AshEdit—News About Books & Writers

November 27, 2011

Creating the Coffeetable Memoir by Elaine Ash

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashedit @ 12:17 pm

On Saturday, November 26th, advance copies of David and Yetta Kane's memoir arrived. It was like seeing the first glimpse of a new child.

This coffeetable-quality book has a hard, peacock-blue cloth cover and silver foil stamping. The image is debossed, meaning a shallow impression has been stamped into the cover to create a "frame" for the image. (Look carefully and you can see the outline.) The overall book shape is a custom-designed rectangle, wider than it is tall. The pages are 40-pound matte art-paper. Not shown: the ribbon marker attached to the book in a matching darker blue, for a "classic" touch.

The family tree background was hand-cut by Lindsay Lassen and computer-converted by Alex Kane (grandson and professional graphic designer). Book designer Joanne Bolton then "married" the image and the family names to create a stunning double-page spread.

Whoops, a blooper! The first debossing attempt from the printer. (White loop far right is my camera strap. Another blooper!)

A blank "dummy" book, created by the printer far in advance, to show the Kanes the exact size of their book, the cloth cover material, the paper quality and the lovely ribbon-marker. The dummy allowed them to get an idea of the finished book and also request any changes they wished.

The ordinary ISBN number on the back cover proved an extraordinary challenge on this type of cloth cover. Intense scrutiny ensued over placement, glue compatibility, aesthetics and a dozen arcane but vital issues. After weeks of back-and-forth, a solution was reached--deboss the area, machine-glue the ISBN, and shrink-wrap the books for transport. Problem solved, whew!

Elaine Ash with David, Yetta and their first book.

HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING, The Life Story of David and Yetta Kane is scheduled to arrive in Long Beach, California via container ship from China in December, 2011. The Kanes intend to sell their book via Amazon and donate copies to schools and libraries.

PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor, Elaine Ash; Book Design, Joanne Bolton; Graphic Design, Alex Kane and Lindsay Lassen; Transcriber, Andrea Fox. Printed in China through Bolton Associates Inc.


  1. I have an idea how much work and perspiration went into this book, and I’m truly glad to see it become a reality.

    Comment by Al Tucher — November 27, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  2. Yes, Albert, the work. Whew, Elaine. I marvel that it ever got done and I hope the Kanes are joyful.

    And I thought preparing a Createspace and Kindle and Smashword book was hard.

    Comment by Mar Preston — November 27, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  3. Outstanding! I’m glad it finally “happened”. It’s like the proverbial overnight success sensation that was years in the making…
    Hopefully this is the beginning of a new and wonderful writing career.

    Comment by Tom — November 27, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  4. Al, Mar, Tom, hello there and thanks for the encouragement. There’s not a lot of discussion about how difficult book production is–and I think it’s amazing that so many books DO get produced when it’s such a task. The Kanes are “naturals” to produce their own book because they speak in front of thousands of people every year. I’ve seen them hold 500 high school students in thrall for an hour and a half, in tears, in laughter, and afterward hugs and kisses–they line up to hug the Kanes. These children will cherish copies of the book in their school library.

    Yesterday we did some filming and the Kanes will soon have their own You Tube channel. Steven Spielberg filmed them speaking a few years ago, and I’m in the process of seeing if that footage can be used on their channel. We will send him a copy when the book arrives from China. Yetta and David are 78 and 81. It’s never too late to get into the book business!

    Comment by ashedit — November 27, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  5. cheers! 😀

    Comment by laughingwolf — November 27, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  6. I want to know “How to Survive Anything.”

    Comment by Mar Preston — November 27, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

  7. Cheers backatcha Laughingwolf. Ah Mar Preston, I see they already have you hooked! 🙂
    I just heard from The Kanes’ son, Jerry, who reports that David and Yetta were interviewed for Spielberg by HOGAN’S HEROES actor Robert Clary who played the French prisoner LeBeau on that series. He always wore a beret in the episodes. Anyway, Mr. Clary (who is now 85 years old) was actually in Buchenwald concentration camp at the same time as David Kane, although they never knew each other at the time. They were both liberated by American forces on April 11, 1945.

    Comment by ashedit — November 27, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  8. Looks like a gorgeous production; many congrats to all involved!

    Comment by Chris James — November 28, 2011 @ 4:26 am

  9. Looks very cool.

    Comment by charlesgramlichCharles Gramlich — November 28, 2011 @ 6:07 am

  10. What an incredible undertaking, definitely a labor of love. Congrats to the Kanes and to you Elaine!

    Comment by Diana James — November 28, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  11. Thank you for taking the time to comment. We are very pleased to hear from all of you. We are indebted to Elaine Ash for being our editor and bringing this book to fruition. We are very thankful. We pray that the readers of our book will find encouragement in their lives to reach their goals and help them overcome any obstacles and survive anything.
    David and Yetta Kane

    Comment by David and Yetta Kane — November 28, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  12. I am sure your story of survival will inspire many people to emulate your wonderful work in spite of adversity. I will look forward to reading it.
    Jacob Bresler

    Comment by Jack(Jacob) bresler — November 30, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  13. Dear Jack, Thank you for your comment. We wish you and your family lots of joy and pride. I know your good work inspires others as well.
    David and Yetta

    Comment by David and Yetta Kane — December 1, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  14. I’m so thrilled that you took the time to write this. I remember our conversations up in Davis and down at your home about your history. It taught me a lot and I truly treasure those conversations. Wishing you well and much success.

    Comment by Cheri Glankler — January 27, 2012 @ 7:49 am

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