Killer App: Labour of love for debut author’s print

Dominic Bernard
Friday, May 5, 2023

While writers joke about a novel being their ‘baby’, the reality is that first-time parents can be forgiven for a little trepidation seeing their creation come into the world.

Ryan Love’s debut novel, Arthur & Teddy are Coming Out, sees a grandson inspired by his grandfather’s bravery in
coming out at a late age – so with a debut author, and a subject bound by tender sentiment, the team at CPI Croydon knew they were handling a project that would require all their care and attention.

What was produced?
An initial run of 3,510 copies of Arthur & Teddy are Coming Out was printed on Holmen Book Cream 65gsm paper over 400 Royal format pages in hardcover and paperback editions at CPI’s Chatham site, with colour covers coming from the group’s Croydon colour printing facility.

What did the job entail?
Having received the files from Harper Collins, the book’s pages were imaged onto litho plates in CPI’s Agfa N24 large-format CTP imager. The CPI team then ran the job through its Timson ZMR offset press in 64pp sections with a coming and going imposition.

Neil Whittaker, CPI’s operations director, said the press “can print from section to section with zero makeready, and has flying paste functionality, meaning there’s no need to stop the press to change paper reels or printing plates”.

Sections were then bundled from the press, with paperbacks bound in a Muller Martini C12 high speed binder with Orbit trimmers, and hardbacks blocked in Kolbus hardware before being cased in sapphire blue Wibalin cloth in a Muller Martini Diamant.

What challenges were overcome?
Watching an author see thousands of hours’ work come to life is a special joy reserved for book printers. But while CPI enjoys continuing the tradition by inviting authors to their print sites, it adds an extra layer of pressure.

Whittaker said: “The main challenge of this project was to ensure books were ready for the author’s visit, and the quality of the product matched the effort and emotion that went into creating such a beautiful book.

“We were fortunate in that, by the time Ryan arrived at CPI Books, his nerves were replaced with the excitement of being the first to see books coming off the binding line.”

What was the feedback?
Love was enthralled by his visit to the print house. “It was really quite emotional watching the final product appear and run off
the press. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming on a Monday morning, taking the time to chat.

“Being there to take and hold that first copy wasn’t something I’d ever imagined doing. I may be biased, but I absolutely love the print job and can’t thank CPI enough for allowing me to visit and take such a special memory away.”

Do you have a Killer App? We are interested in special, difficult or simply fabulous print jobs of all shapes and sizes.

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