Last week I went to Clays in Suffolk to find out how books are made, and to watch the paperback of I Let You Go being printed. It was a fascinating and incredibly emotional day, and if you are an author and ever have the chance to see your book being made, I’d wholeheartedly recommend it.
How books are made
I had never given much thought to how books are made, vaguely assuming each page would be printed individually, rather like on a domestic copier, then bound with its peers within a separately printed cover. It probably won’t surprise you to know that for a mass market paperback this isn’t how it’s done. Instead, each set of sixteen pages is printed on a huge sheet of paper, which is then folded again and again into a sheaf, creating a pile of folded pages which form the content of the book.
The film below is about five minutes long. In it I explain (in very non-technical and possibly inaccurate terms) how books are made, and just what it feels like to see your own book on a factory conveyor belt.