Feel like playing hide and seek? Take a mini-tour of Rheinfels castle in Germany. Extensive tunnels, ruins, and a gorgeous view. It’s the inspiration for the Saffron Kingdom in the #SevenKingdomsFairyTales.
Feeling cooped up? Take a mini-tour of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Germany. People have been defending this rock for 5,000 years. It’s the inspiration for Magenta Kingdom in the #SevenKingdomsFairyTales.
In earlier times, the rivers were the highways. Big and long rivers, like the Rhine River in Germany were important for delivering people and things.
[Is that why Amazon is named after a river in Brazil? I don’t know, do you?]
If you visit, you can stay at the nearby youth hostel or the YMCA hotel in another castle, high up in the village of Kaub. Down at the Rhine riverbank, you take a small ferry across to the island.
This castle is the perfect place for collecting tolls from ships bringing cargo up and down the Rhine River. If you’ve ever seen a modern tollbooth, you’ll agree that this is about the fanciest tollbooth ever!
The first tolls were collected almost 800 years ago in 1257. The castle changed hands several times and new parts were added and reinforced. The Prussians finally stopped charging ships tolls here in 1866. Since 1946, the castle belongs to the state of Rhineland Pfalz in Germany.
Tired of the view from your window? Take a mini-tour of an 800-year-old tollbooth. #SevenKingdomsFairyTales
The second book in the Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tale series is all about exploring–with a prince who has no sense of direction!
Just for fun, here are the real castles that inspired the Blackfly and the Saffron Kingdoms. LOST WITH LEEKS stars the Blackfly Prince Nero and the Saffron royal twins: Prince Magellan and Princess Saffy!
The second Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tale is almost ready!
Argh! Twelve-year-old Crown Prince Nero is lost again. That’s what he gets for trying to fly a hot air balloon. Thanks to his fairy godfather’s “gift,” every compass and map goes kerflooey as soon as Nero touches it.
Even worse, his royal mom has just kidnapped St. Nicholas. If Nero can’t find his true North in a hurry, he’ll never rescue him before St. Nicholas’s Day!
Why read Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tales?
Everyone knows the leaders of tomorrow will need lots of skills. Whether it’s speaking up at a feast, or reading a map in a strange kingdom, these Tales are all about finding more magic in your life.
For ages 9 to 12. Click HERE for more about the book, including where to order. Thank you!
A week or so ago, I went into a small toy and stationery store to make a photocopy. There was a huge sign over the door “DRUCKEREI PAFFENHOLZ” and since “Druckerei” means printer, I thought I’d find a copy shop. (LOL!)
“The office is in the back,” the salesperson told me, so we went through a door and walked past a row of large printing machines.
This wasn’t a mere copy shop.
But when I asked about a small print job, Mr. Paffenholz offered us a tour of the whole place.
Yes, please! 🙂
Later, I found out this family business has been active for 50 years! That’s a lot of paper and ink.
The first step in producing a printed book is a shoot-out: the pages are “ausgeschossen” which means literally “shooting the pages out”. It’s not the wild west, it means the pages are laid out for printing on larger sheets. Some pages are right side up and other pages are printed “standing on their heads” so that the pages will all be in the right order and orientation in the finished book.
For this, the printer uses a digital printing machine that uses the same technology as “print-on-demand” and handles very short print runs, like groups of 50 or 100. I think they also use this machine to check the incoming InDesign files and print-ready PDF files that come directly from customers or from their in-house graphic designers.
Then we toured the off-set printing process.
The next step was a machine that creates the metal plates for the four-color printing process (CMYK or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow or Key–short for Black). One aluminum plate is etched with the design for each color. Later, the metal plates are recycled.
Of course, I was trying to imagine how I could make a coffee table or something out of them, if I ever had a book printed on an off-set press! Authors are a little strange.
The next machine was shaking a stack of pages together to make them even. It’s like what you do when you bang a ream of paper on the counter to make it “square.” Every so often, the machine operator added a heavier piece of construction paper to the pile. I’m not sure if that was to separate each edition of the book being printed or if it was to weigh the other pages down.
Another machine cuts the pages to size once they’ve been shaken together.
Older machines in the back of the hall could still handle embossing, punching, glue-ing. I’m not sure if they can do Braille, maybe not.
Wouldn’t you love to have a Braille edition of your book? Oh, look what Google found for me: http://www.braillebookstore.com/Braille-Printing Now I have a new ambition. 🙂
Then we went back up to the room-sized machine that prints the CMYK colors using the metal plates created by the other machine. When the metal plates are wet, the etched design is the only thing that takes up ink. Each metal plate does one color.
The paper travels through four connected printing machines like a ticket collector going through the cars of a train. (See photo of company staff above.)
Dodging a small fork-lift, we looked at the control station where the printer adjusts the color settings until they get the effect they want.
“What do you think? A little more Cyan?”
The folding and stapling machines to make the finished brochures and booklets were last on the tour.
NOTE: I didn’t have a camera so I couldn’t take photos even though Mr. Paffenholz gave me permission. The photos here are all from the Druckerei Paffenholz website.
When I got home, I found this book, a perfect combination for a printing family that runs a toy and stationery store!
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Until December 3, 2018, use this link to sign up, so you get your free copy of TROUBLE WITH PARSNIPS. Thanks for your interest!
The Reading Wonder Giveaway for Middle Grade eBooks includes LOTS of middle grade authors, check it the whole giveaway here.
Last week, our local library visited the German publisher Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Cologne. Their offices look right out on the Cologne Cathedral. Their location next to the main Cologne rail station make it easy for their internationally renowned authors to drop by for coffee.
They have a fascinating history. I never thought about German publishers being shut down after World War II. Kiepenheuer & Witsch was one of the first to receive permission to resume publishing (because the Nazis had shut them down earlier.)
We had a tour “in publishing order” from the front desk:
to the mail room:
This place values books. I enjoyed the author portraits and sideways bookcases in the hallways:
Book covers are designed here. We were allowed to take pictures of these final versions, but the concepts for the next catalog are top secret. They publish 100 new books a year with about a dozen editors. People work hard here!
Finished books in the marketing department are ready to entice bookstore owners:
World Championship-Level Book Formatting
This book, titled simply S, by Doug Dorst and J.J. Adams, is the designer’s ultimate formatting dream. *cough* There are guides about how to read this book with notes and accessories but there was no guide for putting it together.
This book might seem like the ultimate argument for a print book, but there are ebook versions. (My head hurts thinking about it!)
If the German translation is 10 to 35% longer than the English original, that must have made the hand-lettered notes challenging:
The subtitle sums it up: First Aid for German Problems. This book calls to me. For years, my relatives and friends have been using German in ways I never learned in class. This book promises to make everything clear–in a light-hearted way.
My city library lists an edition with over 700 pages. Yikes! That’s a lotta German grammar. But I’d really love to understand why my German relatives say things the way they do.
The title means: the dative case is the death of the genitive case. A grammar murder mystery? I know–it sounds deadly–oops!
[If you’re wondering: English sort of has these “cases” but we’re not as serious about them. Dativ is somewhat like what we call indirect objects: I gave it to him. Genitiv is somewhat like using apostrophes. The author’s book.]
Kiepenheuer & Witsch’s decisions shaped the kind of publisher they have become. The tour made me think about the role of a publisher in society.
What books do you publish?
What is a “book?”
What will make readers want your books?
How will you show authors you value them?
What public conversations will you start or take part in?
Who’s going to try and shut you down?
Hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did!
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