Behind the scenes: a quick peek into the making of the Imaginarium

Have you ever wondered what goes into making a book? Snap – I wondered too. Then along came my first book, Saturdays at the Imaginarium – and I found out!

Boy, was there a whole heap of stuff to learn. Plenty of hard work was involved over quite a long period of time, and also plenty of fun and laughs along the way too. And how about any hairy, scary moments when things didn’t go according to plan…? Yep, a few of those too!

Here’s a few peeks behind the scenes, to show you some of what went into making the book….


Here I am trying to decide which poems to include and which ones to leave out, and also what order to put them in – which was quite tricky to work out. I tried quite a few different versions before I finally arrived at one that seemed to work.


This is Roy, the book’s editor. Here, he’s reading one of the poems aloud and recording it on his phone. We did this a lot – reading the poems out loud to each other and sometimes recording them. It’s a really useful thing to do when you’re editing poems, to see how they sound. Sometimes a poem looks fine to me on the page but then when I hear it out loud I think, ‘No, that’s not quite the right word there’ and so I change it (hopefully for the better!).


Once the poems were all chosen, the next step was to illustrate some of them. This is the studio where Jude, the wonderful artist who created our illustrations, worked her magic!

 


Jude started by making lots of rough drawings in her sketchbook, and then she, Roy and I met up every couple of weeks to talk through her ideas and decide which ones to run with. (These meetings mostly took place in cafés and involved quite a lot of tea-drinking and cake-eating!).


Once we had our final selection of poems and illustrations ready, the next step was to send them to our book designer Louise (here she is on the left). Louise then brought them all together and made them into something book-shaped!


After that, the next job was to start thinking about the design of the book’s front cover. Here are some of our ideas and experiments.


This is Martin, who was in charge of organising the printing of the final book.

Below you can see the ‘dummy’ of the book, which is a single first copy that the printer makes, to allow a final check that everything’s fine and dandy before going ahead with the full printing.


And here’s the moment we saw the final book for the first time!


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