Today is Monday, and we should all know what that means: another day of class at Ryerson. This term, I’m taking a course in book production, so I shall soon be introduced to the fascinating world of paper stock, binding methods, printing techniques, CSS, XHTML, and so forth.
I really hope that this course will improve my knowledge of the industry and place several new editorial tricks up my sleeve. There’s a longstanding complaint that the production department is the invisible strongman of the industry – publishers expect the production staff to produce top-drawer work even if the book has had its budget adjusted half a dozen times, yet if you ask your typical bystander what a production manager does, you’ll be met with a blank stare.
I think I’ll really enjoy book production the more I learn about it – I’ve always been a sucker for detail, and the minutiae surrounding paper stock seems tailor-made to deal with that. Plus, the production department gets the coolest toys! Photoshop, InDesign, massive printing presses – what’s not to love?