Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Celebration of Books!

April is the first ever Wimpy Kid Month, which will become an annual event. Tomorrow, April 28th, the cover and title for the 9th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be revealed in a free webinar.
This event reminds me of an amazing experience that I had with books last October. I love printed books. I've written numerous books. For years as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James, I’ve helped others get their books into print.
Yet something was missing from my experience. I had never toured a book manufacturing plant. I wanted to see how books were assembled from large rolls of paper to books you can hold in your hand.

Last October I finally had that magical experience. I spoke at the Wisconsin Writers Association and I knew one of the largest book manufacturers was in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I arranged a tour of Worzalla Book Publishing which has been operating since 1898. The plant runs 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
You’ve got to wear your walking shoes because the plant is over 300,000 square feet of building space. They were running many different print jobs as I walked through. Some machines were binding paperbacks while others were adding the jackets on hardcovers. Others were assembling the signatures of books into stacks and another machine added the hardcover binding.
The large project in the plant was printing six million copies of Book #8 of the Wimpy Kid Diary books. I was not allowed to take any photos of this printing because the book is embargoed and will not release in the bookstores until November 2, 2013. Yet six million books are not magically printed overnight and shipped to stores around the country. It happens ahead of time in book plants like Worzalla.
I saw the book in pieces in some places and at other machines like in the bindery, they were completely assembled and packed into boxes and on pallets for shipping.
With permission, I took a few photos to include with this post. The rolls of paper are massive and weighed 1300 to 1600 pounds EACH. Notice the tall stacks in their warehouse. These rolls of paper become books.
I’ve been wanting to visit this plant for years and last fall, one of my dreams came true. My plans paid off and I managed to see how books are manufactured.
What are you dreaming of seeing manufactured? How can you take action to set something into motion where you can see this take place? Or maybe it is some trip you want to take. How will you achieve this dream in the days ahead?

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1 Comment:

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Tina Left a note...

What a great post! I have always wanted to see this process in action. Thanks for sharing it.


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