So, what does ‘being on press’ really mean?

I’ve just returned from Iceland where I was on press for the printing of 333 Saints!

The books are now being bound, and it looks like we’re on schedule for a release date in late September.

Since I was in college, it has been a goal of mine to be on press for the printing of a book of my photographs.  However, despite the various explanations people gave me, I really didn’t have a clear idea about what was actually involved ‘on press.’

So, what does ‘being on press’ mean?

It means that I was at the printing plant the day they printed the pages for the book.

Each sheet of paper contained 12 pages.  After the technician got the sheet very close to what my proofs looked like, I would be called in to look things over and make the final adjustments necessary to get the photographs looking just right.  Once I was satisfied with a sheet, I would sign it, and then they would print out the 500 copies needed for the books (which generally took about 45 minutes to an hour).  We repeated this process all day until all the book’s pages were done.

On average, I needed each sheet to be proofed twice before I was satisfied.  Most of the changes I made were slight adjustments in the color or the density of the black.

I’m now waiting for my advance copy to see how everything actually looks as a book!  It looks like the advance copies should arrive in early September.

I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas!


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