Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Birth of Bella Terra

Our new Maine Lighthouses Map. Click image for large view.

Last August, Mostly Silent Partner confided that his dream was to someday own a little publishing company. Never imagining the consequences (we always were lousy at chess), Our Publisher replied, "Is there any way to make that happen?"

MSP said, "Well, as a matter of fact, I happen to know of a little publishing company that's for sale right now."

"Well," Our Publisher replied encouragingly, "why don't you look into it?"

So MSP did and, as of January, Hartnett House Publishing had a pair of proud new owners. Naturally a new name was needed for the enterprise, and MSP wanted it to bear Our Publisher's.

"How about 'Stander Publishing'?" he brightly suggested.

"Hah!" I scoffed. (Referring to oneself in the third person gets tiring.) "'Stander Publishing' doesn't mean anything; it sounds like we publish annual reports."

"Well then, you come up with a name," MSP retorted.

So I did: Bella Terra Publishing.

And a tagline: "Illustrated Maps of Our Beautiful World."

And a job title for myself: Publisher. (Also: editor, art director, webmaster, salesperson, shipping clerk, etc.)

Mostly Silent Partner, who has a day job, is Chief Financial Officer. Which means he has to delve into the bowels of the Peachtree accounting software. Better him than me.

Two days ago, during Denver's first blizzard of the winter (yeah, we know: it's spring already), our first publication rolled off the press at Colorado Printing: an updated and completely redesigned version of the Illustrated Map & Guide to Maine Lighthouses.

Yesterday we received a few press sheets via FedEx, and were thrilled (and vastly relieved) to see that the map looks as good in print as it did in proof. The folded maps will be delivered to our warehouse on Monday.

Now all we have to do is sell them. Oh, and revise the Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses map for publication on April 15; and completely redo the Massachusetts Lighthouses map for publication in May; then revise the Southeast Lighthouses map; then redo the Florida Lighthouses map; then redo the New Hampshire Covered Bridges map...

Good thing that Bella Terra HQ is located hard by an extra-large espresso pot.

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