How a Book Is Made

I loved the details of this fascinating, interactive photographic essay by Elizabeth A. Harris (The New York Times)—with photography and video by Thomas Prior—on how a book is made. Harris chose Marlon James’s Moon Witch, Spider King for this spectacular tour through the book-making process. See the link below to the full article: “How a Book Is Made: Ink, Paper and a 200,000-Pound Printer.”

It started as a Word document, pecked out letter by letter at a dining room table in Connecticut.

Now, it is 150,000 copies of a 626-page book called “Moon Witch, Spider King,” with a luminous cover that glows with neon pinks and greens.

While digital media completely upended industries like music, movies and newspapers, most publishers and authors still make the bulk of their money from selling bound stacks of paper.

Here, we will show you how vats of ink and 800-pound rolls of paper become a printed book.

The title we will follow on its journey is “Moon Witch, Spider King,” a fantastical epic that draws on African mythology, the second book in a trilogy by Marlon James.

Let’s watch this book get born.

See full photo-essay at

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