Friday, May 9, 2008

A Beautiful Journey: Part 5 - Printing

I'm adding two additional segments to give an understanding on what went behind in the final stages in the book.

First, the books were sent to the printers - which were uploaded using FTP by the graphic designer.

The printers did an empty mock up to show us the book size, quality of paper and for us to approve it. This book was blank and was in full white.

Once they were ready, they actually called me to stay for 2 full nights (ie 3days, 2 nights) in their factory for press check. This was quite an experience.

They had a room for me with a sofa (no bed) but comfortable enough with working table. There's internet too. They mentioned that I will be in the factory for this whole 3 days - having to inspect on quality control for the book.

That means every 2-3 hours, I was walking back & forth to the printing room to check 8 pages each time (they printed in 8). This seem relatively simple, but for a lack of sleep and to do it even in the wee hours when the eyes are groggy, that was a bit of challenge. Also, the pages are not in order meaning I could be seeing 8 different pages from anywhere in the book.

Our pictures in the book are mainly full spreads ie 1 picture in 2 pages and this is where it becomes difficult.

One example is when I have to supervise one side of it (ie one page), while the other page has already been printed. That's not all - in fact, it could be 2 pages here (from 2 different full spreads) while the other 2 are in another 2 different stacks.

To make it even, and the pages to blend together, I may need the worker to increase or reduce a certain colour. But by doing so, though one spread will be fine, however, the spread will not blend well.

In fact, I took a while to resolve one of this. And luckily there weren't that many like that.

This whole experience of book printing is quite interesting for me. I never knew how printing a book would be and it was nice to see it 'come to live'! I can gladly say that I watched the printing process live!

After that, I went back, and in about 2 weeks later, the books arrived to my doorstep ready for delivery to the bookstores!


Dalicia said...

this is very interesting :) i really hope to have my hands on this book. will it be published in US

QuaChee said...

hi dalicia

this book is actually out already :) its not published in usa, as we are a n indie publisher.. but we do sell it on amazon & also do shipment up. act we've had a few sales from usa & uk :)

do let me know if you are interested. u can drop me an email
themalaysiapage at gmail dot com :)