January 24, 2021

As I said on the posting I made on LinkedIn, my business page on Facebook, and to the EFA maillist: I finally have a website again.

The site’s URL is https://stephentianobookdesign.com.

Now, too, obviously, my blog is back. And that posting I referred to above is more or less the basis for this, my first posting, on my new blog. The old blog went down along with the old site over a year ago and—Praise Be!—I’ve been too busy with paying book projects until I just forced myself to take a little time to investigate and find someone who had the recommendations to make me feel comfortable with. 

The look, I’d say, is more functional and just a little less “artsy” than the previous one—“artsy” in a way that, tho’ I liked it for the longest time and tho’ the site became my greatest conduit to clients finding me and the establishment of my book design practice, made me come to wonder whether the way my logo was cut off and angled wasn’t annoying and a turnoff to potential clients who simply wanted info about me. I admittedly sometimes miss that old look—enough not to have changed my invoices and letterhead to match the website banner. I figure that the information, my full name, that’s mising isn’t an issue by the time I get around to invoicing a client.

My previous site had been put up by Jeff Garofalo, a New York City denizen who freelanced in addition to a job working for the Mayor of New York City. I have no idea Jeff’s whereabouts now, as we fell out of touch and, after a point, I couldn’t seem to reconnect. But if he’s still working, he’s certainly got an eye for it. So this time, one Nate Hoffelder designed and put up the site for me. I found him thru my membership in EFA, the Editorial Freelancers Association. EFA has been of great benefit to me over the handful of years I’ve been a member, even tho’ I am obviously not an editor (which sometimes stifles my willingness to offer opinions on the EFA maillist, since I am not an editor). I should say that I’ve gotten more than a few paying projects from people who’ve contacted me thru the EFA website and jobs list. Nate was easy to work with and charged a fair and reasonable fee.

My new About page copy is identical to what was on the old website’s. The background that I wish to make known about myself has not changed. My work samples have been updated a bit. The Get a Quote and Contact pages, I think, are definitely cleaner-looking and therefore, I think, more functional.

And that brings me to the fact that I’m restarting my blog, which had fallen into worse-than-merely-sporadic entries when my site went under over a year ago. I’d gotten to a point where I didn’t have anything “new enough” to say about book design or freelancing. I’ve had enough new work in that time and given enough thought to how I got this far that I have some fresh (for me) ideas to share.

It’s true that may not turn out to be a daily or even a weekly blogger now. It’s hard to tell. I certainly wasn’t the first time. But I haven’t blogged in so long that, as i’ve already said, I do believe I once again have new things to say about freelancing and book design. Additionally I have, I think, the entirety of my personal archive of the entries from my old blog on freelancing and book design. Admittedly, some of them surely seem dated. But I plan to put all those old entries back up again, as I feel they may all still hold some relevance for newbie book designers and freelancers, as well as for authors who may be thinking of self-publishing and entities looking to hire a freelance book designer/layout artist. 

What I plan to do at this point is post the first two or three pieces that I’ve lready written or planned, and then post a handful of the old posts. Where I have them I’ll note prominently at the start of those old piece their originl dates. Some I may even add to, to update. It’s certainly a fact that I’ve come a long way, the world generally has changed, I’ve certainly grown and gotten more experience as a book designer, and freelancing seems to me to be an entirely different proposition today (in a covid world), with my no longer moonlighting at my freelance book design practice, than when I posted the first piece on the old blog in 2007.

Eventually I expect to have put all those entries back up again, in that “a few new pieces, then a handful of old pieces” kind of pattern. If anyone has thoughts on whether this is the “correct” way to get all the old blog’s material out there again, please let me know. All at once at the head of the blog before anything new goes up, or maybe just all after a new first blog piece? Or simply sprinkling them amindst new postings as I make them, the way I’ve already described? I’ve already discussed it a bit with professional friends and have gotten opinions from at least two sides of the issue.

I’ve been told, on the one hand, that the sooner I “populate” the blog, the sooner my I could really use some opinions on this. But someone else said that online visitors get annoyed at happening upon old material. I tend to think that my pld material is still worthwhile to new visitors. I would really be pleased to hear what anyone thinks about all this.

So … that all said, I invite any and all authors (especially those thinking about self-publishing) to check out the site, as well as other freelancers—whether editors, page designers of any stripe, newbies, or seasoned veterans. Please feel free to contact me thru the site, especially about any books you may be preparing, or authors you know of who may need help, to get to press.

Oh, and welcome back to me!

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