Folded & Gathered

Last week, while I was on the isle of Arran, conducting a photographic workshop, I received the 'folded & gathered' sheets for my Iceland book that will be out in November.

In the above picture you can see two of the actual pages from the book, alongside the dust jacket below.

One of the things you have to get familiar with, if you're getting a book printed, is the terminology that a printer uses. So what does 'folded & gathered' mean?

When the printer prints all the pages of the book, they are gathered and presented in the final order. If you look at a book, the pages are often folded into sub books - my book arrived in a set of five sub-books, where each sub-book contains x number of folded sheets of paper making up the pages.

What is also interesting about this stage is that these pages are the actual 'real' pages of the final book. These are not proofs in that sense, but they still allow me to go back and say I'm not happy with a particular section of the book and ask for some reprints if need be (this is also costly and ads to any possible delays in the book).

It's worth noting that when evaluating the final pages of the book, do it under some daylight balanced light. I used my viewing booth to do that - it gives me great confidence and a 'level playing field' in which to assess whether the reproductions in the book will work in most lighting conditions (yes, any print can vary in how it looks depending on the type of light you view it under).

The whole process of putting a book together is quite an affair. And getting round the terminology that the printing world uses is an interesting experience too.