River Wissey Lovell Fuller

The Village Pump process in 2003

November 2003

The Editor explains the process for publishing the Pump in 2003

The Village Pump - the 2003 Process

Chris Young, in his excellent editorial for our Anniversary Edition, queried the current process for getting the Pump to the people. As promised in my Editorial, here is a summation of the events. I apologise in advance for the lack of sex and sophistication (down Jean).

In the first instance, items for the Pump are submitted to me as Editor. They can be in many forms: e-mail, floppy disk, typewritten or simply in manuscript. Often, photographs and pictures accompany them. Some of the typewritten items include posters or flyers; in this case they have to be scanned into the system.

As Editor I then process the inputs until I have a practical submission for our Publisher. Once I am happy that we have a viable document, I create a CD ROM for onward transmission to Monika Goetz who, as a professional Website designer, constructs the monthly edition in a Microsoft word format. Perhaps this apparently simple process deserves some further expansion. The majority of publishers' use one of the publishing packages - Microsoft Publisher, Adobe PageMaker or even Serif Page Maker. But Monika is able to reproduce each monthly edition using Microsoft Word and that results in a very much more manageable and workable product.

Once Monika has completed her wizardry, she passes the completed Pump back to me on a second CD ROM, which I then load back into my PC. Inevitably, the transfer of files between two machines results in the occasional minor error, so I do a final check before printing a MASTER COPY using a LaserJet printer. The Master Copy is then fed into the REX ROTRAY copy printer, one page at a time, to re-produce the final edition. This is an extremely manual process, with each side being fed separately into the copy printer and the requisite number of copies printed.

Compared to the process of 25 years ago, we are now very automated. But the process is still very time consuming. The initial editorial process probably takes between 10 and 15 hours per month. The Publishing process takes Monika at least a further 12 hours each month and then the final editorial and printing takes a further 2 hours. The actual printing of our current 325 copies takes a further 4 to 5 hours depending on edition size before we hand it over to the collators who, between the 10 or 12 of them take a further hour to put the edition to bed. The process does not, of course stop there; we then bring in to play our wonderful team of volunteers who distribute the Pump around the community.

Thus, some things have not changed in 25 years; we still rely on you the readers, advertisers and contributors and on our merry band of volunteers to manually collate and distribute the finished copies. Only the editing and publishing technology has been updated.

Ray Thompson

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