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Lettertec nominated for prestigious printing award

Irish Printer Awards_FINALIST Jpeg

Lettertec Ireland Ltd. have been nominated in the digital print category for the book Rhymes for Remedies which they printed in summer 2013. The Irish Print Awards recognises the best of the country’s print sector and are regarded as the leading independent awards event for the Irish print industry.

Rhymes for Remedies, written by Jackie Griffin Synnott and illustrated by Paul Delaney is a colourful picture book that helps readers reference and remember basic homeopathic children’s remedies.  Paul Delaney wanted the book to “not only be enjoyable as an informative piece of writing, but also enjoyable as a piece of art.”

The book was casebound, using the company’s unique binding methods and printed on high quality paper, ensuring that the illustrations are bright and attractive. To make the book stand out more and to match the colours in the book, red end sheets were used which has received plenty of attention from readers.

Lettertec Ireland Ltd is one of Ireland’s leading design and print specialists. The company was set up in 1983, based in Carrigtohill, Co. Cork and now employs over 20 people. In recent years it has expanded into the printing and binding of books for self-published authors and small to medium sized book publishers. We are the market leader in self-publishing in Ireland.

Speaking about the nomination, Managing Director of Lettertec, Mr Frank Kelly said “it is always an honour to be nominated and to make the finals is even better. We are delighted to have produced the book which showcases our capability and promotes the Print Irish brand.”

The 36th annual Irish Print Awards will take place on Friday the 29th of November in the Crowne Plaza Dublin – Northwood.

For information on tickets please contact Denise Maguire on 01-4322238

For more information on the book and Lettertec please contact 021 4883370 or info@lettertec.com

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How I learn by Helen Bullock.

How I learn

How I learn is a collection that was put together by Cork woman/Limerick resident teacher, Helen Bullock. The cover is illustrated by Thurles woman, Rachael Cooke.

We learn something new everyday, or so the saying goes, but this new collection of personal stories proves that old adage to be true. A broad range of people inside and outside of Ireland have come together to explain what they learn and how they do it, and how we can learn from their experiences.

#HowIlearn is a crowd sourced book featuring work from teachers, pupils and life long learners. #HowIlearn looks at different learning styles and personal experiences.

Contributors include Rick O’Shea from 2fm, Catherine Cronin, lecturer in NUIG, Pam O’Brien and Bernard Goldbach lecturers in LIT Thurles and regular users of ICT and technology in learning and many more.

Proceeds from How I learn will be donated to Barnardos, a charity which all contributors felt would benefit hugely from this project. Barnardos helps and supports children and families who are most at risk. Barnardos focuses on the increased emotional well-being of the child and family as well as improving learning and development. How I learn felt that Bernardos was the ideal fit and are delighted to be able to support them in all the work that they do.

“We all learn differently and the work Helen Bullock has done in How I learn brings that to the forefront of education, How I learn is a vital reminder to educators, parents and learners alike, to find their unique learning style and embrace it.” Ciaran Cannot TD, Minister of State, Department of Education and Skills.

“How I learn is one of those brilliant and passionately put together ideas that should be recommended to everyone” Rick O’Shea, presenter 2fm.

“I think How I learn is a great initiative – showing that, with regard to education, one size does not fit all.” Hazel Larkin, Dublin, Mother of two.

“Teachers can forget their students might learn differently to themselves. This book is a collection of the varied learning styles that might surface in a classroom, and which need to be met.” Caroline Carswell of Irish Deaf Kids.

Contact: hb.bullock@gmail.com

Twitter: HowIlearn

Website: http://www.anseo-a-mhuinteoir.com

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Free bookmarks

Selfpublishbooks.ie will be rolling out some new services for our authors over the next few weeks and months. We hope that it will make the self publishing as easy as possible for writers and organisations.

The first new service we would like to announce is a free one, yes free. From now on, whenever you order your books, we will give you  free bookmarks. This can be given to your customers at book launches or at other similar events.

The bookmark has two sides to it. At the front there will be a smaller version of your book cover all in colour. At the back are our contact details, also in colour.

A simple little gift that we want to give our clients that we hope you will all like. We will also give you the bookmarks if you are coming back to us after selling your books and want a reprint.

We at selfpublishbooks.ie, hope you like them.

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Magazine admires the power behind Lettertec and Selfpublishbooks.ie

Magazine admires the power behind Lettertec and Selfpublishbooks.ie

 

Frank Kelly, Director of Letterec Ireland and the subsidiary Selfpublishbooks.ie was recently interviewed by Maeve Martin of Irish Printer Magazine.

 

print magazine

 

The following is an extract of the article.

 

It is easy to claim that your portfolio of equipment is streets ahead of your competitors. But Lettertec Ireland Ltd can actually back up their claims about the range, quality and uniqueness of the bindery equipment they have installed. Managing director Frank Kelly talks to Maeve Martin about how he is beating the recession by making state-of-the-art and strategic investment.

 

“Our portfolio of bindery equipment is second to none,” says Frank. “We had Print and Packaging Forum director Kevin Byrne at our premises recently and he was amazed by our portfolio. No one in the printing trade is investing the wayLettertec is. Our Watkiss Power Square Stitcher was the only one in the country for the past five years until recently when Modern Printers in Kilkenny invested in one. And no printer in the UK or Ireland has the configuration of our Wohlenberg 5 Clamp Binder for cold glue binding.”

 

Lettertec’s bindery department also operates an automatic casemaker forhard cover book production, a casing in machine, and a Perfecta three-knife trimmer. “All of our equipment has been purchased in the last two to three years so it is the most modern, efficient, and accurate available, as well as being at the top end of the quality spectrum,” he says. “I am a big fan of German equipment and engineering. We initially purchased the aforementioned equipment for our own work but if a commercial printer wants to have either complete lie flat books, cold glue bound for added strength, or printed books case bound, we can do it for him. Kavanaghs bookbinders in Dublin, for instance, will gather, thread sew, add end papers and trim book blocks for us to case in. So if the printer sends his books to Kavanaghs and his cover material to ourselves, we can make the cases with absolute accurate registration, and when the trimmed book blocks arrive in we can case them in. It is all automatic or semiautomatic equipment so there is no hand work and therefore the job is processed through much more quickly and with extreme accuracy. For instance, actual run times, not rated times, are as follows: we can bind 850 to 900 books per hour on the Wohlenberg, make 1,200 cases per hour on the casemaker, and then case in at a rate of 500 books per hour. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in the country to touch that throughput in terms of case bound books.”

 

Is trade work an aspect of Lettertec’s business that they are keen to build  up?

 

“‘We are getting practically no trade work as we have not sought it,” saysFrank. “However, we recently took in a job from a colleague who knows about our paperback binding capability. The job had 500 pages of content and a 35mm spine, which was too wide for the printer’s own Horizon 4 clamp perfect binder, so we Ota bound it and cold glued it. The client was delighted with the complete lie flat that we achieved on such a big book and, as a result,another job was delivered recently. There is a quick turnaround and low margin as well as other problems associated with trade work but we would certainly be willing to engage with other printers who could provide regular work and appreciated what we have and can do for them”.

 

Unique Binding Technologies The Wohlenberg 5 Clamp Binder runson cold glue with an Ota-Bind facility so it will ‘perfect bind’ books withgauze or mull around the spine. “This gives added strength to the bookblock and allows the book to “swivel” in the spine,” ‘says Frank. “The base of the book block never touches the spine, unlike hot melt perfect bound books. This gauze is hidden in the cover of the perfect bound book, and if there is no drawn on cover, we just send it over to be case bound. The ‘pull strength’ of our books has been measured by Henkel laboratories and is almost three times the minimum UK standard. To my knowledge, no other machine can offer that strength of bind. The Wohlenberg 5 Clamp Binder scores the drawn on cover in six positions, as opposed to four for a normal binder, it adds the mull or gauze, and then the book is securely bound. The spine of the book never creases, no matter how many times you open and close it, because the bookblock is ‘swivelling’ in the spine. The binder can bind 850 to 900 books per hour, depending on spine thickness. In that configuration it was a considerable investment at Stg £250,000 but it does what it says on the tin! We used to have a Kolbus DA36 back in the nineties but our new fully automatic casemaker has practically no make ready at all so it is ideal for short runs, and it is also deadly accurate. It also runs faster than the old Kolbus.” Book Printing and Publishing Book printing and publishing is a bigpart of Lettertec”s business and they have a separate dedicated website for this side of their operation – http://www.selfpublishbooks.ie. The company started offering the book printing service about three years ago as an adjunct to the main business and it has been very succesful for them. “Given the type of product we provide, secure lay flat binding with the option for small runs of case bound ‘coffee table’ type books, we do not have any real competition in our space on the printing side,'”he says. “Of course any printer with a half decent digital press and a hot melt perfect binder can produce a paperback book but there is nobody on the island of Ireland doing what we do. In fact a few weeks ago, we had visitors who flew over from the UK to see the Wohlenberg, as there are only three of these in the British Isles, ours being one, and the other two do not have our configuration. On the publishing side there is far more competition and the pity is that a lot of these companies are sending the work out of this country. I have great admiration for Dr Kevin Byrne and the Print and Packaging Forum and for what they are trying to achieve with the PrintIrish license and brand. It seems crazy that we have big binding companies flying in from the UK to see what we have here in Cork and, in the meantime, the work is going over there.” The company’s self publishing service offers a cradle to grave solution, from a template in which to start typing, through to editing, proofing and formatting, to the finished books. “A typical order might be 300 paperbacks with 50 hard bound copies for a book launch for friends and family,” says Frank. “We can run mono on our brand new Nuvera 144 from Xerox but we can also print colour or add colour pages using the latest Xerox technology with EA toners to give a completely ‘flat’ look to the colour images.”

On the general printing side

Lettertec’s range of equipment means they can supply anything from a leather bound, foil blocked and titled log book or registry book, to a full colour (with variable data) promotional piece for a marketing agency. “We have a Pfaffle automatic puncher for wire binding reports, a Heidelberg SM 52 for general stationery work, two guillotines plus the three knife trimmer, two foil blocking machines, two laminators, a small platen, five Xerox digital production engines, and much more!’ says Frank. “We also have online ordering software which allows our clients to log in, make artwork changes to PDFs on line and place orders, as well as view their transaction history.”

 

Future Growth & Investment

“I see future growth coming from the publishing side of the business right now,” says Frank. “We are always updating the ‘bucket list’ of machines that we would like to have so we are planning further investment over the next 12 months. I am optimistic about the future of our own company. There are challenges out there, such as new technologies like iPads, Kindles, e-Booksetc, but there will always be something new around the corner. You just have to find your particular niche or USP and develop that. If you do good work, people will find you.”

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The Parting by Patrick Stack

The Parting

Patrick Stack started writing at 12 after hearing a piece of verse on the black and white TV. Now he has written a full collection of poetry with Selfpublishbooks.ie - this week we asked him to share his experience.

“I’ve always had a love for the sound of language,” Patrick says. “As a child and teenager I would regularly take down one of the four volumes of The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language from the shelf in our living room and read it. This had belonged to my paternal grandfather who died when my father was 7 or 8 years old. I was enthralled by the little lithographs scattered throughout its pages to illustrate some obscure word, and fascinated by the etymological information in each entry. I was the only one who ever consulted it, and was given it to keep by my parents when I left home. My love of language has lead me speaking five languages with varying degrees of fluency. I intend learning a sixth – Korean – when time permits. It has also lead, albeit indirectly, to my working in the field of web and database programming, where I use computer languages such as html, css, php, JavaScript, and SQL.”

A poet has to take direction from other authors — we asked Patrick who he named as his idols.

“That’s a difficult one! My favourite poets during my formative period at Trinity were William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Gerard de Nerval, Guillaume Appolinaire, and Paul Eluard.
“Later on I developed a love for the Argentinian writer and poet, Jorge Luís Borges – I especially liked his short poems, but didn’t much like his longer more descriptive stuff.
“The minimalist poetry of Thomas McGreevey inspires me, as does Michael Hartnett’s Irish language poetry.”

How long was The Parting in the works? How did it begin?

“The Parting has been in the works for a long time. I have wanted to publish my own collection since I was an undergraduate in Trinity in the late 1970s, but back then there was no such thing as self-publishing (unless you count vanity publishing which was costly) and getting a poem published – never mind a collection – was a daunting prospect.
“Over the years I’ve produced several collections which, thankfully, never saw the light of day. The Parting is a compilation of the best poems that have survived from these, as well as my most recent work. The early surviving poems have undergone varying degrees of paring, pruning and gutting. One, ‘Tricolour’, has grown from a fragment (6 lines) written in 1989 shortly after I emigrated to Spain, to its final 57-line version completed in 2008 well after I had returned to Ireland.
“Coming up with an appropriate title for the collection proved a major stumbling block. With help from my daughter I eventually settled upon The Parting, given that the collection deals with many types of parting.”

Patrick is on the committee for the Three-Legged Stool Poets – we asked him how he got involved.

“The committee that runs the the Three-Legged Stool Poets has just decided to rename it 3-Legged Stool Poets, so I’ll refer to it as that from now on. It was started back in the early 2000s and came out of another group called ‘The Poetry Collective’ which was the brainchild of Arthur Watson. Arthur is still actively involved.
“Soon after I emigrated to Spain I stopped writing, and did not start again until early 2007 – a period of 16 years in the wilderness as it were! As I had not been writing or even reading poetry in all that time, I was unaware of the existence of any poetry groups in the Munster area. In 2007, I gave my first reading in 20 years in the Georgian House, Limerick as part of the Mozart and Wine fundraising night run by Summer Music on the Shannon. Although I was terrified, the reading proved to be a huge success. Barney Sheehan of the Whitehouse Poetry Revival was in the audience, and asked me to come and read at the Whitehouse, which I subsequently did. During that reading I happened to mention that I had been trying unsuccessfully to make contact with the 3-Legged Stool Poets, which I had been told about by somebody in Ennis. Unbeknownst to me, Brian Mooney happened to be there that night and came up and introduced himself. That’s how I came to join the group.
“Through my contacts in Summer Music on the Shannon, the group secured a regular monthly reading in Glór, Ennis in 2008 and that initiative is still going.”

Every poet has a favourite poem. We asked Patrick which poem he enjoyed writing most in The Parting and why?

“The first one that comes to mind is ‘Dog Burial’, followed closely by ‘Epithalamion.’ ‘Dog Burial’ has been around a long time, the first version dating back to 1979. It was written in memory of a greyhound, Millie, who was my mother’s favourite of all the greyhounds we kept, hence the dedication. Many re-writings later, it has achieved that terseness and minimalism which best expresses the grief of losing Millie and having to bury her in the orchard.
“In contrast, Epithalamion took only a few months to write, and has none of the terseness or minimalism of ‘Dog Burial.’ Instead it luxuriates in its richness of language. Writing it proved a major challenge. I was still frantically working on it in the car on the way to the wedding, and only completed it half an hour before the wedding reception at which I read it!”

Once a book is finished, the next step is to get it between two covers. But what caught Patrick’s interest in self-publishing?

“Getting a collection published by a ‘reputable’ publisher in Ireland is very difficult. And even if your work is accepted by one, the waiting time can be counted in years. An added complication for me is that my poetry is not mainstream and, I suspect, does not tick the necessary boxes to satisfy the status quo’s ideas of what constitutes acceptable poetry.
“Having acquired the skills necessary to do page layout through my years as a Desktop Publishing tutor for Clare VEC, I decided I would do just that. Some research on the web lead me to Lettertec’s website. I liked what I saw and made contact.”

We asked Patrick how he found the self-publishing process:

“The process of putting the book together was daunting, and proved to be a lot of work once I started,” Patrick says, “I used my web developer skills to help select from the 113 poems I have in an online database I set up for the purpose, and to put them in order. I adapted a jQuery re-order plugin which I attached to the database to help in getting them into the right order. This took about three weeks to do. I then used an open source Page layout program – Scribus – to put the collection together. This took about 2 months.
“The least daunting, most efficient part was the production of the finished book. All I had to do was deliver the pdfs to selfpublishbooks.ie and they did the rest. I was amazed to get delivery of the book a week ahead of schedule. That is great service!

“The finished product is excellent in every way. It is as I had imagined, only better. There is nothing to compare with the feeling of reading from your own book – it gives a feeling of confidence, of completion. It beats the hell out of reading from notebooks, loose sheets and the backs of envelopes!”

So what’s next for Patrick?

“As an active member of 3-Legged Stool Poets, I’m excited at our upcoming initiative to plunge into performance poetry for our Winter season which kicks off in October 2013.
“Besides promoting The Parting through readings and Social Media, and my website, my next project is to finish the long poem entitled ‘The Day the Revolution Came,’ which I’ve been working on for the last four years. Currently I’m about half-way through at 215 lines in 4 cantos. Once finished I will publish it as a standalone work, though the title may well change!”

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I’mHappyNow.com

imhappynow

This week Selfpublishbooks.ie sat down with Diarmuid Hudner, author of Imhappynow.com, a story of three young people who come together to overcome being bullied through the website of the same name, a site free to access here. I asked Diarmuid if he has always been writing:

“I have been writing since I was very young. I used to write poetry for a local newspaper from around the age of 15. I wanted to study English at University but at that time in Ireland it was very difficult to find any job and I ended up studying business and going abroad afterwards. I have always regretted it because it took me nearly 15 years to get back to doing what I always knew I should be doing. But I kept my hand in by writing articles for financial magazines like Investment Week and Money Marketing.”

Imhappynow.com is a huge success, as signified by Diarmuid’s upcoming radio interviews and global audience. I asked him to give a brief introduction to the book. How long was it in the works? How did it begin?

“This book is a very different move for me,” Diarmuid says, “I had just finished another book called When Leaves are Falling, which was a historical fiction novel and was already half way through a World War I book when the idea for this one came into my head. I couldn’t seem to get rid of it so I stopped what I was at and started ImHappyNow.com. I had it sitting on the shelf for a year before I decided I better start doing something about it.

“I must have been born old because I love all the historical fiction classics like Jane Austen’s books,” he says, “I find them very romantic and chivalrous. I’d live back in that time if I could!! Probably though the book that made me decide to be a writer was F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. It was able to capture the whole era of the “roaring twenties” and I loved some of the lines he had: ‘When he kissed this girl he knew his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.’ Nobody writes like that anymore.”

It seems Diarmuid has always loved writing: “For some reason it always put me at ease,” he says, “I’m a bit of a loner too so it suits my disposition!! I tend to actually write poetry for “kicks” but would never consider myself a poet. I started actually by writing a screenplay as I never thought I’d have the patience to write a novel but once I started it came naturally enough. Fear is the biggest thing that holds us back I think. Sometimes you have to just jump and hope you remembered to bring a parachute!”

I asked Diamuid what he enjoyed writing the most in Imhappynow.com and why: “I enjoyed the self reflection that was needed in order to write this type of book which was difficult in its own way. I had to question myself alot about how I was living my life and the level of happiness I had or hoped to have. It deals with some very raw issues such as bullying, alcoholism, suicide and self harming so it was traumatic in its own way. It’s actually a very simple message that you and only you are in charge of your own happiness.

“Meeting people with very different kinds of problems from self harmers to those who had attempted suicide was also a great learning curve for me and the realisation that fundamentally we all think the same and are searching for the same thing. Probably the biggest plus of the whole experience was to actually make the fiction book a reality by developing a website called Imhappynow.com to offer hope to anyone who is finding things a little difficult by seeing that they are not alone.”

Diarmuid explained that he had to carefully search the market before choosing self-publishing:

“I was Chairman of the Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival and I was running some workshops and began talking to more and more people who had gone down the self-publishing route. I have learned from my days in business that the market always decides and self-publishing has arisen from the traditional publishing world becoming a very closed sector. I looked at the statistics and weighed everything up before I decided to go down this route. It was daunting as I had two offers from publishers to publish my book but decided to self publish anyway as I felt I was more in control. Twenty percent of the top ten bestsellers last year were self published so it has established itself in its own right.

“It was daunting at first but I took very much a business approach to it. I researched the companies who were in the industry, got quotes and examples of their work etc. It is important to keep in mind that they are not editors or marketers of your book. That is up to you so you really have to work out whether you want to make your book commercial or not. If so then you have to figure out the process of achieving that. I think you get what you put into it but if the desire is there then help seems to appear.”

I asked Diarmuid how he found the finished product from Selfpublishbooks.ie – was it as he had imagined?

“I was hugely impressed by Selfpublishbooks.ie and the lady, Sharon, that I was dealing with there. She was very efficient, helpful, informative and professional. She must also be very patient as I can be a bit of a pain to deal with I’d say!! The graphic designer, Shelley O’Reilly, was excellent too in taking the concept of my book and making it a reality. Overall I would highly recommend Selfpublishing.ie and will be back to them with my second book.”

What’s next for Diarmuid? “Well I’m developing the website imhappynow.com which goes in tandem with this book at the moment so that’s keeping me busy. I have another book finished, When Leaves are Falling, which is more of a Jane Austen-type book and more natural to my writing style I think. I half to begin the painful job of editing that which is a “cobweb growing over face” experience but it has to be done. I have to finish the World War I book and then I might do a follow up to this one so no holidays again for me this year!”

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My Watchmaker’s Time by Joe Clarke

Watchmakers Time A5 CoverHR

Joe Clarke’s first novel, Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies, was almost 6 years in the making having undergone a series of rewrites in the process. His latest publication, My Watchmaker’s Time, followed along in a similar vein although taking a year or so less to complete. This week I had a quick chat with Joe about his new novel from Selfpublishbooks.ie.

“Once finished I had no real ambition to publish either works but subsequently gave in to family promptings,” Joe said, “I felt, at the time, that something as beautiful as the written word, especially in book form, was a fitting legacy and I am very proud of what I have achieved thus far.”

Following on and prior to his early retirement Joe also dabbled with poetry, writing scores of poems along the way.
“I love the simplicity of telling complexed stories in just a few rhyming verses,” Joe admits, “Occasionally I target the humour of topically funny stories via my email inbox or headline banners and make them real. I believe that poetry is as complicated or as simple as the writer cares to make it. I have written poems about life, death, love and hate with more than a sprinkling of adventure thrown in. When I eventually reach the milestone of having written 250 poems I will then seriously consider publishing them in their entirety. Prose versus Poetry is such a tight call for me simply because both play such a huge part in my life. I’d say the one starting with the letter ‘P’ wins hands down.”

 

What was it in this second novel that kept him engaged? “I really enjoyed writing My Watchmaker’s Time as it gave me the opportunity to think outside the box, steering away from the conventional,” he maintains, “The novel is made up of a series of short stories spanning centuries. It revolves around the life of Bryan Barnett, a pretty regular type of guy, who must seek his redemption through a series of tasks set up by a Higher Power. My favourite chapter tells the tale of Abe and Lucy, a pair of young ambitious hopefuls, during the great ‘Californian Gold Rush’ of 1849. Their original naivety in searching for gold saw them swiftly change direction when they accidentally struck rich. Setting up a series of hardware stores throughout the States brought more wealth than they at first had imagined. It’s a gripping story of rags to riches that more than just pulls at the heart strings. Really one to enjoy!”

 

How does My Watchmaker’s Time compare to Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies? Joe pauses on this. “To stand back and compare both books is very difficult to do, given their diversity. Aesthetically, both compare equally well although I will always have a special fondness for my first book, which is understandable, I suppose. I would like to once again thank Selfpublishbooks.ie for making my words come to life in the form of an exquisite book. Special thanks go to Shelley O’Reilly for the fantastic work done in producing such a stunning cover. Huge thanks also to my wife Terry for her support throughout. Without all of your help it would be but just a dream.”

 

So what’s next for Joe? “I am currently working on my third novel, The Case of the Missing Letter, a detective story with many twists and turns. It’s shaping very good at the moment but is still someway from completion. When inspiration isn’t there, you know, it just isn’t there and right now I am in that place, time for golf? I have no doubt that a few weeks away from the computer and on the golf course will do the trick, yet again. Funny old game this writing!”

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