Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Less than a month after the interior artwork was turned in, and the first proofs of Moonshot are here on my desk! Note the First Proof band in which the pages come wrapped. Not so dissimilar from the familiar Sanitized For Your Protection band, but we don’t dwell on that. Anyway, if you don’t know, proofs are what the printer sends to the publisher after the printer has received the original art, but before the book itself is printed. When the publisher receives first proofs, the art directors and designers put them under a good light, give them the eye, and then ask that the printer use less blue here, more contrast there, clean up that spot and that speck, and so on, all through the book. The printer takes these comments and produces—second proofs. This process repeats until everyone’s done all that they can to make the pages look their best. There's a nice old-fashioned sense of craftsmanship to the process, and also a meaningfulness to seeing a publisher working to make your book look the best that it can.
Only after everyone's satisfied (or, sometimes, reasonably satisfied; this is the real world, after all) do the printing presses roll in earnest.