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By Stu

Re: New Book Releases

Sep 28, 2016 - in Books and other printed materials (edited)
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Trotter wrote:

Stu wrote:
If you count the end paper with the map and count into the book, the page numbers work (you end up at 12, when the first actual page number appears on the page), so it doesn't come across as odd.

Wherever a page number is displayed (from p12 onward), it is as per the original.


You can count it that way, but that means that the numbering is wrong in the 1st Impression and it actually starts on page 13, not 11.



No, I'm certainly not saying it is correct per the original -- I'm just saying it doesn't come across as totally whacky in its slightly modified form. People who know the original like yourself will notice the difference, but most readers probably won't notice unless their attention is drawn to it. I'd definitely have prefered those blank sheets to have been present, of course.

I just did a comparison of a few pages against the original, and there are some minor differences, e.g. the illustration on p196 is closer to the top of the page in the original, I noticed an 'O' at the start of one of the page headers, which appears to be a little higher than on the corresponding page in the original and is misaligned with the rest of the line (will need to look again at which page that was). The Mirkwood illustration looked to be positioned in the same way as original, and overall nothing stood out on the pages where I had photos of the original to compare to.

Paper quality is nothing to write home about, but does not look out of place (obviously you will be able to comment on how it compares to the original -- I suspect the original will be somewhat better).

I'm sure we will end up with a big list of requests for a second print, should there be one :)


By Stu

Re: New Book Releases

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Trotter wrote:

It does mean that all the page numbers are wrong in the facsimile, it looks like the first page is actually page 9 and not page 11 as in the original.

I assume the plate is Mirkwood


If you count the end paper with the map and count into the book, the page numbers work (you end up at 12, when the first actual page number appears on the page), so it doesn't come across as odd.

Wherever a page number is displayed (from p12 onward), it is as per the original.

I assume the plate that David was referring to was the Mirkwood plate.


By Stu

Re: New Book Releases

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David Brawn told me that the omission of the two blank pages at the front was down to getting the plate to appear in the right place (and he is happy for the book to be discussed and information shared -- I was worried I had jumped the gun).


By Stu

Re: New Book Releases

Sep 27, 2016 - in Books and other printed materials (edited)
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As Trotter has pointed out, the text on the flaps has been re-typeset. Not sure why HarperCollins did that, rather than using the scanned text that I supplied; Maybe they thought it wasn't quite sharp enough (amd they might have been right). Unfortunately, I didn't get to see or re-edit the flaps after they did their work on my version, as they only sent me the central image area (which I then edited).

I'd have preferred them to have just gone with my completely accurate front and rear flap versions, but at least my edit made the cut for the main image.

The genesis of the jacket was broadly:

1. Two overlapping scans (front and rear) re-assembled and merged back in 2015 - SWC
2. Digital removal of creases, joins, etc, 2015 - SWC
3. Removal of all staining and shadowing from flaps, 2015 - SWC
4. Separation of flaps (not sure why), colour reduction, tidying of runes, introduction of quite a number of small errors [software being a bit aggressive, I think], plus a layer of speckling - HC
5. Removal of all speckling (took hours!), manual repair of features lost in step 4, colour reduction down to three colours (including correcting colours which had been swapped incorrectly in step 4) Suggested correcting colour for green - SWC
6. Re-integration of flaps (HC version) - HC

The reason the "JRR Tolkien" and some of the white-boundaried features have a bit too much white is as a result of step 4. If I'd had more time, I'd have fixed those things, but it all fell on a Saturday and Sunday morning, and my wife was really upset with me for "computering" all weekend. So I finally just flicked it off to HC as good enough (which it is). The speckling layer was a killer to remove; I think they added it because some of the jacket was naturally speckled a bit on my original and would have taken a long time to remove. If they had given me the version without that layer, step 5 would have taken half as long and I would have been able to focus on some other areas a bit more, but that is OK, as no one was expecting me to edit it.

Honestly, overall I'm pretty happy with the result, even if some aspects could have been done a tiny bit better. Relative to what almost made it out there, it is a win! If they were to do a second print, they could definitely tighten a few things up (and ideally use scanned/restored flaps, perhaps with a some more editing - but might not actually look better, so possible HC made the right call)


By Stu

Re: New Book Releases

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Velmeran wrote:
Wouldn't be shocked if Stu's copy didn't come directly from HarperCollins themselves.


Yep, mine came from head office in London, packed in a padded envelope inside a padded envelope, so no bumps!

It is actually a very sturdy slipcase; probably the sturdiest I have seen from HC in a long while, so I think they will stand up well to the postal service.


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