Production Diary

Over the weeks we have been keeping people informed on the day to day production of the Yes : Dialogue book (though we will still do the newsletters).

June 28th • Happy to announce that we are right up to date with sending out orders now, and those who placed an order recently will have their copy shipped this week.  There are still a handful of orders still pending, people who have not sent us a full address. There is still some stock of the book at the office and a couple of dozen more at the printers to be finished off (they ran out of covers so are printing enough to cover the shortfall), then that’s it.

June 6th • We’re a bit behind the updates as our time has been spent on getting stock delivered. The printer had a few problems during May with their presses, which didn’t affect us directly, but did cause general delays to their workflow. Happily finished stock began arriving during May and we started packing and shipping right away. At the current rate, we expect to have all back-orders off by the end of next week.  In the meantime a couple of photos taken during the production have been sent over and are posted on the site.

April 24th • The next batch of books is on the press right now and the printer plans to start binding next week.  This means we will at last be able to get the rest of the orders out during May.  We have emailed all customers via the shop to explain this.

March 28th • Another shipment of over 50 copies went out on Monday, which had to be carefully timed to work round my dental appointment!  Once a shipment has gone, Ann then triggers notification to the customers on that particular batch, though we found that sometimes the book got there faster than our emails!  Out of interest we did some timing last week and realised that if we take all the paperwork, packing and box making together, it’s taking around 45 minutes to get each book ready for collection.

March 14th • We have just got another batch off, and getting some lovely feedback from the copies which went out earlier on. We had more stock arrive this week, and the printer has promised us another shipment to arrive Monday, so we are getting there, but it is taking us much longer than we had hoped.

Mar 7th 2017 • Another batch shipping out today. We are using a different shipper this week and they will inform everyone in this batch automatically of tracking info etc. We spent yesterday signing zillions of customs forms and whacking on the freight stickers. In North America and Canada copies will likely be delivered by Fed Ex now as they merged with our courier last week. In Europe it is likely to be TNT.  In the UK it’s still Parcelforce.
And we have had talks with the printer about getting them to outsource the packing for us in future to make sure this delay is not repeated. Do send us a review if you feel sufficiently enthused about the book when it reaches you, we have a review page set up.

Feb 27th 2017 • Well I figured it was better for me to keep on packing, so I’ve not updated this for a couple of weeks.  The packaging of the individual books has been going on for well over a week now, despite a few problems with our supplier which drove us mad and the weather which stopped lorries getting out to us a couple of times!  Packing is proving to be a much longer task than we expected, but we want to take every care we can to make sure they arrive in good condition. At our current rate we expect all the pre-order copies to have been shipped this week.  We have opened a review page as well, so if anyone is moved to do so, drop us a comment.

Feb 9th 2017 • We have posted some photographs of both the finished book stacked up at the printers, and also some older ones of the pages on the press.

Feb 6th 2017 • We emailed everyone on the Yes Dialogue mailing list to confirm that delivery of the book is expected from the printers later this week. We will start mailing as soon after delivery at possible, though it will take a little while to get all the orders out through the door.

January 6th 2017 • There were a number of production glitches relating to the new cover art during December, and with some of the staff on holiday over the Christmas period it was not until the first week of the New Year that we were able to get on top of this. Our designer was quite ill over this time and on two different anti-biotics which kept him out of action as well. The problem was finally sorted and we will have a finished delivery date any day, and plan to start shipping to customers late January. Customers have been emailed with an update and we thank everyone for their patience.

Nov 10 • We are starting to send out details of how to place a final order and recoup the deposit today to pre-order customers.  This will be done in date sequence starting with the oldest pre-orders.  Pre-order customers will be sent their special code to enter into the shopping cart along with details of where it needs entering.  We expect stock sometime during December but it may not be shipped in time for Christmas.  We also apologise in advance to Canadian customers; the post office there refuses to accept the internationally agreed shipping rate for books, so the shipping cost is higher than anywhere else.

30 Oct • Two days spent wrestling with the shopping cart software and the maker’s helpline… I always assume when something doesn’t go as I expect it to with software that I have simply not fully understood things.  But after any number of trials trying to get the system to accept a discount code system (so everyone who pre-ordered can have this payment subtracted automatically) I gave up.  “Oh, the online guide must be out of date, that function is no longer part of the software…”  “But it’s your own official guide; did you not think to update it when you changed things?”  Anyway the following day they sent me the new steps I needed to complete the checkout changes and today I have been testing them.  So with any luck we can begin taking orders at last in the next couple of days, and explain to everyone how to apply the discount codes which I will send to everyone individually.  Now I need a lie down.

7 Oct • Jon and I spent much of the day closeted away in the Common cafe going through the proof copies.  We had both done our homework, but nevertheless it is remarkable what you can spot on a printed copy which doesn’t leap out on a computer screen.  I have to say the books feel great, and it’s really comfortable to sit with them on your lap and read.  We also did a bit of filming elsewhere in Manchester with Jon chatting about the origins of the project and talking through some of the images. As soon as this is edited we will let you know. Pre-orders are open again until October 16th, links can be found in the shop menu above.

19 Sept • My printed proof copy finally arrived on Friday.  Accompanied by Jon’s!  Which was supposed to be shipped direct. So I quickly repackaged his and shot over to the Post Office, but the 24 hour service doesn’t operate at the weekend, and the collection van had already been, so he won’t get it until Tuesday now and that will be £17.60 please…  Anyhow, I cannot stop sneaking another look at the finished copy, so as soon as Jon has had time to go through his, we will meet up to check for any corrections I need to make.

In the meantime as we have had a lot of requests, I have reopened the pre-order option for the book for the next week or so, while we check the hardcopy.  You can get to the online shop using the menu at the top of the page.

12 Sept • I hadn’t realised they would send digital proofs first!  Apparently they take all my files, put them through their RIP systems, then like to reproof from these before going to print as the data can get changed during this process. Anyhow these arrived and we have been through them carefully.  There were actually no technical glitches whatsoever, just a few layout issues. It’s funny the things you spot, like half a photograph missing because you’d juggled a couple of pages around. The hard copy is now outputted and they are binding us up the two printed proofs and say these will be shipped to us in the next five days, so fingers crossed. Once we get them we will do a full newsletter for our pre-order customers.

24 August • Just heard from the printers that the proofs are on the way. We will post some pictures when we get them through.

11th August • Just exporting the book to PDF for final proofing at last. Just. Poor old Jon managed to clobber his front tooth and has been in considerable pain (and on some considerable painkillers), and missed the copy I sent him to check, so he’s done it this week.  Managed to get Doug Curran’s credits sorted as well, he’s been very patient! And drop in a couple more photos he found.
It depends how busy the printer is, but we should get the proof back in about a week from it going on their systems. Once that is sorted we can finally plan a production schedule and likely shipping time, and will do a newsletter at that stage to update people.

30th July • Corrections all now done and checked!  Thank heavens for the design software’s document search window; trawling through 260 plus pages to find find a couple of words of text would be impossible without it.  Even so, it’s a slow process and good to get it done.  Just need to move a few images around and we’re there.

21st July • While I have been over in Montreux doing a visit to the hotel where Machine Head was recorded with Roger Glover as part of research for another book title, Jon Kirkman has been battling through the Yes text and a pile of corrections was waiting in my in-tray when I got back.  I am getting stuck into those now and we will then get on with that final colour proof I mentioned a couple of updates ago.

11th July • Still hard at it, and hurrah – the ISB number has turned up at last! Astonishingly during the proofing stage I have found a number of real strange ‘edits’ in the original layout which were never picked up when the old hard-back version was done. As far as I recall there was no proofs supplied at the time for us to check, so these are only surfacing now, but show the value of the checking we’re doing.  In one extreme case a third of a page of text had gone awol, leaving the interview cut off mid flow. Jon is checking more page revisions over the next couple of days.  My favourite error is Rick Wakeman called Rock Wakeman; though when I mentioned this to Jon, he recalls Rick telling him about a poster for one of his solo shows in Europe years back which announced a concert by ‘Rock Wankman’…  now that’s one we would like to see.

4th July • Reproofing some of the new pages a second time in black and white having spotted a few glitches, then preparing to output a full colour mock-up at the end of the week. Still waiting for the ISB number from the issuing authority but if it doesn’t get here in time will ‘pinch’ one off another of our projects!  Also excited that the US tour promoters are leafleting their VIP ticket holders on the book during the next Yes tour there. Special A3 folded leaflets are being produced in the UK and shipped over, and we will hold some back for our pre-order customers as well.

24th June • Just hammering away at the page numbers today (it’s sort of automated within the software but doesn’t half take some getting right!), then adding in the Trevor Horn interview, which is a long one.  The book is then off to the printers to get a proof copy made up for us to check carefully, then we’re all set.  Though given the miserable state of everyone here after the utterly depressing vote I might just have to go and get a quiet walk in sometime today to calm down…

27th May • Our apologies for the extra delay, but we have been trying to secure an interview with Trevor Horn to complete the book and this has now been possible. A newsletter (the sixth) has been sent out to our subscribers giving all the details. Also older newsletters 1 to 5 are all now on the site for people to read.  Pre-orders have closed. Once the printers have given us an ETA we will add the book back onto the shop. Print run is limited to 580 copies plus a handful for the group.

25th April • After much going back and forth the hard-back production details have at last been agreed so we can get on to contacting all our pre-order customers over the next few days. It was worth doing the negotiating as the price is significantly better as the printers had originally planned to run the two editions separately; by running the entire edition in one go it has come down a lot. We learn as we go. In the meantime Jon Kirkman went very quiet a few days ago but when I finally caught up with him he reminded me he was actually on the road in the UK with Yes, introducing the shows!  Yes liked his approach on the last rock cruise and offered him the role for the tour.
Anyhow, as the printers had held things up, I kept the pre-order option running for a little while longer, but this will close any day now.

12th April • Pre-orders officially close today, but as I’m still waiting for that hard-back price, we will keep them open for another day or so until that is sorted. After then, we will take the pre-order option off the store and replace it with the finished book when ready.

8th April • all the production costings except that for the hard-back have now been sorted out so we are just pushing the printer to sort that.  To be fair they had sent us a price but for  doing this as a separate job, and I only just picked this up.

30th Mar • Finally managed to sort out the Billy Sherwood photographs which disappeared after Jon’s hard-drive crash, and am laying out these today. Luckily Jon had sent me copies some weeks ago, so I uploaded these back to Jon, who could make the choice of which to use. We will post some of the new pages in the next few days and get the final invoices out to pre-order customers next week.

22nd Mar • Jon has interviewed Roger Dean about the design of the Dialogue logo which features on the book cover. Roger also says he has an exhibition of his work opening in the Autumn and we’ll pass on details when we have the OK.  The final introduction for the book is being finished, and we also have the pricing on the possible hardback edition so we will decide whether this option can be added to a short run of the book.

17th Mar • Meeting with our local packaging suppliers. I have the good fortune to live near a big supplier of bespoke mailing solutions (as we are I supposed now to call them) which we have used before. Having taken down a bound sample of the book, we went through a few options and they were able to suggest a solution based on adapting one of their regular templates. This will be adapted to include Polylam (plastic foam) buffers right round the book to fully protect it during transit, with extra card above and below the book, inside a wrap round extra strength box.

14th Mar • Breathing again.  Jon’s hard drive collapsed a few days ago as he was doing the last couple of transcriptions.  Happily his local IT people have been able to recover just about all the data and confirmed that the audio files we needed are amongst the recovered data. Jon has been finishing up the transcripts this week, and I trust backing his HD up every evening – as we all of course do (!).

8th Mar • As a few people have asked about the possibility of a hard-back version, we have asked our printer to quote us on this, and offer this as an extra option when we get in touch with everyone with final invoicing.

28th Feb • Our printer has sent some more test pages, this time on the actual paper stock and double sided.  I am very impressed with the results which really brings out the quality of the scans.

20th Feb • Jon’s laptop has crashed so he is trying to rescue the hard drive and the two new interviews for the book before he flies out to work on the Moody Blues rock cruise in Florida.

15th Feb • Preparing new cover art, using Roger Dean’s files. This has to be proofed back to him before we can reveal it. Originally I used just a plain version of the Yes logo but it looked a bit flat against the title logo, so Roger has sent a more 3D version which works really well.  Can’t actually believe I am swapping files with Roger Dean, one of my design idols ever since school!

13th Feb • Ten sample pages of the book arrive to enable us to check these against the artwork files and make sure the colour match is OK.  The next move will be sample pages on the actual coated art paper.

10th Feb • Meeting with the printer to discuss final specs for the book, paper weight, binding options, and technical aspects of the artwork.