring books, both of the children’s and adult variety. Clients will send me a folder of images that I simply place in an InDesign template using a script to automate the process, then export it to PDF for the client to upload to their printer. Such things are known as low-content books, which also includes lined journals, planners, diaries, log books and children’s game/activity books. These were a very popular way of making money by doing very little work 10 years ago, but the major print-on-demand printers have wised up. KDP will flag your book if there are too many consecutive blank pages. Ingram Spark has banned low or no-content books altogether.

The few of these I have done, aside from coloring books, are journals, with lined pages for the owner to write in, some inspiring quotations or pep talk, maybe a testimonial from the author telling the reader to have faith, that they too were once depressed, broke, hated themselves, or whatever. I think the coloring books are more useful. The book featured here is an adult coloring book by Veronica Engel. You can see her book at:

Stoakes Family History

When I first started a publishing business in 1991, my purpose was to make scarce, out-of-print books on a very narrow subject (Iowa Civil War regimental histories specifically) available again. (See the first few books in this historical portfolio.) I don’t do it any more because nearly every book that has ever been published is being reprinted in very cheap formats by mostly foreign companies. If you want to see what I mean, go to and do a search for any rare title. But I get clients who want to do facsimile reprints. I’ve done 18 of these so far. If the client can provide me with a PDF of their book (usually done by scanning physical pages), then I can create a new layout and place the individual pages. Occasionally straightening of pages and removing stray marks in Photoshop is necessary to produce a clean product. A previous client from a small historical society in Iowa wanted to reprint a family history first published in the 1920s. The client’s daughter, who is a graphic designer, laid out a new cover with a faux leather look. A History and Geology of the Stoakes Family is available on Amazon. Fortunately this title is probably too obscure to attract the mass reprint publishers’ interest.

The Same Gate

I am putting this title in my portfolio although I was not the original designer of either the interior or the cover, but was brought in to finish both. This is typical of a lot of jobs I receive. A former client of mine from my other business was involved with a publishing project for the University of Iowa International Writing Program, a book of essays by writers from around the world on the poetry of the great 13th century Persian poet Rumi. She knew I did graphic design and typesetting and called me because their book designer was unable to finish it on schedule. I agreed and they sent me the InDesign source files. I found the InDesign layout of the interior to be very idiosyncratic. I want to be careful not to cast aspersions on the previous designer, but this book was not laid out the way I would have done it. The other designer had taken little to no advantage of InDesign’s production capabilities. There were no paragraph or character styles in use. No dynamic footnotes. Everything was manually formatted, even the running headers. There were hundreds of forced line breaks where the designer had attempted to control the word spacing line by line. No wonder the job had fallen behind schedule.

Another unique difficulty with this project was the several instances of Farsi text. I had to download a special Middle Eastern version of InDesign in order to do the right to left footnotes properly. We had to enlist the aid of a native Farsi speaker to check that the footnotes and other text was correct. The other designer had used a special font that could only be rented from the foundry by the month, and not using this font was a deal-breaker. At several points during the process of reconstructing this layout I wondered if I should have just started from scratch using the clients’ Word manuscript. But eventually it was finished to the clients’ satisfaction.

The clients had a cover design in mind (based on an earlier book) but needed me to do the layout. The source photograph on the cover had an unattractive light artifact running along the right edge that I couldn’t crop out without compromising the image, so I used Photoshop to remove the artifact.

Publisher of record: 91st Meridian Books (Published 2018, ISBN: 978-0-9987400-3-4).

Vilage at War

This book was originally published in the pre-desktop publishing year of 1980. The author had obtained the rights to the book from the publisher, plus a PDF scan of the pages. This he exported to Word and sent to me. It was a very complicated process cleaning up this document. The scanning program had interpreted the running headers as part of the text and I had to manually delete these on every page. I had to recreate from scratch the several tables that were in the text. The book had over 360 endnotes which we left as static notes.

The book had several photos which were combined together in the middle of the book. Unfortunately, most were low resolution and little could be done to improve them. But the client wanted them included. To these I added his captions and placed them in the ID doc. To date this is first and only time I have received a manuscript that was created via OCR. The cleanup took a long time, but worked out ok. Note: I did not design the cover for this one.

Finding Your Soul Family

In 2018 I got a call from Steve Hiatt in San Francisco. He said we had worked together before (though now I don’t remember on what). He said he had laid out a paperback for a lady in England. She also wanted an eBook, but Steve was not interested in doing one, so I agreed to work on it for her. Due to the heavily graphic nature of the book, it was necessary to do the eBook as fixed layout. Steve’s InDesign file was nicely organized with good use of styles. But his table of contents was manually created, which wouldn’t be any use in an ePub. So I made up a new TOC and linked all the chapters and subheads. There was also a list of figures, for which I made a second TOC (these are the linked TOCs that appear in the front of an eBook; some people don’t bother making them). There can only be one navigational TOC (that’s the one in an eBook that you access by clicking on a hamburger menu or sometimes like on older Kindles it’s called “Go To”), so the list of figures does appear there. Since fixed layout ePubs do not convert to Kindle format, I exported an interactive PDF of the InDesign file and used the Kindle Textbook Creator to export the Kindle. Note, I did not design this cover.

Feline Astrology

This is a really cute book, a tongue-in-cheek astrological chart for cats, featuring images of rescue cats taken from various Instagram accounts. The client had set the book up using Blurb’s BookWright app and exported a PDF, but she wanted a professional layout for her paperback and ePub. She sent me a folder with high resolution files of each of the cat pictures. I followed her original mockup as closely as I could. Something we did here that was new for me was to include a link for every zodiac sign to the Instagram account where the author had gotten the images of the cats. She also had a mockup of the cover, so while I did not design the cover, I laid it out in the proper format for upload to her printer.

Because this book was heavy on the graphics and the client had used a unique sans serif font, I exported the eBook edition as a fixed layout ePub.

DIY Tips and  Tricks for Healthy Skin

In 2019 I was hired on Upwork to do some eBooks for an organic skin care and dietary supplements company. I laid out 19 altogether. These were very short (10-20 pages), interactive PDFs, with hyperlinks to the client’s two websites and social media accounts. He wanted PDFs, but he would only have been able to distribute these through his website, as PDFs can’t be sold like ePubs or Kindles. I never did see these on either of his websites or his social media, so I don’t know if he ever used them. He could have printed them out to give away or sell, but then the hyperlinks would have been useless.

Success is Yours

I love repeat customers and Gail Trauco and Donna Kozik have been great ones. Between 2016 and 2020 I laid out 10 children’s picture books and two nonfiction books for Gail, who refers to herself as a pharmaceutical professional. The children’s books comprise two series and a stand-alone, all meant to help children cope with family issues. The Emma and the Grief Monster series is about a little girl who finds out her parents are divorcing. The Grief Monster is a character who comes to her at might and helps her deal with this complication in her life. The Lulu series features a little unicorn who has lost her mother and must learn to live with the loss. The stand-alone book Angel Sparkles is about a little girl who finds she has a guardian angel.

All of the children’s books have an image on the left hand page and text on the right. The illustrations were done by Mafuja Selim. These were exported as paperbacks and fixed layout Kindles (via the Kindle Kids Book Creator, precursor to Kindle Create).

The two non-fiction books are Conquering Grief From Your Front Porch, which offers drug-free exercises for healing after loss or major life changes, and Medical Bill 911 which tackles solutions for dealing with out of control medical bills. These were done as paperback only. I designed the cover for Medical Bill 911.

Donna Kozik teaches writing in San Francisco. I’ve done 16 books for her, both paperback and eBook. One of her projects is Write a Book in a Weekend which features seven strategies for getting into print. I have also done a few anthologies of writings by her students, such as The Community Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude and Everyday Joy. I have also laid out books for some of her clients. She designed all of her own covers and I laid them out for print and eBook. Pictured is an example.

An Eagke Soars

I’ve worked with individuals who have both hired me to do their books and brought me new clients. One of these is the artist Dana Vacca. She wrote a novel in 2018 and asked me to do the interior layout and the cover. The cover featured various thematic elements over a black background. Dana designed the second cover herself. Over the years she’s connected me with new clients who needed book layouts. One of these was doing a childrens’ chapter book (for the 6-12 age group) about a tractor (Dana drew 9 color images) and a sequel concerning the same tractor (8 images). We did a childrens’ picture book about a baby kangaroo. A more complicated project was a children’s book, a mother’s tribute to her son, which was printed by Bookbaby in 2020. An Eagle Soars consisted of single page images that look like they were originally spread width cut in half, but unfortunately were separate drawings that I had to manipulate to balance the color, brightness, etc. The client wanted an element of one page (an eagle) cut out and inserted on each page as a page footer. I designed a dust jacket to wrap around the solid color case laminate hard cover (pictured). I understood that the client intended to distribute the book through Bookbaby, but unfortunately I never saw it available for sale anywhere.

Please Don't Buy This Artwork!

One of my favorite clients, who works with me via Upwork, is David Muller, a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business who has started several family businesses over the years. As of 2022, we have done 10 different book projects, some them with revised editions. David likes to have all his books printed by Bookbaby, which offers a heavy, coated paper ideal for reproduction of color photographs and art. I enjoy working with David in particular for a reason that might not sound logical. Some of tasks he has handed me are things I have never done before, couldn’t find any guidance on, and had to figure how to do on my own as I went along. I do enjoy a challenge (as long as I feel I am capable of fulfilling it). The first book we did, a family history, was a paperback. Every book since then has been a case laminate hardcover with dust jacket. I designed all of his book covers, at his direction.

David’s books are for private distribution only, but he has graciously permitted me to display one of the covers I did for a book detailing his experiences owning and operating a modern art gallery, Please Don’t Buy This Artwork!

Tolkien's Faith To date (2024), of all my freelancing clients, the publisher Word on Fire has been the most prolific, loyal, and generous. We have worked on over sixty book projects together. I started out just doing ePub conversions of their existing InDesign layouts, then advanced to doing entire layouts from scratch for both print and ePub. They have meticulous style sheets for their mostly scholarly studies, and it can be a challenge to reproduce what they want for print in an ePub edition. But, as I say, I enjoy a challenge. So far I have only done interior layouts for this client. So, while I laid out the interior, I did not design the cover of the book pictured, which they have graciously permitted me to use here.

If you would like to discuss your project, please contact me, Clark Kenyon, by . If you prefer, you can write to Camp Pope Publishing, P.O. Box 2232 Iowa City, Iowa 52244, or call 319-351-2407. Or you can describe your project using the Get Quote form. If you are seriously considering Camp Pope Publishing for contract publishing services, you can request a free examination copy of one of my books.

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.