Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kitchen Table Publishing

We ran everything from my house for nearly two years. Twice a week my young staff gathered to share ideas, go over assignments and show me drafts of their stories.

At first, we worked at the kitchen table. But it was so small not everyone could sit down, and we moved to the antique oak table in my dining room. The teens shared two ancient Smith-Corona typewriters, both of them borrowed from the L.A. Times. Some stories had to be written in longhand, and then typed out. The dining room table, which I had lovingly restores not long ago, was unprepared for all this activity and groaned audibly whenever anyone leaned on it. I tried not to worry. At dinner time, papers and supplies were stowed on the floor so I would have room to feed my family.

We put the pages together ourselves, a painstaking process. The trickiest part was “pasting” proofs of each headline, photo and story onto page-sized forms, like putting pieces of a puzzle together. The finished pages were then ferried to the printer, ready for photo-engraving and the trip to the press. I constantly worried that a story or a headline might fall off one of the pages while hauling them in the back seat of my car, since the glue didn’t always stick well. But it only happened once, and it was only a paragraph that I hoped nobody would miss.

No comments:

Post a Comment