This post was written by our intern, Alice, who recently joined Sarah and Flo on a trip to one of our printers, CPI, to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole.
Last week Sarah, Flo and I met at the train station, ready for a day trip to one of our printers, CPI. We got the train to Chippenham, so the journey wasn’t too long, and were kindly collected from the station by James, who Channel View has been working with for about 10 years. James drove us over to CPI’s Melksham factory, which is one of 17 factories spread over 7 different countries.
Firstly, we sat down for a brief overview of the printing process and how their printers work. It was great to get a detailed description of the difference between printers and James showed us examples of what they can do, as well as giving us a mini presentation. After tea and a chat, we left the office to see first-hand what goes on in the factory. We began our tour with the plain paper rolls, ready to go – these are huge and fill a large portion of the first factory room, so we were very surprised when James told us how quickly they get through them! The rolls are then set up on the printer, which they go through at an overwhelming speed. The inkjet machine prints an entire book at a time, one after the other, on the roll. Once the paper has the text printed on it, it is then folded into its book form. It was amazing seeing how precise and fast the machines were – little need for human hands! The books are then glued and bound, before being trimmed to size. If it is a hardback book, it then carries on to a final stage where the cover is added and, if necessary, a jacket is added as well. It was all very exciting – thanks to everyone in the factory for letting us be nosy!
After the grand tour, we collected our account manager, Katie, from the office. We then all drove to Lacock, an amazing village owned by the National Trust, where we had a wonderful lunch and more of a catch up. There was just time for an ice cream (it was a very hot day!) before heading back to Bristol. It was overall a great trip and so interesting to get an insight into the journey our books go on before they arrive at the office.
Last month Sarah and Flo popped down to London for the day for the London Book Fair at Olympia. It’s always a good chance to meet and catch up with all our publishing contacts in one place and we see everyone from reps and ebook providers to distributors and designers.
After a pretty civilised 11am arrival, we had a bit of time to wander around and acclimatise to the hustle and bustle before meeting our UK distributor, NBNi. After a quick catch-up with Juliette Teague and Matt Devereux, there was time to grab some lunch before our meeting with Kelvin van Hasselt, our rep for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.
After our appointment with Kelvin, we were due to meet our new book cover designer, Latte Goldstein from riverdesign. After some confusion and a couple of incidents of walking past each other (it’s surprisingly difficult to get a proper look at people’s name badges!), we eventually managed to meet up and had a useful discussion about the current projects he’s working on for us. We now have two books in the pipeline whose covers have been designed by Latte, International Student Engagement in Higher Educationby Margaret Kettleand Early Language Learningedited by Janet Enever and Eva Lindgren.
In the afternoon Flo went off to explore while Sarah had a meeting with Darren Ryan, the CEO of one of our suppliers for copy-editing and typesetting, Deanta Global. Darren was showcasing DeantaSource, their web-based project management portal, where authors can login and make corrections to the proof file. Another meeting followed with James Powell of ProQuest, one of the library ebook aggregators we distribute ebooks to. James was very happy that our ebooks are often distributed before the print book is available.
We then came back together for a meeting with Andrea Jacobs from our US distributor, NBN. It was nice to be able to put a face to a name you email on a regular basis and we had a good chat about our experience of moving over to a new distributor.
With all our meetings over, we went to the IPG drinks reception where we fought our way through the crowds to the stand of our database provider, Stison, to have a quick catch-up with them and take advantage of a great photo opportunity (see right!). When the drinks had run out, there was just time for dinner with one of our printers, CPI, before we caught the train back to Bristol. We look forward to seeing everyone again at London Book Fair 2018!