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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.

Be my guest at the press check for Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1

April 07, 2019

We have ANOTHER prize to announce for those readers who pre-order Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 by April 30.

 Quick pre-order link:

You can win a rare chance to attend the press approvals for Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1!

In my 21 years of press approvals on almost 20 book projects, I’ve never invited anyone—outside those directly involved with a book’s production—to attend a press check.

That will change with Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 when one pre-buyer wins a “pass” as my personal guest to the press approvals at Ampersand Printing in Guelph, Ontario.

And, you MUST come along to our post-press approval lunch!

It’s a tradition, after all, for the author to host—and treat—a celebratory repast in a local eatery!

“What do I have to do, again, to qualify for this prize?”

Simply pre-order Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 by April 30—either online or by mail (send in the order form we mailed you with payment or download a copy of it at the link).

As winner of the press approval prize, you will represent ALL readers

And the author will value your company as the printed forms coming off the press—and may even ask for your input. That’s because you will have been chosen to stand in for every reader who will ever enjoy paging through Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1.

We’ll even throw in a couple of souvenirs

You’ll go home with press approval sheets signed by the author (and his family) and the press foreman. With these in your hands, you’ll have a sneak preview of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 to show your friends before ANYONE else sees the finished product!

“Gosh, that prize sounds GREAT! But what if I don’t live a convenient driving distance from Guelph, Ontario?”

Glad you asked! Here’s what we’ll do...

If you are the lucky winner of the Press Approval Prize and for any reason CANNOT attend the event, we’ll let you nominate someone else in your place!

“How will the press approval unfold, what will it involve?”

Shortly after we convene at Ampersand Printing, we’ll head into the press room where you’ll meet the press foreman and his assistant (known as a “feeder”). You’ll probably also meet the Ampersand owner and/or his son.

We’ll likely start by running the dust jacket of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 first. There’ll be a few “pulls” from the press (quite a fun thing to watch, actually!) and some adjustments for tones and ink density (here’s where your opinion will come in handy).

Once we “sign off”, they’ll run ALL the dust jackets (which will take only a few minutes). Then we’ll approve a couple of representative “signatures” (the big sheet of paper which will be folded three times to create a 16-page booklet, a dozen of which constitute the “guts” of the book).

“When will you draw this prize?”

The draw for ALL the prizes will be held on Sunday, May 12.

The first ticket drawn wins the David Oram signed limited-edition print entitled Northerns Over the Muskoka River.

The second ticket drawn wins the ITLA HO scale craftsman kit for the CNR Grimsby station.

The third ticket drawn wins the press approval prize.

“When do I find out if I’ve won, and how much notice will I have of the press check?”

We’ll announce the winners for ALL the prizes in a special email broadcast on Sunday, May 12. If we don’t have your email, we’ll telephone you, or advise you by regular mail, of any prize you have won.

We normally have a couple of days advance notice of the press approval time, so we’ll advise you as soon as we schedule it.

“Are there any prizes for people who don’t pre-order Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1?"


Here’s the link to place your pre-order(s) if you haven’t already done so:

Best of luck in the draw!

P.S. Most DEFINITELY forward this email to whomever you know who would be interested in ANY of the prizes at stake for pre-orders of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1.

P.P.S. For those of us on our email list (and if you're not, please sign up in the box at the bottom of any page on this site), watch for an email TOMORROW to confirm to you, personally, whether you HAVE or HAVE NOT pre-ordered Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 and thereby made yourself eligible for one or more of the prizes offered.

P.P.P.S. For every copy of Speed Graphics and Steam 1958! vol. 1 that you pre-order, your name will be entered once in the draw. In other words, if you pre-order three copies, theoretically you may win all three prizes announced SO FAR.


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