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Domino Wrap-up: Book Packager Reflects on Fears of Falling

Dominoes sculpture

A book producer's work requires juggling many complex challenges. We know that, and you'll hear no arguments from our clients, but too many potential clients decide—or are instructed—to take on the same assignment on top of their own full-time jobs. When they finally come to us for help, it is often too late to salvage the situation in time to meet their original deadline in a cost-efficient way.

Anniversary Publications: An Open Letter to PR and Design Firms

Building Stata cover

Vern Associates, Inc. (VAI) specializes in making beautifully produced coffee-table format anniversary histories for educational institutions, professional organizations, and corporate clients. We just embarked on our 20th year in business, and during that time have built a reputation in this area. Trouble is, very few potential clients know about book packagers (or book producers), so they are apt to turn over a project such as an anniversary publication to their trusted public relations or graphic design department or outside firm. Unfortunately, chances are that those groups don't know much more about how to make such a book, either.

Communications Breakdown: Printer—Packager—Client

disruption symbol

About 90 percent of Vern Associates's books are large, heavily illustrated tomes that require exceptionally fine-quality prepress and printing. The remainder of our projects, while also illustrated, tend to be smaller in trim size, lower in page count, and include less-demanding illustration/information graphics programs. Specifications for these projects are closer to those for standard reading books: one- or two-color printing, 65 percent or more text, hardbound with a four-color jacket or paperbound with flapped cover. Our clients for such publications usually are not publishers per se, but corporations or nonprofit organizations whose print experience is limited to advertising, collateral, or capabilities materials.

Digital Art, Workflow, and Communication

Old dominos

The falling domino this week involves prepress—specifically delivering accurate digital images to a printer and the color correction phase that follows. 

Domino Number 5: Illustrated Book Design and Client Confidence

listening between lines

Design is a hot-button issue. It provides the client with a welcome relief from all of the tedium and aggravation they encounter each workday, and the chance to express opinions—likes and dislikes. This may explain, in part, why, in the course of a design-concept meeting, the group can so easily go off topic or become mired in minutiae.

Mighty Author Kicks Copy Editing to Curb: Dominos Upended

Greatest urge

Last week's contribution to our series of posts that concerns ways to keep all your book production dominos in their locked-and-upright positions dealt with troubles we have encountered during the line editing stage of manuscript preparation. (See An Editorial Services Minefield for Dominos.)

An Editorial Services Minefield for Dominos: Line Editing

Prediction Chaos

As I mentioned in my last post ("Book Development: An Early—Potentially Lethal—Falling Domino"), the later the stage of the publication-production process, the fewer dominos remain to fall. What that doesn't address is the degree of setback a tumble can cause.

Book Development: An Early—Potentially Lethal—Falling Domino

Things Fall Apart book cascade

Last week's post, Book Production and the Toppling Dominos, introduced our series of blogs that will look at how missteps at any given phase of book production can result in damage to—if not total annihilation of—a publication project. Our goal is to offer tips on how to spot the red flags before they burst into flame.

Book Production and the Toppling Dominos (Intro)

colorful dominos waiting to fall

More than three years ago, we posted a blog subtitled "The Book Producer's Dominos." In it I tried to explain why rewriting or reconfiguring text (and pictures) at the layout stage of book production is practically guaranteed to unravel the work done to that point, resulting in overruns—not just financial, but (worse) schedule.

Museum Catalog Designer "Matures into the Academy"

National Academy Museum

Slightly giddy from finding an actual parking spot on 90th off Fifth on Manhattan's Upper East Side, I strode downtown past the Church of the Heavenly Rest and its very busy little outdoor café and stopped next door to read the gallery announcements in front of the National Academy Museum. I'd promised myself to visit this museum for years (decades!) and this was the day I would keep that promise.

Though I had never visited the National Academy before, it represented for me a long history of changing perceptions that evolved as I collected years and experience. Meanwhile, the museum itself had been collecting and exhibiting some really interesting work.

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