Proof copies of Elopement: a Memoir rolled off the press yesterday.I am delighted.

Four proof copies
Four proof copies

One more check needed, to make sure everything is in place before the big print run.

Here is an account of the process of printing four proof copies

  • Arrived at The Big Picture Factory at 10 a.m. The modest street front gave no hint of the state-of-the-art printing industry inside.
The Big Picture Factory in Belmont
The Big Picture Factory in Rivervale
  • Walked through this door. ‘Where the Magic Happens?” Magic would be good. But all I really wanted was some proof copies of my new book, Elopement: a Memoir
    Through the green door, to the place where magic happens
    Through the green door, to the place where magic happens


  • I’d sent the manuscript ahead of me, via email.  Of course I had a flash drive in my pocket. Just in case. Better to have a backup. Peter Stone had worked on the typesetting. And left some delicious decisions for me.
Peter Stone puts finishing touches to typesetting
Peter Stone puts finishing touches to the typesetting
One of the three enormous monitors
One of the three enormous monitors

The Big Picture Factory uses three enormous monitors simultaneously to typeset books. I was way out of my depth. I kept acting as if I knew what Peter was doing. Sometimes one just has to trust other people!.

Front page




I love the romantic curves of the Jane Austin Font used for the title





Pages ready to pring
Pages ready to pring



and the Sabon 11/17 for the text





  • Next Peter sent the typeset manuscript to the printing machine. That’s an eye-opener – a slick piece of technology if ever I saw it. Understated, I thought, for such an important job!
Actual printing being programmed
Actual printing being programmed
  • The printing happened quickly, four-pages to a sheet of paper, printed both sides.
  •  The pages were trimmed to size on a guillotine.
  • Next the trimmed pages were inserted into a binding machine, with the pre-printed cover. Watch this space for the video of the process. Is there a grandchild out there who can show me how to trim a video please?.And insert it in a post?
Inserting book into perfect binding machine
Inserting book into perfect binding machine
  • After one more session with the guillotine, Behold, a book!!!
The presentation
The presentation
  • Finally, here is a picture of my co-adventurer and first reader
My husband, John Fleming, reading one of the proof copies
My husband, John Fleming, reading one of the proof copies

Elopement: a Memoir will be available early in November 2015.

15 replies on “Proof copies hot off press”

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!! So exciting. Do I get to read a proof copy??? Don’t worry, won’t be offended if not – but am absolutely DYING to read it. Have you got a date for the launch yet. I am really excited. Congratulations.

    1. Lovely to read your comment, Elizabeth. Thank you. It is exciting and a bit scary. There seem to be so many things to do around the publication and trying to get some publicity. Launch is on 6 November, between 5.30 and 7 p.m. at the Centre for Stories in Aberdeen Street, Northbridge. Invitations are one of the next things on my to do list. Coffee soon?

    1. Thanks, Jenny. The launch should be good fun, and I’m looking forward to it, as well.

  2. Brilliant, Maureen. so happy for you. Can’t wait to see the real thing. Let me know when I can buy a copy. Have just read a proof copy of another book I edited recently, which is a rollicking good story, and it was so nice to read it as a real book, not just a Word file! You must be over the moon.

    1. Yes, thank you, Christina, it is very exciting. I was soooo nervous before Peter actually started printing the book, but it looks lovely and I’m pleased with it. I need to read it again and make sure it is all OK. It looks different as a book from how it looks even printed out. Nice you are involved with other people and their books. Must be very satisfying.

  3. Congratulations Maureen! If John’s expression is anything to go on it’s going to be a wonderful read and i’m looking forward to it.

    1. That’s a lovely photo of John, isn’t it? Thank you for your comment, Stephanie.

  4. How interesting to see the process of a book being made! Being so close to being published must be a wonderful feeling! I’m looking forward to holding a copy, Maureen!

    1. Hi, Louise. Yes, the process was obviously a hands-on experience, and felt very creative. I loved being involved in so many steps, and observing the others. I’m amazed at how state-of-the-art the IT and the machinery were. I am glad the Elopement writing-journey is almost over – although I know that now the entrepreneurial/marketing one is about to start. Looking forward to seeing you with a copy, too.

  5. Oh well what do I say, except heartiest congratulations and all.
    Enjoy; enjoy; enjoy both of you after all it is part of your story’ Cannot wait til I get my own copy. Now I know how (a little anyway) mothers feel when their children give birth!!
    Lots of love my dear friend RosieXXXXX

    1. Thanks, Rosie. Almost at the end of this incredible journey of writing this book. I love that it feels a bit like a grandchild to you. A good metaphor, considering your part in the real elopement!

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