The Latest Flesk News – September 2009! The Process Behind the New Stout Books!

Here’s an update on the latest news here at Flesk.

I sent off the two new William Stout books to the printer last week. They are Dinosaur Discoveries and New Dinosaur Discoveries A-Z. I will be reviewing the first set of wet proofs later this week, and will go from there. My goal is to have them out in December.

I’m very happy with how both books came out. Randy Dahlk, who designed our Prehistoric Life Murals, Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon, and the Mark Schultz Various Drawings books, designed these two new Stout books as well. He did a terrific job!

The kids A-Z version is something that everyone can enjoy. Stout fans can pick up this book to share their passion for his work with their children.

The birth of these two books is the result of a brainstorming session between Bill Stout and myself. We started by tossing back and forth ideas we had for books. I sent Bill nine ideas, and he came back with another fifteen, giving us two-dozen projects to consider! It’s fun working with highly creative people.

One idea was a book filled with his pen and ink dinosaur drawings that were colored in using watercolor. I love this particular method by Bill. When I suggested this, Bill let me know he already had an A-Z dinosaur book partially done that he had started with Byron Preiss as publisher. With Byron’s passing in 2005, the book had been shelved. I immediately wanted to publish this. Stout, plus dinosaurs, equals a cool book!

After further discussion with Bill, then Aaron Silverman and Gabriel Wilmoth at my distributors offices, SCB Distributors, to gain their insight into how they think the book will be received in the marketplace, and further discussion with Randy Dahlk (whose opinion I highly value), the single A-Z book turned into a big 144-page dinosaur book, and a 64-page A-Z kids companion book.

When I was at SCB, Aaron pointed out that having “A-Z” in the title would automatically label the book as an ages 4-5 kid’s book (which Randy was telling me from the beginning, which is why I was asking Aaron for his feedback), when in fact it wasn’t originally. After some discussion, Gabriel said “two books” just as I was thinking the same thing, and I said “Ya!” I called Bill right away, and he liked the idea of two books, too.

We took the A-Z off of the title of the original book, and then made a fresh edition for kids with a simpler and larger font text, and a fun smaller hardbound format. Books really can take on different shapes and sizes and it is not uncommon for the content to adjust and change during these brainstorming sessions. It was happy to have a good group of guys, all of whom I value their opinion, help shape these books into the final form. We’re all happy with these two versions. Again, I’ll have these out in December.

In the meantime, I am working on two books that are getting close to completion. The first book is Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West by Walt Reed. This is the definitive book on this powerful painter, illustrator, and teacher! Hardbound with jacket $49.95, 304 pages with 73 black and white and 294 color plates. 12.5 x 9.75 x 1 in. This will be available in spring 2010.

The other book I am working on is James Bama Sketchbook: A Seventy Year Journey, Traveling from the Far East to the Old West. This full color paperbound $24.95, 8.5 x 11, 144 pages will be available in spring 2010 as well.


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications