The Covid lockdown had a detrimental effect on many aspects of our lives, but it had one big positive for the book world. Authors had lots of time to ‘finish that book’ because let’s face it – there was very little else to do!
The Upside of Lockdown is a collection of essays and interviews with nearly fifty people describing the effects of the Covid lockdown on themselves and their lives. All live in County Wicklow, Ireland and the stories were compiled by East Coast Radio journalists Jillian Godsil and Marlena Murphy.
The stories give an insight on the myriad of lives and lifestyles that people lead in the county – from beekeeping to gin distilling, from tourism to the arts. There are some fascinating stories in the book, and it is well worth dipping into.
I was introduced to the project by a client of mine who had contributed her own story to the book. Jillian and Marlena had all the usual questions – how long will it take, how much will it cost – you know, the usual questions all first time authors have. The budget was tight, but we had a few advantages going for us. The book would be mainly text, so I suggested we print in black and white on Bookwove – a popular paper stock for novels. There were going to be a limited number of colour photos and they were happy to put them together in one section, in that way saving on cost.
As an aside, it is worth considering if your book needs to be ‘full colour’ or if you can get away with a mainly black and white book with ‘a few colour pages thrown in’. For longer runs of books, say over 1000 copies, it is most economical to keep all your colour photos in one section (16 pages or so). This colour section can be printed separately and then added to the black and white sections when the book is being gathered, prior to binding.
For shorter runs, where digital printing is being used, it can be possible for individual colour pages to be distributed throughout the book rather than being together in one section. Ask your printer about this at the planning stage as it will depend on the type of printing presses they have available.
We looked after the design, layout, and printing of the book while the cover was designed by a colleague of theirs, Sinead McGuinness.
It stands as a lasting memoir of a very unusual time in the towns and villages of County Wicklow, and I am very happy to have it on my bookshelf.
If you would like a copy, you can get one by clicking the button below.