November is here and the book is at the printers! But what does that really mean? Over to Jeff for all the details -
The entirety of the text files went out to the printers last week. That's the content of the book from the title page to the closing "thank you" section found in every version of the book. It is the most massive part of the undertaking, and the most crucial.
Wizards of the Coast reviewed and approved the content (as mentioned before, this was all part of our agreement with them), and the printer has processed these files, which puts them in the proofing stage. I'll be reviewing the printer's files to make sure that these pages match what was sent, and to ensure no glitches arose.
There are many different facets to the final detailing of the project; this book is being covered/bound three different ways, each one needing its own set of design specifications and mechanicals. These are being finalized now. The softcover files will closely match the hardcover's jacket and that art and text has all been approved. A little additional digital work to get the "spot gloss" treatment right has also been completed.
The printer gave me a "bound-book" date based on when they anticipated all of the files being in-house and approved. I felt that we could improve on the delivery of the files from our end by at least two weeks, so they are trying to see what can be done to improve our press time, and hopefully get it in everyone's hands that much sooner. Like you, I'm waiting to hear what they can do with that, and will pass on that date as soon as I get it and agree that it is the best we can achieve.
After the books are bound and we have approved advance copies, most orders will be shipped directly from the printer, saving time and utilizing the facilities in place for exactly that task. More complex orders that need unique inserts will be shipped to me, where those copies will be paired with their sketch cards and the like before being sent on their way.
That's where we are. More as it's available.
Sketch Card Nerdvana
Of the forty one artists who contributed to The Gathering, thirty of them have produced sketch cards for this project. Now, as a rule we try not to play favorites, buuuuut see for yourself -
Ron Spencer has produced ten cards for the set, some of them as pencil drawings, some as tonal work and a small number of full-on paintings that frankly belong on regular Magic cards. Given an opportunity I would have happily run off with that dragon piece. It's amazing.
If you're one of the lucky few receiving some of the original sketch cards, you've a 1 in 20 chance of getting a Ron Spencer piece. Good luck.
And yes, what cards you receive is still random. No other way is fair.
Remember, if you've received your mats and there's any problem, you can contact Inked Playmats by using the web form linked in the last update or by following this link to their main contact page. Remember to list the email address you used for this Kickstarter as that's the one they'll need to identify your order.