Proof • 14 March 2007 • The SnowBlog
I thought you might be interested to see one of the stages of getting a book printed. Our forthcoming Monster Island is going to look like this (except without the watermark):
Pretty, no? The title will be picked out in red foil; the author name will be highlighted with shiny varnish (called spot UV) and the title and author will be embossed. But how does the printer know that we want these areas to be so treated? Along with the pdf of the cover art, we send something like this:
This one is for Needle in the Blood and shows the areas where we want the printer to put spot uv. We send three files like this: one for the varnish, one for the foil and one for the embossing. (Note that we will have a nice shiny crow - excellent.) We don't always use each of these finishes, but in the spirit of making sure our books sit properly in their genre, we'll almost always use foil and embossing on crime fiction, foil on historical fiction, and spot uv wherever we can. We love it. Spotuvspotuvspotuv. Lovely.
So to check with the printer that what we mean by a colour is the same as what they mean by a colour (as all output devices - monitors to you - vary) we get a colour-true proof back before the printers press the big red 'print 2000 copies' button. Along with this we get three sheets of see through film, like in the picture at the top of this post. They show where the various finishes are going to be. We use our special clever powers of imagination to check that where there is black there will be red foil, or varnish, and then send it back. And then the postman brings a couple hundred of books in the post a few days later. It is magic.