Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How Are Books Made?

I learned a bunch about printing this past week. All I really knew before was how much it was going to cost me to turn my digital files into a book, as well as how to prepare those files. I didn't actually understand how all of that happened.

Maybe you will find it interesting as well!

Presses vs Printers
Books are made on printing presses not printers. A "printer" denotes a digital printer and is basically a glorified inkjet. If you have a print job of less than 1000 units, a digital printer isn't a bad route to go. I went with a digital printer last summer when I was created Issue #0 of From the Dust. But presses are a completely different beast.

From the Dust #1 is of course being printed on a press because we have several thousand units (units = books). A printing press uses giant plates to "press" the pages of your book with the colors of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (also known as CMYK color). The combination of these 4 inks creates all the beautiful books in your book store.

The first thing I had to do was approve the color.



The plates used to "press" the ink to the paper are laser-etched.

Both the top and the bottom of the press has 4 of these rollers - one for each color of ink. There are constant warning beeps informing these workers to add more falling asleep at this job, folks.



Then it gets sent to the publisher, from the publisher to the distributor, from the distributor to the retailers and from the retailers to you!

Talk about complicated.

You'd think we'd have in the digital era some cool new way to deliver content to people that wasn't so complicated and expensive...

Oh wait...that's next week's post.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Printer Update!

From the Dust is being printed as you read this! Finally it's at the printers! Reasons it took a little longer than I anticipated:

  • The book is longer than I thought it would be, but it has everything an introduction to a new series and world would need (and, I might add, it's also a new type of product - a serial graphic novel so that was kind of rough to figure out how that would work)
  • It has over 250 illustrations! Compare that with the next children's book you purchase (need I mention the quality difference?)
  • Freelance work kept me away from the project a bit (I do have bills to pay)
  • There were printer errors with the RIP (raster image processor) with my print files (not my fault, really!)
  • And...let's face it, it's my first big publishing endeavor and I made a few errors on the way. Luckily not one of them made it into the final book that you will receive! (at least, that I know of anyhow)

More Good News! On a positive note, I am getting a lot faster at this making graphic novels thing and I've designed the project in such a way that future books I won't have to worry about all this layout/design nonsense and I can just focus on story - which is what all of us really want, right? More gorgeous storytelling!

So, let's be patient as we wait for dinner to cook in the oven.

EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS. Lastly, From the Dust's second birthday is on the horizon and I'll have some big news for that, too!

I always have cool stuff cooking in my oven. You should have learned that by now. :)

Here's an oldie but a goodie. I'm not sure if I've posted it a way that you can see it full-res like this!
Laman hunts a wild beast in Arabia.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Preview of From the Dust #1!

Hi Folks! Here's a quick preview of the 112 page book! It's loaded with all kinds of goodies. Hope you like it! I don't think there's a single page that doesn't have loads of artwork on it. Coming February 1!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Official Release Date February 1!

Official release date! From the Dust's Official release date is February 1. Just thought you would like to know.

Oh, and don't forget to watch the trailer. It's best in HD!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

From the Dust Newsletter

From the Dust Newsletter. As we anticipate the *very* soon release of From the Dust #1, please consider signing up for our Newsletter. Here's what you get:

  • Priority knowledge of our new products and promotions (we will always give our newsletter people about a day's heads up before blog, twitter, and everybody else)
  • Emails as needed (about 1/month or so)
  • Exclusive images we don't release elsewhere
  • No spam

Why is today a great day? Also, when you sign up, you get a chance to tell us why today is a great day. Here are some responses from December!

"Because I'm a Mormon!!!" -- Anthony
"Because I found you!!!! Love that you are helping bring truth back!" -- April
"Christmas Eve:  The day before Christ was born." -- Chris
"I got the Fan Kit for Christmas and loved it! Can't wait for From the Dust #1!" -- Colby
"I've been looking for something like this." -- David
"It's an awesome day - my leave started today." -- Debbie
"God has given me comfort.  :D " -- Debra
"This comic is going to be awesome!" -- Dustin
"My 11 year thinks this is SO cool!  That's awesome!" -- Honor
"It's a great day because it's stormy and windy outside and I have two days off work." -- Inari
"My grandson will love this series of books!" -- Jimmy
"Because I just found out about From The Dust!" -- Kel
"To Day is a whole new beginning to a wonderful world of learning it's never to late for new thighs in life." -- Luz

 (PS - Luz, I'm not sure where you got your new thighs...but I'm glad they are working out!)

Anyway, see you soon! My next post...I will be giving you the REAL release date! Yes...we're that close!!!