A few notes
on the production of
A Brother Like Me


[Note of 28 May 2003: The following was written many years ago. Subsequently Sue and I have produced many more book that we are proud of, including another one by Harry Dunbar (Black Nonfiction Books).]

In some ways, A Brother Like Me represents the most modern book Sue and I have produced. You see, I had never met Harry Dunbar or any of the people at Queenhyte. I was first approached via email, and the email continued till agreement was reached and a contract signed.

For that matter, I never spoke to anyone by phone either (at least not till after publication); it was all email, all electronic. Everything was on disk, except for scanning the photo of Harry Dunbar.

Harry Dunbar

Harry had complete control of all the particulars and then proceeded to let Sue and me go our own way in terms of editing, design, and composition, though we sent him samples throughout to maintain communication. Naturally, I prefer having as free a hand as possible, but it always leads to additional work, since I enjoy pleasing a client and myself. No one expects a client to have firsthand knowledge of all the possibilities of DTP, but I have a fair idea.

For this project, most of the coding was handled in XyWrite (from ye olden days), with the design work accomplished in Quark. I spent more time than usual tweaking this and that, throwing in characters from the expert sets of Adobe Caslon to have the book appear more finished. Time-consuming, yes, but the end result is truly worth it. Consequently, I'm more pleased with the appearance of Harry's book than most.

Sue had control of the editing, and I did the index in the old-fashioned manner, that is, working page by page to accummulate terms and references. Sure, computer-generated indexes are easier . . . if more inaccurate. (If you're married to an ex-index editor, you learn how inaccurate an "easy" index can be.)

Even though the work was all electronic, from the desktop, I look forward to one day meeting Harry Dunbar. He's an impressive person from an impressive family. Growing up in the 30s and 40s, Harry, his brother, and his sisters all obtained Ph.Ds before it became fashionable to do so.

-- Chet Gottfried

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