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Welcome to the blog of Ian Wilson, author of the award-winning Canadian Branchline series, the King's Highways & Steam Trains series, and the Angus Wolfe adventures series.

Printing status of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957! (FIREBOX CHAT #12)

April 22, 2018

I have plenty of news for you concerning the production and distribution schedule of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957!




Over the first part of this month, eight people were proofreading the manuscript and layout of the book. For that, I owe a great deal of thanks.


Outside of my family, these were Jim Brown (credit line James A. Brown), Herb Harwood (Herbert H. Harwood), Jeff Smith (Jeffrey P. Smith), Art Taylor and Thomas “Dev” Traver. All five of these gentlemen were most gracious, helpful and tenacious. The book is better for that.

Family members Mary-Jo (my wife), Spencer (son #1) and Duncan (son #2) scrutinized the manuscript and layout as well. In fact, you can see them about to grill me in this picture at our kitchen table. They were armed with their personal print versions of the PDF proofs.

That proofreading phase completed about ten days ago.


Off to the printer


This past Tuesday, I uploaded the final files to Ampersand Printing in Guelph, Ontario. It went through the “pre-press” set-up and I should receive the proofs by FedEx tomorrow (April 23). All things going well, I’ll visit the printer in the next few days to do some press approvals of the dust jacket and some of the “signatures”.


After the press approvals, the printer will set to work producing the “guts” of the book, after which they will ship the completed sheets to Beck Bindery in Campbellford, Ontario. They’ll schedule the job in due course (I’ll find out when, as soon as they receive it). When the bindery is finished with it, I’ll rent a truck and pick up the pallets of books!




We expect distribution to begin sometime in May, toward the earlier part of the month.


Depending on when we take delivery of the finished books, I may schedule, on a few days notice, a book launch event. This could take the form of booking a section of a local restaurant in the Toronto area (probably in the Highway 400-Major MacKenzie Drive area). Or, it may involve unveiling the book at a train event somewhere in the province. The venue and date will all depend on the printing and binding schedule. I’ll offer more details as production moves along.




We will distribute all pre-orders and complimentary copies of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957! before processing retail orders. Based on past results, I expect our distribution to take a couple of weeks. This book, therefore, will not be available anywhere until the last pre-publication order goes in the mail. We’ll keep everyone apprised of those results once shipping commences.


Any book launch event will only involve distribution of copies to pre-publication buyers or direct sales to individuals. There will be no retailer copies of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957! available on launch day.


We will distribute retail ordering information to our select dealer network in the next few days. If you represent a retailer and you have not done business with us in recent months, feel free to request a dealer package outlining our catalogue and terms. Send me an email to that effect at


That’s everything for now.


Many thanks for your orders and patience!


P.S.—If you’d like to “get in the queue” for your personal copy of Speed Graphics and Steam 1957! (this would be the best way to guarantee you get a copy in a timely manner), we’re taking pre-orders at the regular price at

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