I've been taking it real easy over the last couple of days. Not entirely by choice, as I've become inexplicably sick, but nonetheless I've been resting a lot. Still getting stuff done however. No more delayed comics.
So the printer has received the book materials. They will now run off what is called a 'proof', and FedEx is back to me. This is my chance to go over the book one last time and catch any mistakes, such as spelling errors, or un-centered text. I have that scheduled for Monday.
So they'll have the proofs back with any corrections on Tuesday. They'll make the corrections and go to print. Two weeks later, the books will be en route to me. So all in all, I should have the books towards the end of this month, instead of the middle of next month like I originally assumed.
In the meantime, I'm going to start gearing up to receive and ship them. As I mentioned on Wednesday, I am going to stop taking pre-orders on Monday. I need to start processing all of these, and printing labels, preparing envelopes, writing out customs slips (for international orders) and that's a lot of work. So Monday is the last day to pre-order.
The book will be back up for sale towards the end of this month, probably just after the pre-orders ship. The book will also be available in stores this fall. You can start bugging your local bookstores and comic book shops to order the book out of this month's Previews Catalogue.
Actually, if your local stores don't require a downpayment to place a book on order, I suggest everyone go ahead and do it. Every book that goes to a store shelf is another chance that someone might see it and say "hey, this looks neat..." and discover CAD for the first time.
Anyway, about the book itself. We had to print out all 176 pages and send them to the printer, as a hard copy, on top of the digital files. This also gave us a chance to go over the book in print form, catching any mistakes we missed in the computer.
I have to be honest with you... even printed on regular computer paper, with a regular HP Deskjet printer, this book looked incredible. The final book will be printed on a coated matte paper. It's difficult to describe. It's not a glossy paper, but it's not a flat paper like a typical Garfield book would be printed on. The paper has a satin coating on it, so the colors will be crips and bright. And it's also thicker too. As I mentioned a few days ago, I bumped up the paper weight from 70lb to 80lb. That means that each page is thicker. With the 70lb there was a risk that you could see through the page to the printing on the other side. The 80lb eliminates that. It's going to be a very high-quality book.
I also thought I'd mention that when we had it all laid out, I had three blank pages in the back of the book. So I pulled all of the artwork from the old Applied Education poster, which is now discontinued and out of print, and arranged it in the back of the book, in the Extras section. There were a lot of people who wanted that poster and didn't get one before it sold out, so you can at least get it in print this way.
I am going to be shipping the books sleeved in comic book bags and backing boards. The book is slightly smaller than a standard comic book by about an inch on each side, so the backing board should protect it from any bent corners during shipping. And if they don't, the padded envelopes I'm shipping them in will.