every grain of sand.

by Justin Scribner

Justin was looking for support for his collection of haiku, poetry, and short stories, and he needed someone to proofread, revise, edit, and help him publish his work.

What he wanted:

To share his jewel of a book with the world

What he had:

24 haiku, 52 poems, and 8 short stories that he started writing in 1997

What we did

Arrangement suggestions
ePub design
Critique and critique letter
Platform Selection Support
4 (million?) rounds of proofreading
ISBN acquisition support
One printed proof copy (and one for us!)
Pricing support
Reading series feature
All the love
Hear an excerpt from Justin’s book

"It feels like I'm going off to camp or something..."

We printed out the poems one by one and started exploring arrangement suggestions. Justin got to work by sending some examples of simple covers that he loved.

On May 26th, Justin received the new arrangement and . . . drumroll . . . he loved it!

Then we got to work again . . . this time, we dug deep. Every day, we opened our computers and fell into the beautiful world Justin explored. With a coffee in hand, we let Justin’s words swirl around in our head for days. Then we popped out to ask Justin how he was doing.

Then we helped each poem find its brightest way...

Then, in June, we emerged with Justin’s words in our hearts: “sky as empty as a clean plate waiting,” but he didn’t have to wait any longer . . . we sent him the critique and edits for review.

Justin went to work by incorporating the changes he loved, getting rid of the ones that didn’t matter to him, and then, he sent it back for the next round of proofreading. As we were working on that round of proofreading, we got to see the sketches Justin’s friend Lindsey was creating.

It was becoming real...

And we could feel the excitement building in the email exchanges with Justin.

Justin also sent us a Pinterest board with some insanely beautiful references. (Seriously. We’re still using them when we go to explore new ideas.) So we spun with those and emerged with some cover ideas and font choices.

We connected over the phone to chat marketing and I left Justin with a list of ideas for him to work from. Like every good camper, Justin was prepared with a timeline for when he expected to have everything ready and, soon enough, he sent us his real, live website.


Once Justin chose the cover he wanted, we had to make sure it fit within his original vision! Instead of just a regular hardcover book, he wanted to see the work with a linen cover and a minimal dust jacket, and soon, Justin was able to touch the book he had been writing for over two decades.

Justin created a whole world for us...

every grain of sand is an image-rich collection that changes the way we look at time, at ourselves, and at the world. This collection spans a diverse array of topics but they fit together in a wonderfully dense world that Justin created for us.

“time is an illusion, they say

and though you can count the days

since the ferns began to grow

 and you can track the times . . .

You might recognize Justin from our very first UGH COVID! reading series.

And somewhere along the way, we transformed Justin into this beautiful animation!

Make a name for yourself.