Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Printing


And now for something completely different!

As an editor, I work on the book production side of things. There are lots of people who work on books, and I like to divide them into two sides: production and marketing. Essentially, I consider these categories to represent the people who work (1) on the book itself and (2) on selling the book. Both sides are crucial, of course, and are certainly not opposed.

But a thing I recognized today was that, perhaps because of my primary division, I spend a lot of time thinking about the other side of the book process, but not really a lot of time thinking about the other (non-editing) things happening on my side.

Primarily, things on the production side involve several rounds of editing, design (exterior and interior), and printing. All of these steps require multiple people. On an editing team, there will often be developmental editing, fact-checking, substantive editing, copyediting, indexing, and proofreading, and those may all be handled by different people—there may even be multiple people assigned to one of those tasks! On the design team, there will usually be both a cover designer and a layout designer. When it comes to printing, the process can be immense and complex.

St. Louis Writers Meetup organizer and fiction writer Kurt Pankau (@kurtpankau on Twitter) shared this gem of a post from Tor art director Irene Gallo. It's titled "This is How Huge Door-stopper Fantasy Novels Get Made," and it features a bunch of photos from the book printing process. Judging by appearances, it looks like the steps involved require a lot more people than editing and design combined.

Many thanks to Gallo for the post and to Pankau for bringing it to my attention.

6 comments:

  1. This is a great post Andrew! I missed the meetup, as we are in Mexico. Thank you for sharing the information. At least I can have some of the Meetup benefit in my absence.
    Cheers,
    Khrystal

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    1. Thanks Khrystal! I actually missed the meetup, too, due to my car's overnight stay with the mechanic. Enjoy Mexico as much as you can!

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  2. This is a nice post in an interesting line of content.Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring such topic to discussion.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Wilson! I'm honored by your compliments!

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  3. Here the author has made us know about book printing and different jobs in it. But he didn't give clarity related to marketing , I mean how to do marketing and how to sell the books.

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    1. How very astute of you to point out! I never planned for a post titled "Book Printing" to spend any time discussing book marketing, but if that's what you're looking for, check out this Critical Margins post from 2013: http://criticalmargins.com/2013/10/16/current-future-states-book-marketing.

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