Back in June, our massive hardbound republication of Issues One through Three went to the printer. The files were promptly approved, and the book went to the press without hitch. But behind the scenes of book manufacturing is always a complicated matter. There’s back and forth with our printer and the press team. We sometimes get pulled into their discussions about the optimal way to make our books, but most of the technical discussions are handled for us. On our end, for the most part, things feel pretty seamless. Then, in normal times, the books arrive at our storage facility six to eight weeks later via freight truck.
These are not normal times.
If you read the Lost Art Press blog (you do, don’t you?), you’ve heard about the print headaches that they’ve been wrangling. Supplies (cover material, paper, etc.) going out of stock. Staffing issues. This has created a major delay in production for small-time independent publishers in particular. In the case of The First Three Issues, we’re feeling it too. The original ship date for this title was 8/20 but got bumped back to 8/30 due to delays.
But then, before the printed pages went to be bound, a significant color problem was discovered. As it was explained to me, the press for which the plates were made went out of service and were transferred to another machine. Because the other machine has different calibration curves, the colors went wonk-doodle. Yes, this was a press oversight. No, there’s nothing I can do to undo it.
On the positive side, I see two things: I’m glad this was caught before these things got bound and sent out to us, and secondly, they’re redressing the problem. But on the negative side… this is sucky. It is going to be a few more weeks before we will see these books rolling in on a freight shipment. As of now (knock on wood), the books are scheduled to head your way at the beginning of October.
We’ve been so antsy to get these books in hand. This is such a special collection of articles, and a fitting way commemorate the launch of this publication. The First Three Issues is the way we can keep this timeless content in print.
So, thank you all for waiting so patiently for this book. We promise: It’s coming, and it’s going to be beautiful.
It seems that life these days rarely works out as we would want it to.
I have to confess... I miss the “old normal.”