We usually try and work out a book’s front cover very early on; it helps focus minds and give everyone something visual to work with. And also it’s usually needed for sales information too. The problem is that inevitably small changes will need to be made but hopefully the basic design stays the same. After that the rest of the cover can wait as energies go into the inside pages, but we’re now trying to get the artwork for the Fire In The Sky cover prepared. The cover is a bit of a strange beast as it needs to be laid out flat but you have to keep in mind that it will be folded and creased to form a front, spine and back. Plus we like to have those wrap round flaps which sort of echo dust-jackets. The spine is often a bit of a guess but normally the rest of the book is prepared, and then if the spine needs to be made slightly bigger to fit I have to drop everything, adjust the artwork accordingly and get a new production files over to the printer within half an hour or so. Any of our titles which have a music theme, we use an image of album sleeve spines for the book spine. The idea is that if people have a few of the book titles, it will end up looking a bit like a mini vinyl shelf. It’s perhaps a little ambitious but our designer likes the concept!
The inside can look a little strange when viewed flat as the art needs to match up to whatever is happening on the first page of the actual book.
There have been quite a few emails coming in this last week or so asking why, if another website is busy announcing a new release date for one of our next titles, do we not have that information here? The answer is simple, we did not know about this! The website did not bother to contact us to check. So rest assured, as soon as we have a reliable production date for each of our next three titles it will appear here BEFORE anywhere else! Likewise if you order direct from us (once pre-orders go live) you will get the book BEFORE anyone else (that includes you know who) has stock.
And just to prove things are happening, here’s a peek at a chunk of the Fire In The Sky page layouts (generated from within the layout software) which are being proofed and photo cleared at present. Our designer has added a colour coding to each section to make navigating what is becoming an increasingly complex document (there are over 700 images) a little easier!
Well 2019 didn’t pan out quite like we’d planned! With both Simon and Ann having had time in hospital, one after the other, current book projects had to be put on hold for some considerable time. However with the New Year, Easy On The Eye Books are starting to get moving once again and the titles which got held up are now being prepared for publication. We anticipate that the Fire In The Sky book will be first, this is now into the final photo clearing phase, with text proofed and the book laid out. This book has become much bigger than originally planned (around 700 images in total!) so will have around 260 pages now. This will be quickly followed by the Boom Boom Blues photo book, and then we’ll tackle the next two titles. Goodness knows how brexit will affect things this year but we’ll do our best (we print in mainland Europe, so have been dreading this). Anyhow, expect more page spreads and other updates in the coming weeks. Our thanks to everyone for their patience.
The illustration above is from the popular I Spy pocket books which were a publishing phenomena during the 1950s and 1960s. These are a big favourite with Simon and he has compiled a few pages devoted to them on his design site – check the link above.
The Easy On The Eye Books online shop has been “parked” for a few days while we updated links across this site. These are all now working and have been tested. If you do encounter the “parked” error message when you reach the shop please let us know as it means I’ve missed one! And sorry, but the double Green Shield stamps offer is now closed…
We were very lucky to arrange an interview with bassist Roger Glover to pick his brains for our upcoming book on Deep Purple’s Machine Head album recently (Fire In The Sky.) The band played a handful of British concerts during November, so me and Stephen Clare spoke to Roger at length at his hotel in Manchester (once we’d got past security – which was not for the group, but Manchester United, who use it as a staging post to collect players together prior to matches apparently!).
We did warn Roger that this was likely to be a fairly tightly focused chat, and for two hours he did his best to recall tiny details of the albums sessions for us under a John Humphrey style questioning. This has given us a lot of new information and will help add extra details to the narrative.
I took along a little digital voice recorder which seemed to work fine, but when I opened the audio files on my computer was horrified to see they were all dated 2009, and assumed the worst. Then I realised I didn’t have the recorder in 2009, and had just neglected to set the machine’s auto file dating option! The interview had come out OK, and while it won’t win any Sony Radio awards, is perfectly fine for what we need. We are working for a publication date in early 2018.
In the usual tradition of such meetings, I would post at least one photo of the interview, but were so wrapped up in it we neglected to take any, so I’ll add a shot of Roger during the show instead, courtesy of Vince Chong (the background is from the back projections used during the evening.) We did remember to get Roger to sign our copies of the previous Deep Purple book…
It probably looks from the sometimes slow postings here that we’re not up to much, but truth is we’ve been astonishingly busy on projects for our other imprint, ST33Books. These are not available in stores, and are limited run large format titles. After numerous teething problems our first title on the rock band Yes (titled Yes : Dialogue) is now shipping and getting a fabulous response, see the comments below. Over half the run of 600 copies have been shipped since it came out three weeks ago. Nip over to the site and see what we’re up to. And that is indeed an exclusive to us Roger Dean piece of art which adorns the new cover.
Now that this is mostly off my desk top I can get back to preparing the next three Easy On The Eye titles (and a long awaited reprint.) for the presses.
IT LOOKS AMAZING!!!! Your team have really outdone themselves on the production; definitely worth the wait. Perfect! I just wanted to say how impressive it is! Many congratulations to all concerned, this has clearly been a labour of love A must have for any collector of Rock history and a must must must have for Yes fans!! It’s a beautiful book. Oozes quality in all aspects. The book is simply glorious, well done! It really has been worth the wait to receive such a marvellous finished product.
Nice to see some of Brian Smith’s photographs used properly and with permission on a new Blues CD. The disc in question is a compilation put together by Wilko Johnson from the Chess label archives, and is designed to present his fans with the sort of material which inspired him as a young guitarist. Titled The First Time I Met The Blues, it is out now on Chess – SPECXX2114. Looking at the cover (below), I can see at least three of Brian’s photographs in there! If you’re not up to speed, the material is from our upcoming book “Boom Boom Boom Boom : The Photographs of Brian Smith. American Rhythm & Blues in England 1962-1966“. And there isn’t a time I type all that when I don’t wonder a] how we ended up with such a long title and b] how on earth I can fit it all on the spine…
Talking of “Boom Boom” I managed to screw up the newsletter subscription form for this title, so prior to the date of this posting, if you thought you had subscribed, the software did not capture your details. I have corrected this and retested it, so if you go the the main page about the book, and hit the new button, it will all function properly. That way we can keep you fully up to date on the project and any special editions, etc.
I am meeting up with Brian in a few days to sort out the last of the hi-res scans for the book and caption them up properly.
Vintage Rock magazine is one of those fascinating niche music monthlies which make choosing at Smiths so hard these days. They cover the 50s and 60s in detail, with plenty of emphasis on the UK scene back then and so when they heard about Brian Smith’s Blues photo book were keen to interview him and show some of his photographs. The magazine is out now, Issue 25 (April / June) and well worth a look, although it tends to be stocked only by the bigger magazine outlets (though you can buy it direct from the publishers.) Thanks to Rik and Jack at Vintage Rock for permission to reproduce a couple of pages from the article. The shot here is one of a series Brian took from the side of the stage during a Rolling Stones concert… what an experience!
We had a couple of meetings last week with Graham’s manager as the group are currently on tour in the UK, and finalised plans for the book editions. We will send out a newsletter next week to subscribers with all the details (you can get on the exclusive mailing list by visiting the book page on the site). I’ve never been to a rock show in Skegness before, and apparently it is 49 years since Graham last played there as a teenager! We then took in a more regular concert in Leeds, and watched the band sound-checking beforehand, where this picture was taken. There is a review of the shows and more pictures on the Deep Purple site here.
Graham Bonnet Band, soundcheck, Leeds, Feb 2016. Photo : Simon Robinson
Our large format titles are now in production, and fans of the progressive rock band Yes can now sign up for a newsletter. This gives people progress reports via the newsletter, as well as pre-order information and any special offers. You can read more and sign up on the ST33Books site or sign up right away using the button below (you can unsubscribe at any time).