Email epistolary book needs design help
February 15, 2012 10:21 PM   Subscribe

This is one for the design-heads. I want to create a bound-book containing an email exchange - something along the lines of an epistolary novel. I've got a good bookbinders lined up. And have a passble knowledge of how to physically construct a book. However I need some help with the presentation of the content.

The obvious answer is to hire a designer, however this is a small vanity project and I'm having difficulty justifying the cost of the binding let alone the services of a designer.
The email exchange happened in a brief flurry over one week. 15 people contributed a single email precis-ing their history since leaving school; unusually for such a subject all of the responses were short (rarely more than 3 paragraphs long) and interesting.
How would you go about laying something like this out? Font, spacing, keeping the 'nature' of what makes an email an email rather than a letter?
posted by dry-jim to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What software are you using for layout?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:00 PM on February 15, 2012

Have a look at "e" by Matt Beaumont for an excellent example of epistolary novels (oe Eleven by David Llewlyn, but that contains unsent drafts as narration, which I think is cheating a bit).
e manages to tell it's story as much by who is included on the email (and who is BCC'ed) as it does by the content, so it can probably give you a good idea as to how to typeset all the relevant header data.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:18 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

If I were you, I'd go to a bookstore and look at the poetry section. If each contributions fits on a page and if there are fifteen contributions, it won't look like a epistolary novel, it's going to be a small and precious book. 15 pages isn't that much, even for a poetry edition. Consider printing only on the right side of the spread. Ask your bookbinder how the book would look physically, she can probably make you model. (looked at their website, wow) Don't be shy, take your ruler, measure the margins. Pay attention to the paper and the binding. Some publications mention the used font and paper in their colophon.
posted by ouke at 12:20 AM on February 16, 2012

Response by poster: Microsoft Publisher - although open to other suggestions.
posted by dry-jim at 12:23 AM on February 16, 2012

I liked the way the designer of Cavanaugh Lee's Save As Draft laid out the emails.

Does your bookbinder know that this is going to be a chapbook-length manuscript? That is going to affect the supplies they order, etc.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:46 AM on February 16, 2012

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