Yearbooking Chronicles #3

Read part 1 here and part 2 here

And so, yearbook fans, here we have another riveting edition of Yearbooking Chronicles: the definitive guide to losing your mind and most of your money but feeling great anyway because you’ve made a mountain bike book. In part three, delivered fresh from a three-week all-nighter, we take a dive into the hard concrete floor that is making it to the end of making a book. Are we making sense yet? Read on.

Mountain bike yearbooks – when the finish line is in sight but isn’t getting any nearer

In part two we mentioned that stages one and two – planning and stuff – usually overlap with stage three. So what is stage three? Well, in this case, it is Everything Else.

For the last few weeks we’ve been enjoying the process of creating three yearbooks documenting mountain biking in the year 2021. It’s been a mammoth task to bring three books to publication in a relatively short amount of time (more about that below), but even when energy levels are low, brains are fried and there is still a mountain of work ahead, we can’t help but think how lucky we are to be working with such fabulous images and reporting from a sport we really quite like. So, to end this preliminary tangent, thank you to everyone who contributes to, reads, and supports Misspent Summers.

The Everything Else of yearbook production is a feast of editing, selecting (photos), designing, updating (photos, mainly, when we see a flaw in the flow of the book), proofing, finalising, and sending to print, which is a lengthy task in itself.

For the last two years we have worked remotely – contributors, editors, designers all in separate locations – due to Covid restrictions. While this is suboptimal in terms of having fun with a bunch of friends making a real life product together, we still manage to have a laugh via Skype/Zoom/Google/etc and, it has to be said, it’s probably improved our efficiency as there are far fewer tea breaks and tangents.

What to say about the process of production? Well, there’s a lot of back and forth and many lost hours of sleep. There really is nothing quite as stressful as a print deadline when you’ve spent all the company’s money and most of your own paying for a print slot. Only to realise there are probably quite a few more things to do than anticipated – it sucks being a time optimist.

This year’s book production has been a blur, so we’ll just end this by saying that getting our yearbooks off to print is one of the most satisfying feelings ever. Now just to wait – they’ll be back from print soon. What will they turn out like? How many mistakes will we spot instantly (many)? Will anybody buy them? Fingers crossed.

Next steps: Getting the things on sale, promoting them, distributing them, customer support, then buying a house in Monaco with all the enormous profits.

Our 2021 yearbooks go on-sale the week of 8 December. Keep an eye out! Thanks.

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