Vintage Books Uses ‘New Approach’ to Crashing a Book Project
But the most pressing issue facing Vintage all along, says Miller, was the question, “When are we going to get this report?” The publisher had needed to clear time with its printers, “so they could clear all their decks and print [exclusively] for us.”
The ISG set a deadline to have all copy to Miller by Friday, Dec. 1 and—much to Miller’s relief—it did just that. The report came in at about noon, but had its problems. “It was longer than we expected, there were more headers than we expected, there were some [extra] text boxes,” recalls Miller. “They had to re-jigger the design before sending the whole thing off to type-setting at about 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. that afternoon.”
The report came back at around 6:30 p.m. and a production team member took it home overnight to make minimal changes. By 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the report was headed to its printers, where it was prepped and finally on press at 9 p.m. Miller says the first books began shipping at 6 a.m. Monday with 40,000 copies on their way to Vintage’s warehouse.
Aside from a few distribution issues caused by a UPS hiccup in the Washington area, “The Iraq Study Group Report’s” remarkable 24-day journey was complete. “The thing that surprised me most was how smoothly everything went,” Miller says. “[The project] required a great deal of effort and [there was] some anxiety, but it really did come off with surprisingly few hitches, mostly thanks to the amazingly capable people at the ISG, and our terrific production, publishing and salespeople. BB