Production Update on Revival by Stephen King!

Hi Folks!

This is going to be a VERY long update, and much of the information might be too "inside baseball" for those of you who don't care about "how" a special edition is published, but for those of you who like to pull back the curtain and see the machinery in motion, this is the update for you!

Here's the short version: both the Limited Edition and the Lettered Edition are rolling at the printers!

And here's the long version:

UPGRADES MADE TO BOTH EDITIONS DURING PRODUCTION

There were several upgrades made to both editions during production, which I will discuss below, but first I wanted to mention this one so I can also thank François Vaillancourt again for being an incredible partner on this project.

In the final few weeks before the book design and specs were "locked," I realized we hadn't actually planned on including a frontispiece in either edition. I'm not sure why because a frontis seems especially important when you're publishing a book without a dust jacket, at least to me.

Luckily for me, François Vaillancourt is a rock star and was somehow able to squeeze TWO MORE amazing pieces of full-color artwork into his busy schedule, one for each edition.

As a sneak peek, here is the newly added frontis for the Limited Edition:

SOME RECENT HISTORY, SO WE CAN DISCUSS FUTURE PLANS

I want to share some pretty incredible news about the printing plans for Revival, but first I need to give some backstory to explain how we ended where we are.

For those who haven't followed along with the printer problems Cemetery Dance Publications has dealt with these past two years, here's the shortish version:

In June 2018, one of our regular printers closed up shop without any warning... but with our deposit and materials for Sleeping Beauties.

After that mess was finally resolved, we sent the book to a different printer, one we had worked with since 1992. Things seemed normal at first, but then everything started taking much longer than scheduled. We weren’t too worried because we had done business with them forever and sometimes delays happen, but then the delivery date for the bluelines and other approval materials slipped... several times.

Finally, they told us in May 2019 that they were filing for bankruptcy, but would finish the book as one of their very last projects.

They did finish Sleeping Beauties in June, right around the time their assets were purchased by another printer.

The good news was, we already did business with this other printer!

The bad news was, they didn’t actually want the first printer for their plant or presses, they just wanted the customer list.

Instead, the new printer sold the presses and turned the plant into a warehouse.

And, unfortunately for us, none of their other plants had a press that could print a 7 X 10 trim size in two colors on the paper stock we use for Stephen King books.

That meant no press to print Night Shift for Cemetery Dance and no press to print Revival for me, which also meant I would be spending a lot of time talking to sales people for printers!

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER

Given how important a good book printer is to the process of, well, printing a book, I spent the summer talking to dozens of printers and learning how many did NOT want these complicated printing jobs... Any offset printer I could find, I would talk to, though. And then ask them if they knew of anyone I could try.

Then, in August, our sales rep at the new printer who bought our old printer contacted me to tell me all about this awesome new press they had purchased, which could do the same jobs as the press they had sold back in May... Yeah... The printing business can be weird sometimes.

Well, that's great news for Night Shift, at least! (CD customers, watch for a big update on that project before the end of the year.)

WHAT THIS MEANT FOR REVIVAL

To publish Revival this year, I had to start it rolling at a printer by mid-August or we wouldn't have time to make all of the slipcases, etc. Mid-August was actually a little later than I wanted and definitely cutting things really close on the schedule.

So, during the summer, while I was scrambling to find ANY printer who was willing to do this complicated of a job (and who could actually DO the job well, which is even more important to me!), another printer I've worked with over the years asked if I could consider changing the trim size of Revival to a more traditional 6 X 9.

If I could do that, he could print the Limited Edition on the paper I wanted, and he had a bindery that could handle my specs for the binding: the spine hubs, the binding, etc. It would be exactly as I had planned, just at a more traditional trim size.

I was willing to modify the trim size since numerous surveys I've conducted for Cemetery Dance have shown that most collectors care more about the quality of the production than the trim size, but I didn't want to compromise on any of the special features... in fact, I wanted to add a few that weren't part of the original sales pitch!

UPGRADING THE BINDING MATERIAL AND HOT FOIL STAMPING FOR THE LIMITED EDITION

For the Limited Edition, I had originally planned on using two different simple colors of hot foil stamping, but due to having the larger print run than I had expected, I was able to upgrade the binding to one that can handle "blind" heat burnishing. This makes for a great effect and the printer will be doing that instead of using the black foil I had originally picked. (The silver hot foil stamping for the lightning remains the same.)

In addition, I was able to add stamping to the BACK cover of the book as well, which is something I love being able to do but most projects don't have the budget for it.

Here are the final specs for the Limited Edition:

Special Bonus Materials For Both Editions:
• Seventeen full-color illustrations by François Vaillancourt, including three fold-out illustrations measuring 17 inches by 9 inches
• An introduction by Josh Boone, writer and director of the forthcoming feature film adaptation
• Exclusive artwork created by Vincent Chong for the film development process
• "A Nasty, Dark Piece of Work" by Bev Vincent: an overview of Stephen King's writing of the novel
• "Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview" — an epic twenty page interview with Stephen King originally published on Halloween 2014 by Rolling Stone magazine in celebration of the novel's publication

Special Production Features For the Limited Edition:
• Two-color interior printing on an acid-free archival quality paper stock
• bound in a plush synthetic leather
• Smyth sewn to create a more durable binding

• featuring hot foil stamping and "blind" heat burnishing on the front cover, back cover, and spine
• genuine crafted spine hubs
• sewn-in satin ribbon page marker
• colored head and tail bands
• printed marbled endpapers
• housed in a custom-made slipcase wrapped with a woven cloth and stamped with hot foil on the spine
• Retail Price: $125 (sold out pre-publication)

Print Run for the Signed & Slipcased Limited Edition:
1500 copies

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LETTERED EDITION?

Unfortunately, this printer could not help with the Lettered Edition because I wanted to use a really nice and heavy 80# paper stock for that edition and I couldn't compromise on the paper quality for the Lettered Edition. That just wasn't an option.

THEN I HAD AN IDEA!

I reached out to the guy who does the hand-binding and case-making for CD's most expensive books, who was already lined up to do the hand-binding and make the special side-loading traycases for the Lettered Edition of Revival, and I asked if he knew any printers who could actually print in color on the heavier 80# paper I really wanted to use for the Lettered Edition.

It just so happened that there was a little boutique printer in his hometown, and they had sent speciality binding  jobs his way from time to time.

Long story short (too late!), this printer confirmed they could handle the printing job for the Lettered Edition on the nicer paper, etc, and once the interior pages were done, my hand-binder would take it from there to finish the edition exactly as we had planned.

SHORTER VERSION:

Production of Revival will be handled by two different book printers and two different book binders (in three different states!), which makes this very cool and unique when compared to the 300+ projects I've managed at Cemetery Dance over the years, which usually have one printer and perhaps two binders involved.

UNPLANNED UPGRADES TO THE REVIVAL LETTERED EDITION

This also means the Limited Edition and the Lettered Edition will be two completely separate printings, which was a huge opportunity to upgrade the Lettered Edition a bit more.

Usually the interior (the “book block”) is the same for both editions of a special edition book. Then each edition gets a different signature sheet, different endpapers, maybe some different artwork, etc. Finally, the binding is upgraded for the Lettered Edition to make it much nicer than the Limited Edition.

But ultimately you start with the same book blocks printed on the same paper.

For Revival, though, the Limited and Lettered will be printed on two totally different paper stocks on two separate printing presses in two different plants.

Even more important for our production plans, the Lettered Edition will be printed on a new FOUR-color printing press, which leads to one of the unexpected upgrades for this edition.

ARTWORK UPGRADE FOR THE REVIVAL LETTERED EDITION

Because the heavier paper we're using for the Lettered Edition can handle the ink of four-color interior artwork so well, we’ve decided to print that interior artwork as part of the main book block with the rest of the pages.

Compare that to a regular Limited Edition where the full-color artwork is printed separately on glossy stock and then “tipped in” between the 16 page signatures (groupings) of pages. That means a piece of artwork can only fall between pages 16 and 17, between pages 32 and 33, between pages 48 and 49, etc.

Perhaps the CAR CRASH happens on page 28, but the artwork won't be seen by the reader until between pages 32 and 33 because that's where the next "signature break" falls.

But for the Revival Lettered Edition, the full-color artwork is part of the interior design of the book and thus can be printed whenever our designer put it in the designed book file.

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!

This also means we can put two additional pieces of artwork into the Lettered Edition that we hadn’t planned on being able to use.

The first is François Vaillancourt’s original illustration of the car crash. He delivered a piece of artwork for the scene, but during production, he decided to try a different approach, and that second piece of artwork was the one we selected to actually use in the book.

We liked both pieces of art, but in our original plans we could only use one of them for that scene anyway because the artwork tip-ins have to fall every 16 pages...

But with the change in plans for the Lettered Edition, we can now put both pieces of artwork right into the page design where they belong, just a few pages apart, still printed in full-color.

The second piece of artwork we were able to add to the Lettered Edition is the new frontispiece from the Limited Edition, something we couldn't have done if the artwork needed to be tipped in place.

So, this means the frontis artwork for the Limited Edition has now been placed as an interior piece of artwork in the Lettered Edition, right where it belongs in the story.

THE REVIVAL LIMITED EDITION & LETTERED EDITION WILL ALSO HAVE DIFFERENT PAGE COUNTS

One more small thing to note: printing the artwork as part of the page design also means the Lettered Edition will end up being 592 pages while the Limited Edition is 560 pages because the artwork tip-ins don’t count as pages in the design. Just another sign of how different the editions are.

AND FINALLY, WE FOUND A NICE ITALIAN LEATHER FOR THE REVIVAL LETTERED EDITION

Finally, during all of this, my hand-binder found a great new source for imported Italian leather, so I was able to upgrade the leather binding on the spine of the Lettered Edition.

His supplier has a beautiful gray leather that looks so good with the imported cloth I had picked for the boards (front and back cover) that I changed the whole color scheme accordingly. This also makes the Lettered Edition look and feel even more different from the Limited Edition.

Here are the final specs for the Lettered Edition:

Special Bonus Materials For Both Editions:
• Seventeen full-color illustrations by François Vaillancourt including three fold-out illustrations measuring 17 inches by 9 inches
• An introduction by Josh Boone, writer and director of the forthcoming feature film adaptation
• Exclusive artwork created by Vincent Chong for the film development process
• "A Nasty, Dark Piece of Work" by Bev Vincent: an overview of Stephen King's writing of the novel
• "Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview" — an epic twenty page interview with Stephen King originally published on Halloween 2014 by Rolling Stone magazine in celebration of the novel's publication

Special Production Features For the Lettered Edition:
• two colors of hot foil stamping on the front boards and spine
• four-color interior printing on an upgraded acid-free interior paper stock with a textured finish (different stock than the Limited Edition)
• a three-piece fine binding of imported Italian leather and a woven cloth
• imported Indian hand-marbled endpapers
• silver gilding on the page edges
• smyth sewn to create a more durable binding
• genuine crafted spine hubs
• a sewn-in satin ribbon page marker
• colored head and tail bands
• includes a bonus interior illustration not found in the Limited Edition
• includes the artwork used for the frontispiece of the Limited Edition, which is restored to its proper place in the story in this edition

• housed in a hand-made slide-in traycase stamped with hot foil on the front, spine, and inside of the case
• every lettered book includes a hand-tipped page of original artwork by François Vaillancourt to make each copy unique
• print run of just 52 hand-lettered copies

• Retail Price: $1250 (sold out pre-publication)

Here is a new mock-up of the Lettered Edition book:

And here is a new mock-up of the Lettered Edition book with the slide-in traycase, which also shows the hand-marbled paper that we're getting from India and using for the endpapers of the book and the inner lining of the case:

More news to come soon! Thank you again for all of your support!

Best,
Brian

10 comments

  • Beautiful…I feel your frustration. I had a company online called Pictureflags while raising my daughter. Joto, the paper manufacturer stopped making the AB paper I needed and eventually put me out of business. Now you can find personalized flags at Home Depot. Pisses me off. You got lucky. Who would NOT want to be a part of this printing. Make your dirty little shit list. Made me feel a little better.

    Ann Smith
  • Well I read the whole thing, and it indeed sounds like a lot of work that’s going to make amazing editions of both the volumes.

    LAURIE LUPICA
  • I’am looking forward to this special edition of Stephen King’s book. I believe our in Dec. 10 2019. It will be beautiful.

    RAMONDA BRADY
  • Thank you for the transparency and honesty. Things come up that you can’t control, but letting people know goes a long way.

    Zackery Pace
  • WOW!! Hope you didn’t develop an ulcer Brian. Great job. Steve

    Steve Adelman

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