The Genesis of a Book at
If the publishing project is for a reprint or reissue without a final manuscript - materials submitted are converted into a camera ready manuscript. This processes may include, but are not limited to: cutting the spine off an existing, printed book; converting pages printed on both sides into a one sided manuscript (from bound or unbound materials); updating halftones in provided manuscript; fully digitizing (scanning); making new edition corrections or additions. Different services carry different fees.
If a book arrives as separate elements that we are to combine into a final book manuscript, the book goes through manuscript preparation first.
If a manuscript includes photos: the check-in person makes sure the photos/files are marked and notes any sizing they deem necessary or that has been requested. Then depending on their format:
Hard copy photos are digitized and half tones are made.
Digital graphic files for offset printing are adjusted as noted and half tones are made.
Digital photos imbedded in programs such as Adobe, Word and Quark (without base files-non-embedded copies provided) may be printed as is - no guarantee of quality. These are charged, in printing, as non-process photo pages.
Regardless of manuscript pre-press format, all photos that are converted into halftones undergo light restoration and balancing, free of charge as a value added service.
In a digital book publishing, the digital halftones are placed in the manuscript file(s) before production - directly from data files.
When printing is
done from a hard copy manuscript, the digital half tone photos are
produced and then returned to the check-in
person. Then the half tone
photograph prints are trimmed and placed into the hard copy manuscript to help
complete the check-in process.
We realize that each book is the end result of a lot of work and, many times, years in the making. We want each project to be the best possible, while also being economical. Once check-in is complete and all questions are answered:
Manuscripts to print go to the production area where it is placed in line, based on the date of pre-press clearance.
Manuscripts for digital reproduction get added to the queue digitally, based on the date of pre-press clearance.
Because each book is special and projects are fluid, we feel "first in, first out" is the best policy rather than scheduling blocks of time for projects that may be delayed for a wide range of reasons. However, due to this policy, we can not even estimate total production and delivery time until after pre-press. Even then, while we strive to meet time estimates, so many variables make guarantees impossible. While production time can range from a few weeks to a few months, we annually suggest any Christmas projects arrive at our offices by August. For summer projects, allow at least two months lead time due to bindery restraints.
We are different in this regard from many other commercial manufacturers - they block out time and can give you "exact time" estimates. However, few have any policy for dealing with getting off-schedule for any reason. Many businesses that block time in preparation actually charge the author if the manuscript misses this time. If this company scheduled press time for many manuscripts we receive when they arrive, the manuscripts themselves would not make the scheduled time - due either to problems found during check in or author initiated changes once it arrives. Additionally, highly automated manufacturers have quicker "turn around" due to the fast machines do most of the work on the publication. Many of these processes do not have the quality checks and balances we do.
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