Falling Uphill book cover and Scott standing on the edge of Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
The new book on the floor of the printer's shop waiting to be bound. Each stack is a set of pages.
Book waiting to be bound. You can see both the front and back cover of the book printed on one piece of paper called card stock. Those stacks of interior pages are called "signatures." In offset printing, interior pages are printed on large sheets of paper. They can print as many as 32 pages on one piece of paper. The pages are then folded into a group called a “signature.” This is the reason that the number of pages in a book are always divisible by four. Then all the signatures are combined, the cover is added, and it is all glued together and trimmed.

The making of the book

A few highlights of how the book “Cayendo Hacia Arriba” was made.

Here is my new book on the floor of the print shop waiting to be bound. It’s the Spanish edition of the kid’s book, “Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life.” I needed to hover over the guys at the print shop because it just wasn’t getting done on schedule. Aah! And the books need to be on an airplane to Argentina the next day! But luckily, it made a fun trip for me. I got to take some photos and videos. And, I loved watching the book come together. There was a team of people working on it. One lady had the job to make sure none of the pages were upside down.

Cayendo Hacia Arriba at the printer 02
Here is the book, “Cayendo Hacia Arriba,” at the printer being stacked up on the binder. Each stack of papers is called a “signature.” A signature contains 8 pages of the book printed on one piece of paper. The pages will only be separated when the book is bound and cut.

Would you believe they printed enough for 250 extra books just in case there is a mistake in the binding?

At the beginning of the video below, you can see the book at the printer as it is coming off the printing press.

The back cover

Over 500 children and teachers standing on the playground in the shape of giant bicycle.
After seeing the world wonders and taking thousands of photographs, this is my favorite photograph that I made when I returned home.

The back cover uses the photograph from the original English edition of “Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life.” We wanted to recreate this image in Argentina, but since we went to 14 schools and an orphanage, we couldn’t get enough people in one spot. The above picture has over 500 people in it.

Here is the full story of how the school photograph in the shape of a bicycle was made.

And here is a step-by-step guide to how the books are made.

How the book was illustrated

Each school worked differently. Below the students worked in groups on the floor. We brought our own pencils, erasers, markers and paper because some of the schools we attended were very poor. I actually brought a whole box of supplies with me from the United States. Looking back, I wish I had brought even more.

I liked how the teachers, the “maestros”, and the students wore white coats, like scientists. I’m taking this photograph. I hardly took any photographs because I was asked to work with the students, which is, of course, why I was there.

Students illustrating Argentina school
Students illustrating the book at a school in Argentina. I was amazed by how many teachers there were.
Students illustrating Yebrail Matta school
Students illustrating the book at Yebrail Matta school. There was some fun collaboration at this table.
607 Bernardino Rivadavia student illustrating
A student illustrating the book at 607 Bernardino Rivadavia.

The above photograph is one of my favorites. I selected this to be in the book. It is one of the pages that shows the cultural differences between the English and Spanish versions of the book. You can see it is an image of a football (soccer) player and a tango dancer, two icons of Argentine culture.

Please share:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More stories about the making of this book

The following is a step by step summary of how the book is made, including: planning, creating, celebrating and making a difference in the world.
The children's edition of Falling Uphill arrives in Kenya.
The Spanish edition of my "Falling Uphill" kids book "Cayendo Hacia Arriba" is being used by the Peace Corp in Paraguay to teach kids how to read and dream.
Footprint in the sand

Subscribe to my newsletter ​

I enjoy sending short stories about my adventures. I also send updates with free worksheets, new books and inspirational ideas to help you live a more joyful and meaningful life.