Inside the Book

Published 2002

David Esslemont

Out of print, a few copies available unbound in sheets

With over thirty years experience in making books Esslemont writes with authority, enthusiasm and a passion that aims to inspire and help you develop your idea into a finished book ready for publication.


Publishing checklist, The decision to publish, Author"s questionnaire, Cast off, Costing, Pricing, Acquiring the text, Copy-editing, Proof-reading.

Illustrations: Calligraphy, Printmaking, Letterpress, Letterpress from photopolymer plates.

Digital: The computer, Scanners, Desktop printers, Software.

Printing presses, Photopolymer plate-making machines.

Choosing a paper, Identifying grain direction, Size, Weight, Colour, Texture, Printing process, Inkjet papers, Testing, Ink.

Choosing a typeface, Hot metal, Digital, Online type stores.

Typography: Readability, The whole book, Format Typesetting, Style sheets, Kerning pairs, Line spacing, Hanging punctuation, Widows and orphans, Prelims and end matter, The title-page, Contents page, Chapter openings, Decoration, Page numbers.

Sample pages

Layout, Imposition, Film making, The photopolymer process, Processing.

The work space, Setting up the press, Imposition, Impression, The print run, Printing in colour.

Sorting, folding and collating, DIY or commission a binder?, Boxes and slip cases.

A marketing plan, Direct mail, The book fair, Reviews, The Internet, ISBN, The bookseller, Copyright libraries, Packing.

Further reading & Internet resources


Pen and ink drawings, woodcuts from the Augsburg Calendar and Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, displayed type, pages from notebooks, colour printing and calligraphy.

Additional material is tipped-in and includes a Thomas Bewick wood engraving, a page showing comparative type widths and samples of an inkjet print and paste paper, and a facsimile of an envelope with ideas for Inside the Book. Trial settings of title pages, chapter openings and text pages from Desmond Levista"s biblio novel The Missing Pages, are used to demonstrate how the choice of typeface, and layout affect the appearance of the page. These exclusive extracts are contiguous and make entertaining reading.

Edition details

Written, designed and printed by David Esslemont. Created using a G4 Mac and printed letterpress on a hand-fed Wharfedale cylinder press from photopolymer plates. Printed on acid-free mould-made Zerkall ENE IV 150gsm special making.

Edition: 250 copies. 135pp, 255 x 170 mm (10 x 6 7/8 inches).


230 copies in full oatmeal Recordleinen cloth, with calligraphic title in black on the spine and front cover, with a cloth-covered slipcase. Bound by Esslemont and, The Fine Bindery. £200/$300 – out of print. (Note: only half the edition was bound, many copies were sold as unbound sheets including a substantial number to the American Academy of Bokbinding for their Open•Set competition in 2016.)

10 copies in a special binding by David Esslemont: hand-sewn on linen tapes with hand-sewn headbands, leather jointed endpapers, and bound in full white alum-tawed goatskin with a design in colour created with acrylic inks, gold tooling. Housed in a felt-lined cloth-covered drop-back box – out of print.

Copyright © David Esslemont 2015