Today we hear all about the design department and the production department.
The green light information sheet is a brief from the editor with details of what the front cover should look like. The design department take an active interest in reading your novel so they can get a better understanding of what you are hoping to achieve. Your book must stand out from the rest so have a look at the competition in Waterstones, WH Smith etc. What makes you pick up one book rather than another? Glossy print? Colours? What catches your eye?
“..we understand this project is your baby so we want to read it too...”
An illustrator is chosen and attends the cover meeting along with everyone else involved in your book's journey. Once the cover has been decided, prints are given to the sales team so they can take them to shops, warehouses, etc to help promote your novel. It will have a copy of your cover and any editorial blurb on it, possibly in postcard form or poster format.
Production – Laura Grundy, Production Controller
The size of the paper, thickness and weight used all play a part in the cost of each unit. The more copies on a single printing roll, the less it costs to print.
Small changes can be very costly – as much as £25 per page changed once you reach the point of no return.
Soft toys within gift sets are put through a rigorous testing process – will the colours run if it's washed? Is it going to easily burst into flames? In order to meet safety standards, if a product is seen to have ‘play value’ then a CE and a safety warning may be needed on the book cover or packaging. It is not only bound and plush toy sets that may have play value – other books such as lift-the-flap and sticker books also fall under the scope of the Toy Safety Directive, therefore must carry safety warnings.
When sending files to co-editions, if the English text is on a colour layer then it will show through on the translated copies. In order to avoid this, text should be set up on a separate ‘Text Black’ layer. This means that the colour layer can be used for all editions, saving any extra charges that would be incurred by having to pay for new 4 colour plates.
Picture books can be coated or uncoated paper. On coated paper, the surface is much smoother, meaning the ink sits on top of the paper evenly resulting in a bright, sharp image. On uncoated paper, the ink soaks into any gap and spreads out a little – this can affect image definition, particularly if there are lots of dark colours printed together that could merge. The result is a softer, duller, less definite image which tends to give the final product a more natural look. It is best to use bright colours when working with uncoated paper.
Egmont try to work with a small number of suppliers - better relationship and more flexibility with complex or quick turnaround orders. Usually takes six weeks for overseas orders to arrive although they can use UK suppliers if they need copies quicker than that.
Thanks again to Sarah for taking us behind the scenes at Egmont. Also thanks to Non Pratt for organising this event in the first place.
If you interested in attending a SCBWI Event, make sure you check out the What's On Page for more details on forthcoming events.