A Cover’s Journey – after design, comes production

Once a cover is designed – gorgeously, I might add, by our brilliant design team – there are several stages it has to go through before it is ready to go off to print.

The back cover gets as much scrutiny as the front cover – every word is pored over, the ISBN checked and double-checked, every tiny piece must be perfect before it’s printed.

The whole cover is designed and printed as one big sheet, that then gets wrapped around the insides, which are printed separately.

SUNK cover spread

This is a working print out of the full back cover of SUNK, an adventure in the SHRUNK series by Fleur Hitchcock, where beach furniture is out for revenge in the sleepy town of Bywater-by-Sea. (Coming in June.)

We’re redesigning the whole series so each of the covers for the four books is being circulated around to each department for corrections and approvals, before it’s sent off to print.

You can see some design comments on the above SUNK, written right on the sheet, as well as below for SHRUNK: MAYHEM AND METEORITES.


Can you see the different greens that are being pointed out? That two tone differential shouldn’t be there. We can’t print the cover like that!


Above is an example of text corrections, precisely noted by the editorial team. The top note is as tiny as making sure that the comma looks enough like a comma, and can’t be confused with a full stop.

On the above, you can see the marking for inserting text; it’s the pointing-looking h thing.

IMG_9254This is what the circulation form looks like. You can see the cover specifications in the top box and then people leave comments and sign off below.

IMG_9253When a cover has glossy bits on it, the shiny reflective stuff, that’s called “Spot UV” – in order to instruct the printer exactly where it goes, we produce a guide, a mask, that everywhere there is black, the Spot UV goes.

(If this kind of stuff gets you as excited as we get, you can take a look at our cover finishes blog, on our sister site Hot Key Books.)



Piccadilly Picks of the Week – the Doodle edition

A pen that writes in the air? A 3D pen?

This is not the future – this is now! (We’ve got one on order and will definitely post pictures when we play with it in the office!) Read more about it on this tumblr post.

3D pen 3Doodler

It’s so exciting to think of what kind of storytelling can be done with amazing tools like this!

Speaking of doodles – do you know Sago Sago’s app for kids, Doodlecast? It’s brilliant (as are all Sago apps). Kids are inspired to draw from prompts or freedrawing, and the app records each stroke of their finger to show them an animation – complete with sound – when they are finished.

See Piccadilly editor Matilda Johnson’s artistry, as she discovers the app (and giggles):

To keep with with our doodling theme, here is a sneak peek at the cover development and inside spreads of THE FINNCREDIBLE DIARY by Ciaran Murtagh and illustrated by Tim Wesson!

Finncredible Diary of Fin Spencer spread 1

Finncredible Diary of Fin Spencer spread 1 Finncredible Diary of Fin Spencer cover rough Finncredible Diary of Fin Spencer cover final

We’d love to see YOUR doodles. What have you been doodling?

Piccadilly Past – Dr Who

DrWhoThe TardisInsideAndOut

I’ve been wanting to post about this since my first exploration through the archive shelves. This is DOCTOR WHO: THE TARDIS INSIDE OUT, published in 1986!

What a cover!

30 years ago, Brenda Gardner, the founder of Piccadilly Press, worked with the BBC and producer John Nathan-Turner to produce a guide to the (then) six Doctors and some behind the scenes glimpses.

This is a proper collectors book, out of print and very hard to find now. The illustrations are very of their time…


If I get enough comments on this blog, I’ll post a few more pictures or pages. Maybe comment on what is the best Dr Who episode?

Piccadilly Picks of the Week

Our Piccadilly Picks from around the Internet for this week.

What Age Did Well-Known Authors Publish Their Most Famous Works? See the whole graphic here.

Age Famous Writers Wrote Most Famous Books graphic


Have you seen Jauntful? It’s a beautiful, easy-to-use web application for creating personalised travel guides, that you can view online and print.

People all over the world have created free-to-get travel guides of their cities – some of our favourites for London are: Teens in Tow and Great Spots to Take Little Tots.


Guide to cool things for teens in London



Have you seen this hilarious round up of the funniest parenting tweets from the Huffington Post?


What’s your favourite thing from the internet this week? Please share!

We Can’t Live Without Books

We were going to post on something else today, but have been happily distracted by the news that James Patterson and World Book Day have teamed up to give loads of money for books to some school libraries. Get your school involved!


They are spreading the word by asking people to say #cantlivewithoutbooks, and people are going nuts on Twitter.

We DEFINITELY can’t live without books, and here’s why:

Because it’s the only way to squeeze more lifetimes into my short one. – Jenny, Editor

Because without books we have no stories and with no stories we have no hearts! We’d be a whole world of tin men. Except we wouldn’t know who the tin man was… – Rosi, PR Manager

When I have a wonderful book to read, I forget how much I look forward to the journey to work – waiting at the bus stop, dying to get back to it. – Ruth, Rights Director

Because a house only smells like a home if it’s got books in it! – Julian, Commercial Director

I don’t know what it is, but whenever I go into a book shop time just slips away and usually I will leave hours later, empty handed but elevated, as if I just spent a few hours with friends. – Jan, Designer

Because although the modern world could get along perfectly fine without books, it’s not a world I ever want to live in. – Shane, Business Manager

And my hands down favourite is from Tristan, our production controller:

Staring at the spines on my bookshelf is like viewing a timeline of my life.

Now, here’s a question for you. What BOOK can’t you live without?