How are hardback books printed? (aka I was so excited as I watched my book being printed that I lost the power of speech!)

Back in February 2020 I went to see the hardback of Strangers being printed. It was my tenth published book, my second hardback and the first time I’d ever visited a printer.

I’ve finally got round to editing the footage I took and it’s embarrassing how much absolute waffle I talk in the videos as my excitement at seeing one of my books being printed completely robs me of the power of speech.

Before I share the video here’s the correct terminology (rather than the waffle that comes out of my mouth!) for the various parts of a hardback book.

These are what’s known as ‘blocks’. It’s the text of the novel – the story – and it’s glued together and bound between ‘end pages’ (the orange pages you can see). End pages can be all kinds of colours, not just orange.

The blocks are affixed to the boards. The boards are the hard covers of a hardback. With each of my books my publisher has embossed something cool onto the board of the first editions of my books.

With Sleep they embossed the first line of the book onto the board:

With Strangers they embossed my signature:

And with Her Last Holiday they have embossed the words ‘Warning May Cause Addiction’:

Here are the jackets for Strangers waiting to be fed into the machine:

And that’s basically all you need to know! Here’s my video (apologies in advance for my very basic editing skills!)

Her Last Holiday is published in the UK on 29th April 2021 (in paperback in the US/Canada on 27th April, 5th May Aus/NZ) and if you want to get your hands on the limited edition embossed hardback you need to pre-order it to ensure you get a copy from the first printing.

For a signed copy, shipped anywhere in the world, then order from Goldsboro Books.

If Bert’s Books is your favourite bookshop he’ll send you a copy with free postage, a signed bookplate to stick in the book and will beautifully wrap it with a ribbon.

Or you can order an unsigned copy from Waterstones or Amazon or your local bookshop (I will send you a signed bookplate for free if you send me a receipt from a pre-order placed with an independent bookshop).

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