Apr 22, 2020

IBN History of Brewing Series grows again: Indian Corn (or Maize) in the Manufacture of Beer

Our first title of 2020 is yet another addition to our IBN History of Brewing Series. Turning our attention from Europe to America, we have created a new edition of  Indian Corn (or Maize) in the Manufacture of Beer, an 1893 publication of the US Department of Agriculture, originally authored by Professor Robert Wahl.

Professor Wahl not only covers the basics of brewing science, but puts the use of adjunct grains, like corn and rice, into their historical context, and shows that they can have a useful place in beer brewing.

Pre-Prohibition America is a period for which many people hold great nostalgia. While beer was still primarily a regional business, many of those regional brewers were becoming quite large. Economies of scale were becoming more important—yet brewers in those days wanted the same things they want today—full-bodied taste, clarity in the bottle, stability in storage, and consistency from batch-to-batch. Modern science held the key to unlocking many of these characteristics, and researchers were quick to analyze ingredients and methods that might contribute to success in brewing.

Like our other IBN volumes, custom-imprinted editions can be created as gift or resale items for craft brewers and brewpubs. Together, they offer a useful resource of "lost knowledge" that today's brewers--both commercial and at-home--may put to good use.

Available via Amazon HERE.

List Price: $6.75
6" x 9" 
Black & White on Cream paper
88 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1985695832
ISBN-10: 1985695839

Apr 8, 2020

Where The Magic Happens: The Basement Publisher

As we begin a new year, I thought I would take some time to talk about my work space, the equipment I currently use to write and design books, manage my graphics projects, organize my blogs and house all my reference materials. My "office" work space in the basement is quite small (approximately 6.5' x 8') - in fact, I sometimes joke that it's so tight, you don't so much enter it as wear it!

That said, there's a lot packed inside--a newly upgraded HP PC (more on that later), with a triple-monitor setup, a couple external drives, webcam, microphone, an Amazon Fire tablet, a Brother color inkjet printer/scanner and an Epson V30 flatbed scanner. For audio, I send the HP's Bang & Olufsen sound output through a 70's-vintage Harman-Kardon A402 amp into two pair of monitor speakers. To rip vinyl LPs, I use an 80's vintage Technics turntable, then run the output directly into a Behringer USB interface into the PC for monitoring and editing.

If this seems like overkill, it is; the laptop is seldom used here, and the tablet is for TV.
 Whatever space isn't taken up by equipment is home to books; 90% of the titles here are devoted to  architecture--primarily medieval, tudor, elizabethan and revival styles--English and American, along with related arts subjects. Some are old and rare, but the subject matter is fairly tight. The rest of the titles that made their way into the room cover such things as book design, writing, publishing, typography, graphic design and photography. There's also a tiny bit of space left over for decorative things like pictures, old toys, memorabilia and other tchotchkes that provide both inspiration and distraction.

Feb 8, 2018

IBN History of Brewing Series adds Second Title for 2018: Secrets of the Mash Tun

The IBN History of Brewing Series continues to grow with this new, handy paperback version of a British brewing classic: Secrets of the Mash Tun; or The Real Causes of Failure in Producing Good Ale or Beer.

First published in 1847, this guide was written for small brewers and home brewers during a period when science was becoming more appreciated for its contributions to the brewer's art. Like all of our books, this is not a scanned reproduction, but an all-new edition, freshly re-designed and typeset, including Publisher's comments and a helpful record-keeping section at the back for home brewers.

With simple explanations, useful advice and a common-sense approach, it offers today's small-scale brewers a handy manual of practice and a fascinating insight into our beer-brewing past. It would make a great addition to any homebrewer's bookshelf, or a nice evening's reading beside a warm winter fire. Like our other IBN volumes, custom-imprinted editions can be created as gift or resale items for craft brewers and brewpubs.

Available via Amazon HERE.
Avalilable via Amazon UK HERE.

List Price: $6.49
5" x 8" (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
48 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1985193956 
ISBN-10: 1985193957

Jan 23, 2018

Now Available: 3rd Installment of TLG Design Library

We have just published the third installment in the TLG Design Library - William Morris: Some Thoughts on His Life, Work and Influence. This is a newly-created reprint of a long form work about William Morris that originally appeared in The Craftsman magazine in 1901. Published by Gustav Stickley, The Craftsman featured articles about the American Arts & Crafts Movement, as well as home designs and examples of Stickley's popular furniture.

Originally written by Irene Sargent for the magazine, this profile of William Morris was a tribute to the primary role he played in art and design in the late 19th century. This is not a poor scan of an old publication, but an all new, re-designed edition, with an attractive, Morris-inspired cover design that is appropriate to its historic subject.

Available on Amazon and  Amazon UK
List Price: $7.59
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
82 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1983825606
ISBN-10: 1983825603

Jan 14, 2018

New Title Premiers for International Beer News HISTORY OF BREWING Series

With the explosion of interest in brewing, Marketing and consumption of Craft Beer over the last two decades, there has also been an increased interest in brewing history. Brewers all across the world are studying and reviving age-old traditions, while craft beer enthusiasts continue to study the rich and fascinating world of Beer Culture.

Danish Beer and Continental Beer Gardens represents yet another all-new edition of a work that originally sought to glean “best practices” of Europe in an effort to support beer consumption and enjoyment in pre-WWI America. With an all-new design, introduction and additonal supplementary information, we are happy to continue to bring this history to today’s beer drinkers. Like all of our re-print series, the images have been carefully scanned and photo-edited, new material has been added for improved context and added depth, and a new cover design has been created specifically for this work.

This book represents the third installment of our History of Brewing Series, created for International Beer News. Like all the books in this series, we can create custom-imprint editions for craft brewers and brewpubs who would like to add something interesting in their merchandise offerings. The book is available now on Amazon and Amazon UK

Jan 9, 2018

Looking Back: The Challenges of Part-Time Publishing

When I initially created American Biblioverken, my goal was to simply create an imprint that I could use to publish and distribute my first novel, The Steadfast, back in 2002.

I had briefly investigated finding an agent, but although my queries did obtain some helpful feedback, the process seemed just too time-consuming. Furthermore, my vision for the book included the finished product, with very specific design and layout parameters, and I was disinclined to leave all of this to someone else. I thought the best way to bring this vision to reality was to publish the book myself, which I did.

Never mind that I did not have time to market the book (I was busy at a full-time job as it was) -- part of my motivation was to check “Writing a Novel” off my bucket list of things to do, and move on. I was appreciative of a few nice reviews I got—including the local newspaper—but fifteen years ago, hardly any review publications were accepting self-published work. So, I moved on.

However, after completing one book, it was tempting to try another. I started working on a few more projects, and completed a second book for some professional colleagues, The BLT Hypothesis – A New Approach to ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, which I produced and created for their own imprint. I also took an interest in curating and re-publishing some public domain works, and began several long-term projects along these lines. Stories of Ohio, a work by Ohio writer William Dean Howells, was the first of these, published in 2012.

Jul 5, 2016

Making The Old New Again. And Doing it the Right Way.

Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of books on Ebay. Primarily, these are books on art, history and architecture, and many are old, out-of-print editions. Some are relatively rare and hard to find.
Yuck! #1

Occasionally, due to high cost or rarity, I’m unable to obtain a particular book; a good example of this might be Old Cottages, Farm Houses and other Half Timbered Buildings in Shropshire, Herfordshire and Cheshire, by E.A. Ould, originally published by Batsford in 1904. Original editions are almost impossible to find. A digital copy is available via Google Books as well.
 Which brings me to the third option, a new, POD copy available from one of many “public domain” specialist printers. This also brings me to the point of this post.

I have only come across a few physical copies of these types of books, and each one has been severely wanting in terms of quality and design. A post on The Long Gallery, regarding the example of Alan Jackson's The Half-Timber House: Its Origin, Design, Modern Plan, and Construction sets this matter out clearly; the new version was produced from a very poor copy of the original, to the extent that the illustrations were almost useless as a complement to the text. Thankfully, I have been able to obtain an original edition of the book, and the quality problems are plain to see.
Uggh! #2

I suspect this issue is quite common among the majority of “public domain” publishers who apparently do a quick “rip-and-scan” of an old book (or a print/digital copy of an old book) and then make it available to buyers at a vastly inflated (and often outrageous) price. Often, these types of books include poorly-reproduced illustrations, sloppy or illegible text, crooked page scans and photographs obscured with a distracting moirĂ© pattern. Many of these examples are simply shameful, and could be immediately dispatched to the garbage can.

Sadly, for buyers in search of a particular book, there may be no other option. Until now.

Suffice to say that why I do make use of digital books, I generally prefer printed books—especially since I like to add them to my library shelves. As a result, we have taken on a new effort, which is to uncover older works that are deserving of good treatment and re-publish them in all-new editions, with a serious approach to quality and design.

When I say all-new editions, I mean that the text has been run through OCR and proofed, the book has been laid out with an all-new design (deemed to be complementary to the original) and that the images have been carefully re-scanned and photo-retouched in order to make the quality as good as possible. This also includes an attractive, new cover. The result is almost a new book, and one which represents some significant time and effort to produce. And yet—I feel we can sell such a book at a price which is still lower than the noxious “rip and scan” versions one finds today.
 Really? #3

In doing this, we seek to create an edition that we would be proud to have on our own library shelf, with a quality design that actually relates to the book’s material. If you’ve seen these modern re-prints on Ebay or on Amazon with their generic cover designs (often featuring images that bear no relation to the subject matter) you know exactly what I mean.(see the illustrated cover examples)

In some cases, we may also include supplementary material or commentary that provides modern insight, or which puts the historical material in clearer context. Likewise, illustrations that provide visual explanation may be added where appropriate, or where it may complement a book full of pure text.

Our initial efforts along these lines have included some smaller works; two books in a series on brewing beer, and an arts series that so far includes two brief works by William Morris. In addition, our edition of Stories of Ohio, by well-known American author William Dean Howells is another example of how we are interpreting these classic works for new generations. You can see these in our current lineup.

As we move forward in this particular effort, we are determined to build a significant niche featuring overlooked architectural titles. We are nearing completion soon on a work involving house building utilizing traditional earth-built methods, which we believe will have significant interest for those adherents of sustainable construction techniques.

Stay tuned.