How the HowStuffWorks Book Works 2001

Piecing it Together

Sample Book Schedule
1/15/01 First round of design
1/18/01 Design meeting
2/28/01 Batch 1 of manuscript sent to HMI
3/14/01 Batch 1 copy-edited material back to HSW
3/14/01 Batch 2 of manuscript sent to HMI
3/20/01 Batch 1 changes integrated and back to HMI
2/28/01 Batch 1 of manuscript sent to HMI
In layout, you create a template that will act as a standard format for holding all of the words and pictures. Then you lay the pictures, sidebars, titles, page numbers and everything else into that template. During the layout process, you wrap all of the words around everything else on the page. Most pages in this book have pieces of art and other features in different positions, and the words flow around them. Layout is a fascinating, detailed process. If you have ever seen a dry-stacked stone wall in New England, where every stone fits together perfectly to make a wall that needs no mortar or cement, then you understand something about the layout process.

Similar to the back-and-forth collaboration for the cover art, Sheilah and Michele created the template together. Once the foundation was ready, Cynthia worked on placing all of the words, sidebars, lists and illustrations in just the right place. As Cynthia was working through this process, she, Katherine and Rick worked together to make adjustments to the words and art so that everything would fit perfectly. Sometimes the copy was running too long, so Marshall and Katherine would have to take another look at the words to see if there was a more concise explanation. Other times there was a need for a more detailed illustration to complement the text, so Rick would re-evaluate the art and photos to see how to best answer that situation.

Once the layout was underway, it was time to read!