The Life of a Book – Post-production!

27 May 2016
Laura showing off some newly arrived books

Laura showing off some newly arrived books

Arguably the most exciting days in our office are the days when new books arrive. We love receiving such packages from the printer and having the final product in our hands, and we’re sure that our authors feel a sense of joy and achievement on receiving their copies. To some, this is seen as the end of a journey – the editorial and production work has been successfully completed and the job of publishing the work is done. But as a publisher, we’d be pretty useless if we saw this as the time to stop working with a book. In fact, for us in the marketing department, this is our moment to shine!

Elinor and I will have been busy in the run-up to publication setting things up ready for the book’s publication. This means that we will already have let all our distributors, wholesalers and sales reps know that the book is on its way; we will have ensured that the book has a complete listing on our website; and we will have provided the author with marketing materials, such as information sheets and discount flyers for them to give to any interested potential readers.

The ground has then been properly laid for us to start the immediate marketing of a book on publication. We announce that the work has been published to as many people as possible. We inform all industry members, such as wholesalers and sales reps, that the work is now available for their customers and try and reach as many customers as possible directly. This might be done by posting on listservs, such as Linguist List (Multilingual Matters titles) and Trinet (Channel View Publications titles), sending a newsletter to our email subscribers, sharing the news with our Facebook and Twitter followers and informing journal book reviews editors and authors of related blogs, for example.

All our new books are available simultaneously as print and ebooks, so there is also work to be done to get news of the ebook out. Sarah, our production manager, ensures that the book is available to purchase on a variety of platforms, and we ensure that it is also available on our own website. At this stage we also start to send out inspection/desk copies to those who have requested one from our website and we give the option of an ebook rather than a print copy. This means that course leaders get the text immediately and can start considering it for adoption on a course much quicker than the traditional way.

Anna and Tommi promoting our books at AAAL earlier this year

Anna and Tommi promoting our books at the AAAL conference earlier this year

Once the initial marketing has been completed and the buzz may have quietened down, we continue to publicise the work through other avenues. Common ways of doing so are through our catalogue mailings, and additional flyers and materials we produce for our sales reps, series editors and authors to distribute. We also attend many conferences throughout the year and always have lots of our recent and relevant titles with us on display. On occasions when we can’t attend an event in person we frequently send display copies and discount order forms to continue to make potential readers aware of our books.

When a book reaches 6 months old we review its progress at an editorial meeting. We look at the sales figures and discuss how its early sales are looking. This is a useful stage to review a title as it is still young enough to be of interest to booksellers and so we give a title a marketing boost if we feel that we may have missed an opportunity. This is the time when we start to see the very first reviews of a book appear in journals and these continue to appear over the course of the next few years.

On a book’s first birthday we again review its progress and might even start to think about reprinting copies of the work if it has been particularly successful. We monitor our stock levels each month so we try and ensure that we are on top of demand and that a book is always available, but occasionally we’ll receive an unexpected order, perhaps if it is suddenly adopted for a course and we receive a bulk order from a university bookshop preparing for the start of a semester.

Chinese translations of several books from our Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education series

Chinese translations of several books from our Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education series

We continue to monitor sales annually and promote the book when appropriate for as long as there is demand for it – often for many years after publication. Occasionally a book will receive additional attention, such as from a foreign publisher wishing to buy the rights to translate it into a foreign language. This is a really exciting time and such news is always greeted enthusiastically both in our office and by an author who is usually chuffed to hear that their work is to be translated and published for a new audience. We have recently sold our books for publication into languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Arabic, Korean, Macedonian and Greek. Of course at this point, the book gets a second lease of life and it’s down to the foreign publisher to repeat the life cycle of a book as outlined in this post!

Laura


Getting to know the Channel View team: Sarah

12 November 2015

Sarah is our Production Manager and has been with the company for well over a decade. She is in charge of producing all our new books; this means that every author who publishes with us works together with Sarah at some point during the publication of their work, that’s quite a claim! People who work with Sarah may have noticed that she’s an early bird and is often the first into the office in the morning and busy replying to emails even before the rest of us are out of bed! In this post we’ll be getting to know our early riser better!

Aside from the lure of the office(!), is it the thought of breakfast, coffee or the sports news that will get you up early in the morning?

Definitely breakfast – cereal is always exciting (Frosties are currently my cereal of choice). I do love my Sky Sports News morning bulletin but it’s very dependent on the previous day’s results as to whether it gets me out of bed early!

Sarah at Wembley

Sarah at Wembley

Yum, I’m a cereal person too! So, are there any sports or clubs in particular that you listen out for on the sports news?

Huge football fan – Manchester United and Bristol City. United not playing amazingly well this season (or last!) but after 20-odd years of success I can’t really complain. At least Bristol City got promoted last season which is very exciting as the stadium is about 10 mins from my house so I was able to hear a lot of distant cheering last winter! I also love cricket but following England can be a bit of a downer – at least we can beat Scotland!

Yes, as a sports fan I guess you have to deal with mixed successes! You must have been to lots of sports grounds in the UK, but have you been to any stadia abroad, any particular highlight?

I’ve been to watch cricket in a few different places – Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa. Think my favourite ground has to be the MCG in Melbourne – just so big and a great atmosphere! But Newlands in Cape Town was pretty amazing too with the backdrop of Table Mountain. I’ve also been to Yankee Stadium in NY and saw the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in September.

Wow, you really are a well-travelled sports fan! When you’re not spectating sports, do you also like to play them, or what are your other favourite ways to spend your free time?

I’ve been playing ladies cricket for past few summers which I’m really enjoying – last summer I played for a men’s team which was a little scary but also a lot of fun – managed to get a few wickets and catches! Apart from doing the Bristol 10k every year with my lovely colleagues I have to confess to being a bit of a recliner-in-front-of-the-tv slob!

Good for you – show the men how it’s done! There’s nothing wrong with an evening in front of the television. Aside from watching sports (!), are there any programmes or series that you rate as “not to be missed”?

So true. I am a sappily huge fan of Downton Abbey – Scandal, Supernatural and Parks & Recreation among my other faves! I also have a cross-trainer next to my TV which I sometimes gaze at in contemplation of future exercise. One day it will happen.

Nice selection. Ok, now it’s time for the curveball final question! If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?!

Hmm, I’d have to go for super speed like The Flash – you could get all your work and household chores done in no time!

Good choice, I love that idea! Just a few more questions and then you’re done:

Ice cream or yogurt? Ice cream – always go for the unhealthy option!

Mountains or beach? Beach! I come from a seaside town so it has to be beach every time.

BBQ or picnic? Hmm, as I usually spend at least a couple of weeks in Australia every year I’ll have to go for the barbie option!! And they smell good.

Comedy or drama? This is tricky, probably lean more towards comedy in general.

Football or cricket? So tough! Football just shades it – I think I like cricket better in the cricket season but I know I love football the best when it returns!!

Facebook or Twitter? I have different answers for these depending on what kind of mood I’m in! Currently it would have to be Facebook.

Thanks Sarah. There’s still a few more posts about the team to come so keep an eye out for them!


From Word file to printer’s file: Copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading

20 May 2015

There are many people who are part of the publication process other than the Channel View team themselves. Ralph Footring is one of these, providing key copyediting, typesetting and proofreading services for many of our books. In this post, he explains what his job involves and why his services are so important.

I am one of Channel View Publications’ suppliers. I take an author’s Word file for a book and give the publisher a file to hand over to the printer. In between, there is the copy-editing, dealing with author queries, setting up the book’s fonts and page layout, typesetting, sending out proofs, taking in corrections and doing some final checks.

Ralph at work

Ralph at work

Why not just send the author’s Word file to the printer? It can be done and is much cheaper, but it is difficult to get good-looking pages out of Word. Most authors set their files up for A4, which isn’t a good size for a book. And authors do make mistakes – spelling, grammar and some of a more general nature (the name of the guitarist and songwriter for The Who is Pete Townshend, with an ‘h’). I once worked for a publisher who used authors’ print-outs to produce short-run books that wouldn’t have been published at all otherwise. At first, they didn’t trouble to have anyone read through the typescript, but then they produced one too many books with a missing page. Once someone is turning over the pages to make sure they are all there, they might as well look to see if a diagram is there if one is referred to in the text. And does that diagram show what the text says it shows? And then you are slipping into copy-editing.

Needless to say, I think copy-editing is a vital part of the publishing process.

A couple of recent books that Ralph has worked on.

A couple of recent books that Ralph has worked on.

That sentence might set my stall out. Do I delete ‘Needless to say’ (it isn’t needless to say it) or the whole sentence (because it is needless)? But if it’s not my own text, what am I doing interfering with it all? And what about ‘set my stall out’? If a book is intended for a readership that will likely include a lot of people whose first language is not English, there would be a good argument to avoid such idioms, and it might be better phrased as ‘make my position clear’. And what about beginning a sentence with ‘And’? Perhaps with spelling we are on safer ground, but that leads on to a question of consistency. It seems undeniably better not to mix -ize spellings and -ise spellings (sometimes ‘recognize’, sometimes ‘recognise’), but what about ‘though’ and ‘although’? Is it really only cramping an author’s style to insist that only one is used throughout a text?  Most authors seem grateful to have someone read their work carefully, to check that the references are all there and that they haven’t made spelling mistakes and grammatical slips, and perhaps that what they have written makes sense, if it’s done respectfully and without undue interference.

Larger publishers tend to have rather rigid production processes, and it is hard to cross the boundaries between the editorial department (copy-editing) and the production department (design, typesetting, proofs). I like working for smaller publishers like Channel View Publications who can look at each book as an individual project.

My production process usually looks like this: copy-edit in Word, with ‘track changes’ on and author queries raised in ‘comment’ notes; send file to author for review of copy-editing and to answer queries; get file back from author, make any further changes (in response to queries and so on) and tidy it up; import the text file into the typesetting software (Adobe’s InDesign is pretty much the industry standard); place the text onto the page template and assign all the correct styles (chapter heading, sub-head, sub-sub-head, body text, and so on); produce proofs; take in corrections; produce the ‘press ready’ pdf file for the printer. The job satisfaction is in seeing it through from beginning to end. After many years, I still get a thrill opening a new book and thinking I’ve been part of the process.

For more information about Ralph and the services he offers please take a look at his website.


Designing book covers

31 March 2015

The book cover design process is one of the parts of production that usually gets our authors excited and I really enjoy working with them, together with Sarah (our production manager) and our external designers on the covers.

We start designing the covers right at the beginning of the production process, as soon as the book has been approved for publication in fact. The reason for this is that we like to get the blurbs and design confirmed early so that we can start using them in our marketing materials.

TCC booksEach book series has a standard series design and each book in the series must have a cover which conforms to this design. This gives the series a strong identity and makes our books easily recognisable. Anyone who has several of our books on a similar topic on their bookcase will soon see how similar the spines are! This conformity does not restrict the process however, and there is still plenty of opportunity for some creativity and fun during the design process!

Most of our series allow for a cover with or without an image and we give our authors the choice between having an image or a plain cover. Some authors opt to have a cover with no image as it can be hard to find an image which effectively sums up the contents of the book. In this case we at least give them a say in the colours we use!

Tourism and HumourOther authors are keen to have an image and we always make sure that they are then involved in deciding the artwork. Over the years that I have been doing covers we have been provided with all sorts of pictures, ranging from photographs taken by authors themselves to sketches done by a child of an editor to artwork created by the subjects of the book’s study, and everything in between! Where possible we try and use the authors’ first choice of artwork, but there are occasions when this is not possible, perhaps when permission can’t be secured from the copyright holder or the subjects of the image or a high resolution file can’t be obtained.

Teachers as Mediators in the Foreign Language ClassroomWhen authors want an image but don’t have one themselves I usually help them search image libraries for suitable artwork. Browsing image libraries can be quite fun and the wide range of images available is incredible. However, searching image libraries can also be quite stressful! This is because we sometimes struggle to find an image that looks natural and not too staged or because we have a clear picture in our mind of exactly what we want but simply can’t find it. On one occasion I actually went out with my own camera and set up the photo that was used on the cover!

Once the image has been chosen our designer draws up a proof, selecting colours which match the artwork or those that the author has suggested. The proof is then sent to the authors for checking and revisions are made before the cover is checked again. The front cover is then made into a jpg and we send it off to retailers and bibliographic databases as well as uploading it to our website.

Tommi with our beautiful display of books at a conference

Tommi with our beautiful display of books at a conference

At this stage the back cover doesn’t have any reviews on it, as these are requested at the time that the design process is started and we usually give people a couple of months to read a manuscript and provide an endorsement. Once the quotes are received they are then added to the back cover and then the whole cover is checked by the authors, Sarah and me; and then finalised for print. The most rewarding part of the process for both us and the authors is, of course, finally receiving the printed copy of the book. People often come by our stand at conferences and tell us how colourful and attractive our books are, and that really makes our day!

Laura


Frankfurt Book Fair 2013

30 October 2013
Sarah, Laura and Tommi on the ferry to the Netherlands

Sarah, Laura and Tommi on the ferry to the Netherlands

For many people in the book trade, October is almost synonymous with the Frankfurt Book Fair and it is no different for Channel View/Multilingual Matters.  For us, the only change this year was that Tommi, Sarah and I decided that we would drive to the fair as we wanted to see some of Europe, rather than fly straight to Germany as usual.  On our way to Germany we visited the site of the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium and had lunch in Luxembourg City before finally arriving in Boppard, a small town approximately 75 miles west of Frankfurt where we stayed a couple of nights.

The view towards the Moselle from our hike

The view towards the Moselle from our hike

We spent a day hiking in the hills between the Moselle and Rhine Valleys which was beautiful, especially as the trees were just beginning to change colour.  We walked about 12 miles and although Tommi had sensibly chosen paths that were mainly downhill (!) Sarah and I were still extremely tired afterwards – perhaps not the best preparation for a busy week of work!  It took a traditional German dinner, good night’s sleep and excellent breakfast before we’d recovered enough to drive across to Frankfurt where we met Elinor ready for the start of the book fair.

Laura, Elinor and Sarah having lunch at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Laura, Elinor and Sarah having lunch at the Frankfurt Book Fair

The fair provides us with an annual opportunity to meet and discuss business with others working in the industry.  Tommi and Elinor meet with our sales reps who sell our books in less directly accessible markets, such as India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia and distributors and wholesalers who make sure that our books get to our customers, and that our customers know of our books.  Sarah meets with those involved in the production side of the industry, such as printers and typesetters, as well as an increasing number of people working on digital projects who she may collaborate with on ebooks and related matter.  Finally, I meet with representatives from foreign publishing houses who are interested in buying the translation rights to our titles for publication in languages other than English.

In between meetings we nibbled our usual selection of German snacks (we’re big fans of Rittersport and Gummi bears) and made the most of the sausages and schnitzel available for lunch!  We spent the evenings sampling yet more traditional German food and we enjoyed the annual drinks reception held by the Independent Publishers Guild, which we are members of.  As ever, we made the most of the opportunities that the fair offers us to meet colleagues from around the world; talk about what’s happening in the industry and discuss future projects and partnerships.  We have all made it safely back to the office and it won’t be long before it’s time to think about next year’s trip!

Laura


A day in the life of an intern

14 March 2013
Tom hard at work

Tom hard at work

Our current intern Thomas Williams tells us a bit about what the position involves…

As I’d been interested in a career in academic publishing, last year whilst at university I emailed Tommi, the Managing Director, about any possible work experience. Whilst at the time they weren’t able to offer a placement, they did invite me over for an afternoon in the office to sit in on an editorial meeting, which was really interesting.

A few months later I received an email from Tommi about an internship here – which I decided to apply for.

Before I began, I thought ‘intern’ was a euphemism for ‘person who makes coffee and shuffles paper around’. But that was wrong (because everyone here prefers to drink tea and most documents are on the computer system). Sure, it is mainly administrative, but then there is a lot of admin in publishing!

Day-to-day I deal with incoming emails and post, keep the in-house database up to date, process royalty payments and liaise with referees for the manuscript review process.

I’m not stuck doing the same repetitive tasks every day. As a small company, I’ve had a chance to undertake tasks in or shadow pretty much every aspect of publishing: the commissioning and editorial stages, production, marketing, permissions, foreign rights and getting involved in the weekly editorial meetings.

Channel View Publications has been a great company to work with, and I’ve had a great time working with Tommi, Sarah, Anna, Elinor and Laura. I genuinely look forward to Monday mornings here, which I think says a lot! The last two months here has flown by.

So, what next? I know I’d like to pursue a career in academic publishing, but I have no set plans exactly where I want to go. I’ll just keep my eye out for another exciting job somewhere. But I’ve had a great time here, and gained a lot of experience in a lot of different aspects of publishing – so I guess I’ve got a good start!

If you’re interested in applying for an internship here, keep an eye out on the careers page, which is updated from time to time with any new opportunities.


Ebooks and CoreSource

30 August 2012

MM/CVP have partnered with CoreSource to ensure you get our ebooks faster! CoreSource is Ingram’s digital asset management and distribution (DAM/DAD) service which saves a lot of my valuable-Production-Manager-time in sending metadata and files to each of the platforms/sites we sell our ebooks from.

Our ebooks are now available from 18 different vendors including Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Nook by Barnes & Noble, Kobo, eBooks.com, and for libraries EBL, ebrary, EBSCOhost, DawsonEra and MyiLibrary. Our chapters are available to purchase for use in course packs at AcademicPub – we now have chapters for over 150 titles available so go and visit!

Often ebooks can be purchased before they’re available in print so do look out for them if you can’t wait to read one of our many fascinating titles!

For more information on our ebooks please visit the ebooks page on our website or if you have any queries please email info@channelviewpublications.com.


Short Run visit!

9 August 2012

Critical Debates in Tourism cover proof

Laura, Ellie and I had the pleasure of visiting one of our book printers, Short Run Press in lovely Devon at the start of the week!

The factory floor

They are currently printing two of our books, Critical Debates in Tourism and English in Medical Education, and we got to see these at various stages in the printing/binding process.

We had a look around pre-production where Rob explained what happens to our pdfs when they come in and Mark took us on a tour round the factory floor to see the different stages in action!

Ellie with the English in Medical Education hbk cover

We were happy to find that Short Run has a copy of every book they’ve printed for us since 2009 – it was fun to see our books on display somewhere other than our office or at the conferences we attend.

Our books on show!

Mark, Rob and Matt then took us on a drive through Topsham and some of Exeter where we had dinner by the canal and watched some Olympics while of course chatting business! 🙂

 


New cover design for the Multilingual Matters series

17 May 2012

The latest book in our Multilingual Matters series, European Multilingualism by Rosita Rindler Schjerve and Eva Vetter, has just arrived in our office. Not only is this an exciting new text which expands on the results of the EU project LINEE (Languages in a Network of European Excellence), it is also the first book with the new cover design for this series.

The new Multilingual Matters series design

We spent quite a few weeks working together with our designer to come up with a fresh look that would both work well with the wide variety of images that we have on our covers, but would also still be attractive when plain, like it is for this book.

Look out for The Languages of Nation edited by Carol Percy and Mary Catherine Davidson which will be the next book in the Multilingual Matters series with the new cover.


Short Run Press

7 October 2011

One of our books being printed

One of our printers, Exeter-based Short Run Press, explains here how the printing industry has changed to meet the demands of customers.

How has the industry changed since we began producing books for Channel View Publications? The first things that spring to mind are technology and the environment.

The printing industry has undergone a revolution in technological advances over the past years. Rather than being a threat to book printing we have been perfectly suited to take advantage of technology. The internet and mobile communications have allowed for speed of communication and document delivery. Digital printing technology enables us to offer the option to print a book which may traditionally have been rejected as uneconomic and we now can keep a book in print through a minimal reprint. The whole process from manuscript to bound book has now been condensed in both time and procedures involved to allow a far more reactive and fluid publishing industry.

The printing process

We at Short Run Press want to ensure that alongside technology, skills and craft are kept within our industry. For example we combine the latest workflow processes with the skill of sewing a book block prior to binding. We firmly believe that books reflect on both the printer and the publisher and should be considered a valuable and quality product by the reader.

Tourist Behaviour and the Contemporary World - hot off the press!

Environmental issues have been at the forefront of our agenda and over the years Short Run Press have been implementing many changes. From recycling our waste to sourcing goods from local suppliers we try to make as little environmental impact as possible. We use J&G Environmental, the industry specialist, to process waste we produce, our digital press is Carbon Neutral, our printing plates are made without using chemicals and the inks we print with are vegetable based. As an FSC and PEFC accredited business we ensure that all paper purchased has direct traceability back to the forest it was harvested. All the paper used to produce Channel View Publications books has been from sustainable sources, of which for every tree logged for the paper industry three are planted.

Taking a step back to consider what has changed since we began working with Channel View Publications we realise an awful lot has changed, though the one constant is that we have been continually evolving to meet their needs.


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