Life In The Back Shop: how this book came to be published

Letterpress printers in old newspaper shops

Funny, isn’t it, how life sometimes falls into our laps?  We’re just living and suddenly life isn’t the same anymore.  That’s how it came to be that I published a book about letterpress printers in old newspaper shops. I was asked to answer some questions that Robert MacGregor Shaw had about my print shop and my experiences as a letterpress printer.  He was writing a book chocked full of old printer stories and tales and wanted to include my observations about the black art.  When he was finished with his questions, I asked him who was going to publish his book.  He answered that he was going to present it to the Minnesota Historical Society for its consideration.  Well, I said as an after thought, “If they don’t want to do it, let me know and we can work together to publish it.”  I thought the matter would end there as I was convinced the historical society would welcome such a book.

An Invitation to publish Life In The Back Shop

Much to my surprise, sometime later my friend called back: how would  you like to publish the book, he asked?  Hardly before he could get the question out of his lips, I had accepted the invitation.  Thus was born Life In The Back Shop: Printers Tell Their Stories 1900-1965.  

One of my pamphlets, The Strange Twists of Lifedeals in more detail with the birth of this book.  More recently, I published another piece for the American Amateur Press Association that deals, in part, with the birth of Life In The Back Shop.  This most recent pamphlet is I Had Caught The Printing Disease.

Life In The Back Shop has become the second best selling book I have published and is now in its second printing.

The lesson:  be open to accepting unexpected opportunities when they present themselves. To bring your own book to life, contact me.

Until later . . .

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