Spinning the Dogs

March 2004
by Moira F. Harris

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Spinoff pieces from any book are good publicity. By publication time, the research and writing are complete, so new uses for the material are welcome. Perhaps a magazine article derived from the book will bring a bit of coverage for that “forthcoming title,” or an excerpt published after it’s out will celebrate the “newly published book.” Either way, such spinoffs can help sales.

For one of our books, the major spinoff was unplanned and totally unexpected. We had researched and photographed material for Art on the Road: Painted Vehicles of the Americas (1988) in Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. We had met artists and taken pictures of their work on buses, oxcarts, and trucks. Once the book was in print, we sold articles to the UNESCO Courier (and were able to see our words in Urdu, Esperanto, and other UN languages) and Natural History, and photographs to Reader’s Digest. Reviews were positive, but one photograph led us on a trail all its own.

About a Famous Anonymous Artist

The story began when a friend who was looking through the book came to a back-of-a-truck photograph we’d taken near Medellìn, Colombia, and said, “Oh, the Coolidge dogs.” That meant nothing to me until he explained that the painting on the truck was based on calendars from Brown & Bigelow, a St. Paul, Minnesota, company that had published thousands of calendars using paintings of dogs pl…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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