Thursday 7 August 2014

A visit to the print shop

I don't read ebooks very often, so it's a comfort to me that print books are still made the old fashioned way. I have a new book (called Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something) coming out soon with ECW Press, and today I went to Coach House Printers to see how it gets made. 

First, the pages are printed on these big Heidelberg printing presses. These huge machines are made in the Black Forest by dwarves who use magic hammers and exotic metals smithed in eldritch fire.  

Next, highly trained technicians named John operate the gluing machine. This is where the covers are affixed to the pages and where "critical acclaim" is added to author bios. 

This is what assembled books look like before they go the cutting machine. If there are still any typos left in the book at this stage, the cutting machine will remove them! 

The cutting machine trims the excess paper off the top, bottom, and side of the book. You need to use two hands to operate the blade, so you can't cut your own fingers off by mistake. Emphasis on your own. Emphasis on by mistake

As books come off the cutting machine, they are piled up on a shelf in the corner of the room so they can grow accustomed to how they will most likely spend the remainder of their existence in a shop or house somewhere. 

At this stage in the manufacturing process, each book is assigned an author who will be its mascot. I was very happy to be paired up with this lovely little number, and you will see me flogging it around the country very soon.

And that is how a book, like Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something, gets made. If you would like to order this book, please contact your local bookseller, or visit my publisher ECW Press

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