See the process of printing The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle cover 

Rick Riordan‘s new book for The Trials of Apollo series comes out later this year, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.  So Rick has decided to treat us to a visual tour of one of the steps of bringing a book to completion.  In this one, we get to see The Hidden Oracle cover brought to fruition at the printing press.

First the Disney team checked sample print sheets and picked the ones they liked the best. They looked for the right shades of color, the right quality of printing and . . . uh, a bunch of other stuff that authors like me have no clue about. Below, Marybeth from Disney Production and Joanne from the Design Department examine the samples with the press workers. “Make this orange more orange!” says Marybeth. “Make this Apollo more Apollo-y!” demands Joann.


Then the printing gets started! To make the super snazzy cover you see above, the press workers first run plain white sheets through an embossing machine, stamping the logo on with silver foil. This is why the words for the title are shiny and raised. Below is a roll of silver foil and a white sheet just printed. I’m told the naiads at camp like to run around with ribbons of this stamped silver foil wrapped around them like beauty pageant queens, yelling, “I’m Miss Universe!” but I cannot vouch for that.


Next the color is applied to the page. Because Apollo is so special, the press workers created a unique orange yellow color just for his cover — a color NEVER SEEN BEFORE and definitely NOT FOUND IN NATURE!  (Or if that’s not true, don’t tell Apollo.)  Here is Apollo orange, below. In press shop speak, it is described as “somewhere between color 803 and color 804.” Apollo appreciates the poetry of that description.


Three jackets fit on one sheet of paper. Here they are coming off the machine:


Here’s what the printing machine looks like, with rolling plates of the cover image, just like the Treasury uses to make money. So if you think my books give me a license to print money, well, not exactly, but close!


Riordan explains the printing process is a lengthy one that maybe not many fans really understand, always wanting the book right after it’s been written by the author:

The thing is, the book isn’t in my house. It takes months and months to create. The process you see above? That’s just for the book jacket. It took an entire day to approve the process. And now the covers for the first printing will be running off the presses non-stop until next Tuesday. That’s how many days it takes just for the cover! Then they send the covers to a different factory where the actual pages are printed and bound. Then they have to be boxed and shipped all over the country.

On top of that, there are actually TEN different editions of the first printing. Barnes and Noble has their own exclusive edition. Walmart has one. Target has one, and so on, each with some sort of account exclusive like a map or a piece of art or a special add-on. Each edition has to be printed separately to keep them all straight.

As much as we want the book right away, patience is truly a virtue that you may find worth it to have as the end result is a nice and shiny new hardcover book with an awesome cover.

The Hidden Oracle cover

Source: Myth & Mystery

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.