The Prospect Behind Us
Part 2, page 6

We had equally marvellous support on the typesetting side, in the form of Emma Glaisher, of a firm in Leeds which has had various names during the last twelve years but has for us always been 'Emma'. Since Smith Settle are in Otley, just a few miles north of Leeds, the team we were using was geographically compact and well able to send proofs and camera-ready-copy to and fro at high speed. From 1983 to 1993 they did PPC and they did all our books (the Oxford Symposium Documents, as always, being the exception).

One thing we used to do was to send apprentices up to Leeds and Otley to meet the production team, indeed to spend a couple of days with them, seeing just how they worked. This was well worth while. Apart from anything else, it gave apprentices confidence that, if they thought of a way of doing something, it wouldn't be shot down because it was based on misapprehensions about what went on on 'the shop floor' up in Leeds and Otley. And this helped us, since we had many a bright idea and practical suggestion from the apprentices - if what I have written in earlier paragraphs suggests that the learning was all by them and the teaching all by us, that would be a skewed picture of the interchanges which went on all the time.

In sticking to these arrangements in Yorkshire, we transgressed the rule that publishers should always obtain rival estimates for any job, and at least consider taking the lowest. We knew that we ought to be doing this, but we didn't. We found the established relationship with Emma and with the team at Smith Settle of such value to us that we didn't want to face alternatives.

People have complimented us on the quality of the production of our books, and of PPC, and of course we respond with pleased looks and do indeed deserve some of the credit; but much of it is due to the people who did the actual work.

Indeed, looking back on it all, what impresses me is what a large number of people were involved in making this small enterprise work, and what a happy atmosphere of cooperation invested all its activities.


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