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Photo by jumpingspider on

Photo by jumpingspider at flickr (

Fans of the design work of Bran Fox are in for a treat this week. Obscure blogger and cartoonist Mig Living has published a book collecting all the The Bug cartoons he could find, and his blog,, has been redesigned. Bran was the driving force behind both projects. Not only did she make both projects coherent and pretty, she also wielded a mighty sword hacking through Kafkaesque thickets of technical difficulties and Mr. Living’s neurotic dithering as she did.

Or something like that. Anyway, if you think the new blog design looks pretty, it’s all because of Bran. Go ahead and click on all the links and have a look around.

The book, with the title The Bug, was published at The Bug has a special page on this blog here, and the Lulu page, where you can view a preview of the entire book, as well as BUY IT, is here.

As these sort of projects often are, these were learning experiences. Because everyone loves listicles, here are

Several things I learned self-publishing:

  1. Most important thing first: always allow way more time than you think you will need. I wanted to have the book ready by October, and it nearly was, except for a pesky white stripe down the right edge of the cover. It took us three tries to get that right. Then I found out it would take 6-8 weeks for the book to show up on amazon, which pushes that particular distribution channel into next year. I have ordered copies from Lulu, they are fast (under a week in the US, two weeks to Europe) and quality is great. The only concern I have is that postage for European customers will be cheaper when they are able to order from the UK or Germany or France, etc, although postage for multiple copies is not that bad from Lulu, and you’re all going to order multiple copies, right?
  2. Make sure you get a patient and talented designer. You need someone who does nice work, like the classy Hokusai-inspired cover, and who can also put up with neurotic dithering.
  3. Choose a Kafka-inspired theme, because then when it takes you three versions and three weeks to eliminate a mysterious white stripe, and you rush to finish by your deadline only to discover an unmentioned step in the procedure will cost you 8 more weeks, and you are simultaneously spending a month trying to install Office¬† on your kid’s new laptop which uses Windows “Whack-A-Mole” 8, the overall situation will feel appropriate to the theme.
  4. You will be thrilled when you get your new book in the mail, because it looks just like a real book.
  5. Your family will also be thrilled, and proud of you for making such a neat book and Bran will be their new heroine for enabling you to do this.
  6. Is that enough listicle points?

I will write more about this eventually, but I just wanted to post this and say, me so happy.