Friday, February 26, 2010

Carrying the Concept Further

Nature’s Garden of Crystals is a way to showcase minerals and mineral collections and/or a company image at an economical price (be sure to see additional photos at In particular, there are relatively few international outlets where mineral collectors and mineral dealers can have a concentrated presence except through magazine advertisements or costly books.  This is a stand-alone book which can outlive ordinary magazine promotions. This book provides the opportunity to showcase your collection or business with a level of intimacy with your peers or customers a single page cannot offer.  Each subscriber is entitled to 15 specimen pages and one introductory page at a price lower than that of only two full pages ads in a major mineral magazine. (See example below.) The organization is by chapter and you or your company will be the chapter author. The introductory page will be autobiographical and also provide two image areas on that page for your story or that of your company.

Each subscriber receives full computer support and they only have to submit the images and a description of the specimen. Additional text support is free and frequent and timely responses assure you can design a beautiful chapter.
The following is an example of the path your chapter might follow.

The cover is yet to be finalized, but it has been committed. The cover design will vary, but two images shown give an idea of the potential. The apatite that was in my chapter of  American Mineral Treasures, but the actual image might be a red tourmaline, an astonishing emerald, or a magnificent azurite, depending on the final choice. The person committed to the “second cover” has generously agreed to use a complimentary image to the first cover image, so the actual outside look may be much different from the example below.

(See cover concept from previous blog.)

Here is the chapter of a Hypothetical Subscriber: George Kunz. (As a man of the nineteenth century, his flowery writing style is that of his youth.)

Chance Encounters with

Great Minerals

By George Frederick Kunz

When I was nine years old, a pretty pebble changed my life. The turn and character of its patterns thrilled me. The shimmer and play of colors on its surface are burned in my memory still. As we get older, those objects which give us pleasure transform. It’s hard to resist the excitement of splashes of color, giant crystals thrust into our hands, or the rigorously unyielding geometrical forms of nature, but which are  sensational to the imagination.


Many of you know me from my chapters, Precious Stones, but I started out as a mineral enthusiast. As you read my writings, you’ll soon see that I believe fine minerals are as precious as cut gems. As vice-president of Tiffany’s, my normal customer seeks objects of decoration: fine rings, elegant silver, or golden objects d’art; but I also sell exquisite minerals. I want to share with you some of the riches of the mineral world which have come into my possession.
     My place of business is open to the public without reservation 9 AM – 5 PM Monday through Saturday: closed on major holidays: Union Square, New York, NY. Please feel free to contact us: (201) Union7-2346 or Online at 
Be sure to visit our booth at the next Paris Exposition!

Dr. Kunz’s chapter would, of course, be 16 pages long. In the example, he has varied the style of the pages and used a thumbnail image on one page to support, the major image. On one page, the group photo is actually three images. The individual images are close-ups, otherwise crystals in a distant view would have no impact.

Obviously, the layout can be somewhat flexible and there is some room for individual style in every chapter. Of course, the captions here are typed in a large font size for easy viewing on the computer screen and the actual captions may have up to 100 words in the final version. You may use more than 100 words in a caption, but the size of the image would be reduced at the expense of the text.
     There will be some “front matter” before the chapters begin as an introduction to crystals and their origins, but there will be no chemistry and physics to discourage the reader. There will be a page about granite pegmatites, oxidized zone minerals, massive sulfide and sulfide vein deposits, alpine clefts, etc. depending on the variety of minerals chosen by a subscriber. (I can send the granite pegmatite page now if you’d like to read it.) When the photos are laid out (QuarkXpress 8), the specimens can be tied in a list regarding mineral origin. That is, if an azurite and a cuprite are chosen by a subscriber, those images will be listed in the section explaining the formation of secondary ore deposit minerals. Relating the illustrations to the front chapter on mineral deposit formation will help make the book a useful reading and viewing experience, but keeping the major influence on visual appeal. Dr. Kunz’s examples are from pegmatites.

     Additionally, each illustrated specimen may have a special label available to the subscriber and the label may be further personalized by the specimen owner. A high resolution PhotoShop file with levels available will be provided for your convenience. Style and font may be changed to taste.

A subscription to Nature’s Garden of Crystals is only $3500. Additional pairs of pages are just $425. The need for pairs of pages is to keep the signature layouts the same. Each subscriber will get 50 copies of the book. There will also be 50 unbound chapters so that each subscriber will get individual sheets of their chapters.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cover Concept for Nature's Garden of Crystals

Tucson has come and gone, but with it's passing there are now enough subscribers to Nature's Garden of Crystals to start a layout for the book cover. The front cover may feature a fine American purple apatite crystal, which also debuted in my chapter in American Mineral Treasures. The final choice is yet to be determined. By nice coincidence, the back cover is balanced with a wonderful amethyst specimen from India. Although I do not have the Jeff Scovill transparency in hand of the apatite, I couldn't resist playing with a possible cover design, so I took a picture of the picture. Although not as sharp as the actual image will be, it gives a feeling for the direction and style of the book. Potential subscribers are from a veritable Who's Who of international mineral people.

Green is one of my favorite colors and I anxiously await all of the fine emeralds that will be in one chapter. The potential for some luscious crystals from China, and many other possible photos is going to assure this will be a wonderful book! If you check the latest changes to the FAQ section, you can see the way the book will be laid out.