We then had a problem. I would have loved to have got the book onto a Print On Demand system so that copies could still be bought, but the physical page size we had chosen (as being the largest we could do for the rrp we wanted it to be) was not compatible with any system, so we couldn't use the PDFs we had, and I didn't want to have to completely re-lay out the book. Printing in the UK was too expensive for full colour at a short print run, and so we just had to accept that the book was out of print and move on.
But people kept coming and asking about it, perhaps driven by the silly prices that copies of the book were displaying online (many of these driven by crazy automated pricing algorithms ... I suspect no book was ever sold at the prices being charged!) and we had to keep turning people away.
|The BBC Books reissue.|
In the same week, I had a call from a regular printers that we use at Telos Publishing, and in the course of the call, I mentioned that we had this full colour book, and we'd love to bring it back into print. My contact then told me that they had just got in some new colour machines, and that she thought we could do it for a cost which worked (obviously the unit cost - what the publisher pays the printer - for a book has to be low enough that when trade discounts and so on are applied, plus all the publishers' costs, that the book can make a profit for the publisher, otherwise there's no point in doing it). So we knocked some numbers around, and yes indeed, we could produce a new edition of the book for a cost which worked ...
So I then looked at the book more seriously to see what might need to be done. I checked with Arnold T Blumberg, who had laid the book out originally, to ensure that he still had the files, and that he could make changes to it if needed, and yes indeed he did.
|BBC Books' 50th Anniversary edition|
With the new section completed, I also had to address elements in the rest of the book. Paul Scoones kindly supplied a list of minor errors which he had spotted in the book, so these were corrected. I reworked the sidebar about audio releases to remove all the BBC Audio ones (as those were now covered in the Appendix) and to expand it slightly to include all the audio versions of TV stories which had been released beforehand. I missed off the Century 21 EP of episode 6 of 'The Chase' as that's not strictly a novelisation, more of a condensed and narrated version of the episode itself, likewise with the Genesis of the Daleks LP. But all the actual novelisations are now listed, from 1978's talking books onwards.
|BBC Books' new edition|
with new cover art
Arnold sorted out the layouts, going through several iterations as usual to get everything to work and to fit. We shifted the seven blank pages to before the Index and the Target Cover Gallery as that made more sense, and expanded the Gallery to include all the new editions of the books which BBC Books have released to date. In a way this was a departure from the original intent of the Gallery which was to show all the original covers, and of course most of the new BBC editions use the original Chris Achilleos art, but they are so lovely that we thought it was worth showing them. Of course those titles with new covers (Remembrance of the Daleks, Vengeance on Varos, The Visitation and Battlefield) are also included.
|David signing copies of the finished book.|
Thus the whole thing went off to print, with delivery set for the week before the exhibition opened. Now the waiting started! Along the way, Chris Achilleos reached out to me about my decision not to take part in the exhibition, and after discussing it with Chris, I agreed to loan some of my original pieces for display, in part as a favour to Chris, and in part as I now would have my book available again, and the Gallery had agreed to sell some!
The books arrived yesterday (22nd April) and look totally brilliant. The printing quality is lovely - the original edition was a little dark in places on the printing, a feature I think of the heavier quality paper which was being used, and also of the Indian printing presses - and the cover with the matt and glossy areas is beautiful. I'm very happy.
I hope everyone who visits the Cartoon Gallery in London to see the original Target art will fall in love with it in the same way as it has captured me and so many others over the years. I hope people will be interested enough to want to get a copy of the book too!
As I have been writing this piece, the first review has come in ... hopefully this bodes well for the future :) https://scifibulletin.com/doctor-who/reviews/review-doctor-who-books-the-target-book/
The Target Book
Written by David J Howe with Tim Neal
Foreword by Terrance Dicks
176pp. Large format 22cm x 28cm hardback. Fully illustrated in full colour throughout.
Available from: http://www.telos.co.uk/product/the-target-book-hb-pre-order/
Doctor Who: The Target Books Artwork runs from 28 April – 11 May 2016 at The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH