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Old 03 June 2014, 11:38 AM
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marrya marrya is offline
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Default Writer question: what makes a book an Almanac or an Annual?

I was browsing the second hand book fair this weekend, and having an indulgent reminisce through variations on the old Boys/Girls Own Annual and suchlike. it occured to me that this style/layout/tone of voice might be a good format for the wedding planning guidebook I've had 90% written for ages, but have never quite gotten finished.
I don't think I'd call it an Annual, for various reasons including not wanting to print a whole years worth at once, but I'm attracted by the semi-magazine format - hmmm, why am I not excited by thinking of it as a magazine type thing, I wonder?

Perhaps becase I'm not imagining a colourful glossy image heavy thing? Lots of worksheets and fill in the blanks planning guides, but quirky and practical and very local and down to earth.

My point, anyway, is along the lines of: how fat would a book need to be to count as an almanack? (Is there a difference between an almanac and an almanack? ranny Weatherwax pollutes my internal spellchecker) if it's not a chubby book, is it pretentious and a bit precious to call it so?

Does the page size matter? In my head, an Annual is kind of A4 sized.

What makes a book an almanac and not just an omnibus, or another big book?

What do yo think, am I maybe just cooking up yet another displacement activity preventing me from finishing, or am I possibly onto something here?

Last edited by marrya; 03 June 2014 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 03 June 2014, 11:50 AM
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me, no really me, no really is offline
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An annual is something that comes out once a year.

I would have said that an almanac is a book that comes out once a year and is full of facts - charts, calendars etc
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Old 03 June 2014, 03:19 PM
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thorny locust thorny locust is offline
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An almanac contains calendars, astronomical information such as sunrise and sunset times and moon phases and eclipses, and also such things as tide tables if applicable within its intended region.

It may also contain all sorts of other things -- the Old Farmer's has everything from weather predictions to cleaning tips and jokes; but if it hasn't got calendars and basic astronomical timing, I don't think it's an almanac.

And I don't think anything's an "annual" unless a new version comes out, or at least is intended to come out, annually.
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Old 03 June 2014, 03:28 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
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...and an omnibus is a compilation of items originally published separately. Just being big and fat doesn't make it an omnibus.

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Old 04 June 2014, 12:42 PM
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marrya marrya is offline
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In it's current format, it most resembles one of those homework helper workbooks, with pullout fill in the blanks worksheets (though no gold stars)

Which is just a bit meh, IMO.

But I don't want to have it be 'just a workbook' because that's dull, and not at all desireable. I want to make a useful book, that's also upbeat and a bit quirky, that people will be a bit jealous of when they see someone has one and they don't. but again, I don't want it to be just another magazine supplement thingy, I'm looking to create a niche document, totally unlike anything that's already out there.

So, probably not an almanac, though I have abbreviated tide charts (just showing weekends- wedding specific content, so mid week is mostly irrelevant) and sunset times. I see it having relevant quotes and jokes and anecdotes, maybe some DIY project instruction guides, and lots of practical bits, like budget planners, formal table setting and etiquette info, mad libs wedding vows, lists of what anniversaries get which gifts, etc.

It's kind of an annual, in that, you'd only ever own one version of it- it would be the one time drop for a couple, but I'd want to reprint and tweak any missing/redundant bits (plus not storing a bazillion of them for half the year, since I'd be trickling them out throughout the year as I meet with couples, rather than releasing once to a general audience)
I'm also imagining it as a bit of a keepsake for the couples, if it's as useful as I'm hoping, there'll be a lot of mementoes in it.
But, it's not a pretty, pastel toned, bride oriented, wedding journal, either. Part of the attraction fir me is making something that the groom would pick up and use, too.

In the future, if I can get the tone and content right, I could see taking to a real publisher and making an actual annual, at the moment, it's just a classy, useful bit of added value for my clients.

A workbook bores me. But if it's not an annual, or an almanac, what could it be, other than that?
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Old 04 June 2014, 01:01 PM
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Chloe Chloe is offline
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Is it a guide?
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Old 04 June 2014, 02:03 PM
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AmISam AmISam is offline
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How about a compendium? (or possibly an Enchiridion although should apparently be small )
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Old 04 June 2014, 02:32 PM
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Morning Morning is offline
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This idea of yours (which sounds lovely, btw) seems a bit like a guide I purchased when I was planning a Disney vacation. It had maps and timetables, tips, tricks, checklists, pockets to keep documents in and many other things that came in handy.

Here's the current version:

PassPorter's Walt Disney World 2014: The Unique Travel Guide, Planner, Organizer, Journal, and Keepsake!

From the title, it looks like they didn't know exactly what to call it, either.
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