Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I've been emailing updates to subscribers for the last month and so just realized that independent observers might want to know what's happening. Okay, I'll admit, I forgot about the blog for a little bit.

To summarize all of the updates--which I've cut and paste below--we worked with Transcontinental to figure out why they were having a problem with the hot stamping of covers, decided on a solution, and it is now being implemented. Transcontinental was out for two days on civic holiday--their celebration of gaining independence as I understand it--and are now back, working on the last two stages before shipping--each stage was originally estimated as taking two-three days each for, presumably, a remaining four to six business days before the books are ready to pack and ship--and are getting me a final ship date.

It's the end of the day and I haven't gotten a date from them yet so I'll go ahead and post this and then edit it when I receive an actual date.

To All,
Our Transcontinental prepress contact has organized a meeting with the printing plant managers for Monday to figure out where the problem with the covers lies. We'll find out if it's on their end or ours.
In either case, here's what needs to happen at this point:
If it turns out that there's just no good way to get the iconography onto the leather and have it look good, I'm going to cut our losses, stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, as it were, and restrict the iconography use to the title pages from here on.
If we can get the icons to turn out nicely--and that would be such a gratifying end to this chapter--we'll have the series logo and the volume logo on the top and bottom of the spine, respectively, keep the cover simple and neat, and that will be that.
When I hear back about the meeting results, I'll let everybody know how that influences where things stand.

I apologize for all the delays that have taken place. Everything else is proceeding along smoothly, once we work this out, there should be no more foreseeable delays between ow and the publication of the last of the books.

Sincerely,

Sean Thompson
Virginia Edition Publishing Company



To All,
Our Transcontinental prepress contact has organized a meeting with the printing plant managers for Monday to figure out where the problem with the covers lies. We'll find out if it's on their end or ours.
In either case, here's what needs to happen at this point:
If it turns out that there's just no good way to get the iconography onto the leather and have it look good, I'm going to cut our losses, stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, as it were, and restrict the iconography use to the title pages from here on.
If we can get the icons to turn out nicely--and that would be such a gratifying end to this chapter--we'll have the series logo and the volume logo on the top and bottom of the spine, respectively, keep the cover simple and neat, and that will be that.
When I hear back about the meeting results, I'll let everybody know how that influences where things stand.

I apologize for all the delays that have taken place. Everything else is proceeding along smoothly, once we work this out, there should be no more foreseeable delays between ow and the publication of the last of the books.

Sincerely,

Sean Thompson
Virginia Edition Publishing Company


To All,

The stamping test was successfully carried out at Transcontinental's
facilities. They believe that they've done a superior job with this
batch and are overnighting the samples to me. They will arrive
tomorrow and I will then be able to give yea/nay approval on the work.

Sean M. Thompson



Hello everybody,
Okay, I've received and reviewed the results of the stamp test and I have to agree that it definitely looks better--Transcontinental actually took the time to do the test on seven different materials so we could have a spread to choose from. At the moment, I think we're best going with the matte finish on the original material, but I want to get Mr. Dula's rather more worldly perspective before I rush the decision out the door. Art is out of the office and so I'm going to try and talk with him either over the weekend or first thing Monday to see what he thinks before I let Transcontinental know our decision.

Have a good weekend,
Sean Thompson


Dear Homeown--Bookowner,
After review, it does seem that Transcontinental can do a much better job at stamping than their originally hired contractor. We are sending them updated cover files and will receive a response with an estimated ship date which I will pass on to each of you. As the volumes ship, I will send the tracking number of your package to you.
Also, I have sent queries to everybody to confirm your mailing address. If you are reading this message, but have not a) seen a message from me to confirm your address or b) bothered to respond, please contact me by the end of the week to help ensure your books can actually reach you rather than being stranded in postal limbo.

Best wishes to all,
Sean Thompson



Hello all,
First, I'd like to thank everybody for their kind words and patience over the last month or so, it is very much appreciated and makes my job far more pleasant than it has to be.
Second, we've got the cover files in to Transcontinental so they should have everything they need to press forward. I haven't gotten confirmation back yet because apparently today is a civic holiday of some sort in Canada/Quebec. The last estimate I received for how long the remaining steps will take was two to three days per step for two steps (printing the covers, binding the text into the covers) for a total of four to six days before they're finished and ready to ship. I've asked to receive an updated estimate to confirm that and will pass it along once I receive it. After that step is through, the books will be packed and shipped and tracking numbers will be sent out to each of you.

Best wishes,
Sean Thompson

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Hillary said...

It's so good to hear that we're close! I'm looking forward to getting my greedy little paws on them and my nose stuck in them for a while. :)

Zarf said...

All the updates, and all the progress, have been great, but.... it has now been almost another 2 weeks without any additional info! Has Transcontinental provided a projected ship date? Have any of the volumes been successfully completed yet?

And thanks, again, for everything, Sean -- it really is appreciated!!!