Manufacturing a Monster: Printing the Bestiary 2

While ebooks have their benefits, we at Pelgrane Press love physical books. But with all the advantages of ebooks, we understand that to be a bit more than printed paper stuck in a binding. They have to be beautiful, useable and durable. We use Huron Gloss premium paper in almost every case, manufactured in Ken Hite’s beloved Chicago. It is 95% opaque, and just the right shade of white not to blind you when you are reading in bright light. It feels smooth and weighty, and takes colour and monochrome equally well. We use thick card covers and quality lamination to complement the work of our writers, designers and artists.

For our hardback books (known as case bound in the trade), we print on an offset press with Thomson Shore, who have been a reliable print partner for ten years. When we’ve submitted the print-ready PDFs, Thomson Shore tweak it using their special alchemy to ensure the print colours are vibrant and match the PDF.

Click on any image for a high resolution version.


Books are printed 8 leaves to a sheet – so 16 pages, which are then cut into quarters and arranged in little booklets of 16 pages called signatures. So, for the publisher, it’s an advantage to ensure the page number is divisible by 16, or you end up with the dreaded half signature – an eight-page version.


The signatures are stitched together using a a binder thread then joined with the other signatures to form a book block.

The finished book blocks are then trimmed. Here is an untrimmed book block.

The covers are printed and stuck to card, and then the book block is glued inside. This 2013 video from Taylor Publishing, which still does some colour work for us, describes that binding process for the 13th Age core book, through to the finish.

And here is the final Bestiary 2, both standard and limited editions in their natural environment:

And our treat for those of you who bought the Snowcub Edition? Adorbs!

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