Here it is, the cover of my forthcoming book Flip Flop Fly Ball. One day back in the spring of 2009, when I was in a really shitty mood, two things I was working on were cancelled. Well, on that same day, I got an email from the publisher of my third book Atlas, Schmatlas, saying they weren’t interested in my proposal for a book about baseball infographics. As days go, that one sucked.
But, what it did do was make me think about what to do with the graphics I’d created for the proposal. The sporty stuff on Flip Flop Flyin’ was never particularly popular, so it seemed like a good idea to create an offshoot website so non-sporty people could ignore the sports if they wanted to. While I was building the site, designing the masthead, creating more graphics before it went online, the name of the site - in my head - was going to be High Cheese.
In the end, though, I went with Flip Flop Fly Ball, a baseball-related pun on the name of my regular website. It went online mid-June 2009, and with the help of Twitter, fairly swiftly became the most viewed part of the Flip Flop Flyin’, ahem, empire. In July 2009, I had a couple of meetings with book industry people in New York, and I got to work on a newer, better proposal. By December, I had a deal with Bloomsbury USA, and the work began.
I immersed myself in baseball in the German winter, through the Torontonian spring and summer, and finished it up in the Mexican autumn. And now, it’s completely finished. Of all the graphics in the book, the cover took the longest to do. Mostly because it has to be different things to different people. It should speak immediately to those people who’ve already seen my work as “that English dude’s infographics book,” and it should speak to people who’ve never seen my site, and people who just happen to be sauntering through the sports section of Barnes and Noble looking for a Father’s Day gift.
Anyway, I’m pretty proud of it.
It’s published spring next year.