MONDAY, April 27, 2009 • $2.00
The Business of Books: The Front End
By Malinda Martines Temkey
When it comes to current trends in the business of books, the world of
prepress is no different: We are seeing shorter runs, higher demands and
more advanced technological capabilities. Workflows have come a long
way since the 1970s and 1980s, and are now more streamlined than ever.
As digital is seemingly dominating print, it’s continuing to show more of
an effect on prepress.
Joanne Shwed, owner of Backspaceink.com, a prepress provider of book
production services to publishers and self-publishing authors, has been
doing prepress since the late 1970s, before the age of computers.
Changing With the Times
“The first typesetting machine I had was an IBM Selectric Composer. It
looked like a typewriter and had memory. If you wanted to change a
font or go from italic to bold, you had to type in a code, put in an italic
ball or bold ball, change the font, stop it, change the ball, type one word,
then change it back again. This became very tedious,” Shwed recalled.
“We had to process film. The process involved stinky chemicals and long
strips of type that we cut and pasted onto screens. That’s how pages
were made back then, until computers came out and we can actually see
letters and numbers on a screen in front of us.”
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), part of early desktop pub-
lishing, was a system for displaying content representing something
similar to final output on a monitor. This was an advancement during
that time, but “if you wanted to draw something simple like a box, you
would have a screen full of code,” she warned.
The 1990s and early 2000s brought significant changes to the industry,
Five Tips To Help Get Your Color Right such as the introduction of Microsoft Word, QuarkXPress, and Adobe
InDesign. Book designers used to have to print proofs from a paper
By Andy Hatkoff of all types and sizes. Here are a few output, but PDFs have since replaced the need for printing and mailing
When used properly, color manage- tips to help you get the best possible out proofs.
ment tools, techniques, and processes color from your set-up.
provide a much better correlation The Internet also plays a major role as it allows prepress providers to
between what you see on-screen and 1. One of the most basic first steps work with people from all over the world.
what the inkjet printer or offset press for a color-managed workflow is
will produce. As with any tool or tech- monitor profiling. It’s easy, and the “For authors, Microsoft Word can track changes, meaning I can mark
nology, the key is to use it correctly. tools on the market today are inex- changes onto their documents electronically and send it to them. There
pensive and take just a few minutes are no marking changes on paper. When I get done with all the edits, I
Color management has become more to set up. Give it a try, and you’ll be can just pour them into a page layout program and add style tabs, drop
accessible nowadays for print shops continued on page 9 caps, or other style elements and assign tags to them. I can change 50
continued on page 7
Inside: ■ Achieving Sales Success ■ The Green Bindery ■ How To Price Print Correctly
For All Your Paper and Envelope Needs
For All Your Commercial Printing Paper Needs
FEATURE book printing
The Front End gets sent out for page layout, compo- be completed within minutes if done (than in the past) but the folks who
continued from page 1 sition, and blurbs for the back cover. correctly, but we have to worry if are doing this work aren’t profes-
The designer of the back cover gives our customers are ready for this. The