Before I started the Publishing Studies MLitt, I only had a vague idea of what role Production plays in the publishing process. I knew that the Production team was primarily responsible for creating the physical copy of a book, from choosing what paper to print on to acting as a liaison between publisher and printer. It turns out that a job in Production can also entail typesetting, creating an ebook, and much more.
I’m interested in various aspects of the publishing process, but I was most curious about what it would be like to work in Production. So when I heard about the opportunity to create an anthology with Stryvling Press, I decided to apply for a Production role. Working hands-on with Stryvling has easily been my best learning experience this year and has not only taught me practical skills in Production, but also the value of communicating with your team.
Much of our work in Production took place in the latter part of the project, but there were some decisions we had to make early on in the process. While Editorial accepted and worked through submissions, we contacted our printer for a quote, which meant that we had to decide on what type of paper we wanted to use and what kind of finish we wanted the cover to have. We knew above all that we wanted high quality printing materials and we looked to some of our favourite books for inspiration.
Once the Editorial team finished the final edit, we were sent the manuscript to begin typesetting. Our main creative decision as a Production team was to choose the typeface for Time And Tide. From there, we needed to set up our InDesign document according to the specs of the project and check that all text formatting came over from the manuscript document. It took us about a week to complete a first proof, which was reviewed by our Project Manager and the Editorial team.
After receiving feedback from the proofread of the first proof, we made corrections and sent the final proof back for approval. We were able to send our files to the printer on the day of our deadline and, after a few minor corrections, Time And Tide was ready to be printed. I’m immensely proud of our team for being able to meet our deadlines, despite the outside stresses of coursework and COVID-19. Even when we ran into some minor issues during production of the epub version, we were able to work as a team to create a product that we are proud of.
If you’re interested in working in a Production role, I highly recommend learning the ins and outs of InDesign. There are many online resources that cover the step-by-step process of typesetting, as well as creating ebook versions of a book. Learning and mastering these practical skills will get you one step closer to a career in Production.
Pam Sherman, Production.
In this video George Alexander offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production process of Time and Tide, as well as tips on how to get a career in production.
Find out more about Pam and George on our Team page!