Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Chosen Press

We’re pleased to announce that Boydell has entered into an agreement with Chosen Press to distribute their books worldwide. Their first title, a fascinating anthology of writings by and about Gerald and Joy Finzi, edited by Rolf Jordan, was published earlier this year and has already earned some enthusiastic reviews. From Boydell’s point of view, we felt it fitted nicely with Diana McVeagh’s biography of Finzi, and we were won over by Philip Lancaster’s philosophy of publishing books that he felt needed to be read. However, in case any of you are considering getting in on the publishing game, first read Philip’s story of getting The Clock of the Years into print:

The publication of our first book was rather a steep learning curve. Although, editorially, it had been in progress for a couple of years, the final days were rather fraught! We had worked up the typesetting of the volume in-house over the few months prior to our fixed publication date (an immovable feast, since the date had been long advertised as part of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival), and it was therefore with great relief that we finally uploaded the files to our printer’s server. Or rather it should have been. The book text was fine; the jacket was an entirely different matter. A few days later we had a phone call from the printers, stating that there were numerous issues with the jacket, and that it would be easier if they spoke directly to our designers. Er, that will be us then. Despite our careful measurements, it was apparently too short; and most importantly, we had not appreciated the tonal differences between two means by which one could produce the dominant colour on the dust wrapper: black. Surely black is black, isn’t it? Obviously not.

This would have been fine, had we not been working in deepest darkest Herefordshire at this critical time, in a mobile telephone blackspot (one had to travel about 4-5 miles to get reception) and away from any internet communication. This was further frustrated by the fact that our Quark file corrupted and we couldn’t make the necessary alterations. Why did we ever decide to go into publishing?! At whatever the cost, we had to ask the printer to take it into their studio and sort it out themselves.

These problems delayed the final production, and it was a great worry as to whether the book would be ready in time for the launch. However, our printers, Cromwell Press, turned it round wonderfully quickly, and so on the morning of the book launch we were able to make a 110 mile diversion to collect part of the stock, making it to Gloucester only just in time for the launch lunch.

Next time you look at the book, pay particular attention to the dust wrapper, and admire the wonderful unity of the black colour across the jacket!

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