Dummies Are Useful

In book publishing, when we talk about dummies, we’re not bad-mouthing our colleagues. No, we’re just talking about a mock-up of a book.

The particular dummy I want to feature today is one that designer Danielle Carnito made for the book Not a Buzz to Be Found: Insects in Winter. For many books, we review sketches by looking at a PDF of the layout. Occasionally, we’ll print out the pages, though even then they may be smaller than full size. But for this book, Danielle printed the pages at the actual size and made a dummy. The dummy really gave us a much better sense of the book.

Here are some sample pages:

Buzz 1

Buzz 2

Buzz 3

And here are those same pages from the final book:

Not a Buzz_F_Page_09

Not a Buzz_F_Page_12

Not a Buzz_F_Page_15

This book taught me a lot—about what insects do in winter as well as how useful a dummy can be. Linda Glaser’s lyrical text describes what honeybees, monarch butterflies, woolly bear caterpillars, crickets, ants, and six more insects do. Jaime Zollars’s wonderful illustrations bring these animals to life and also add a lot of interesting details. It’s a great read on a cold winter day!