Book production, Marketing, Self Publishing

The Anatomy of a Barcode

If you’ve ever attempted to publish your own book, you’ve likely had to deal with barcodes at some point. A barcode is a graphic of vertical lines that can be scanned for sales or inventory. The ISBN number is used to create the barcode, but the number and the barcode are two separate things.

Why do you need an ISBN?

If you put your book out there for sale it is important to identify it uniquely. An ISBN acts like a social security number for your book.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies your book. If you plan to sell your printed books or ebooks through booksellers, it is recommended to purchase an ISBN for each edition, for example, one each for hardcover, softcover, and ebooks.

If your book will be sold primarily to family and friends, through your website or by back-of-the-room sales, an ISBN is not necessary. Visit www.myidentifiers.com to purchase your ISBNs.

The Anatomy of a Barcode

The Anatomy of a Barcode

To learn more about ISBNs and barcodes and how they relate to book publishing, check out our article on the subject.

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womens history local authors
Community, Links, Local authors, Reading, Self Publishing, Writing

Gorham Printing Celebrates Women’s History Month

Happy National Women’s History Month! To celebrate women and their contribution to history, culture and society, we wanted to give recognition to some of our favorite women authors and publishers that we have had the great pleasure of working with at Gorham Printing.

Red Letter Press and Helen Gilbert

Red Letter Press publishes books and pamphlets to inform and arm today’s activists with the ideas, experiences and history of radical and working class women and men, people of color and sexual minorities, and others in the global movement for social change.

High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light

A compelling account of pioneering electrical tradeswomen who put their bodies on the line to break into all-male, largely white electrical trades. By Ellie Belew.

Permanent Revolution & Results and Prospects

Trotsky’s classic work on workers’ power, internationalism, social transformation and the transition to socialism. Includes new introduction, index, and glossary.

Uplifting Dreams by Judy Glenney

WEIGHTLIFTING is something women aren’t supposed to do and they certainly don’t belong in the weight room.” The naysayers’ words kept clanging in her head. What were women supposed to do? Why couldn’t they lift weights? Grappling to find answers to these questions, Judy Glenney was torn between her passion of weightlifting and what others expected her to be…

“This remarkable woman is a humble human being and a credit to our sport who from day one never gave up her dream of the ladies being in the Olympic Games, on an equal footing with the men.”

– MURRAY LEVIN, Past President, Pan American Weightlifting Association

Clara Did the Work by Courtney Clements

In nine diaries written between 1872 and 1891, Mary Ann Porter Harrington provided a detailed look at daily life on her central Massachusetts farm…Throughout the diaries, Mary Ann described her daily chores, meals, errands, social calls, and correspondence. After the death of her husband in 1875, she devoted more of her time and attention to managing her farm and finances.

Community, Events, Local authors

Olympia High School Students Showcase Their Talent in 2019 Literary Journal

Sanctuary5
Cover design for Sanctuary. Artwork by Zoe Wiley.

In the early hours of Friday morning, students crowded the Olympia High School library to share pizza and celebrate the unveiling of the 2019 literary magazine, Sanctuary. Featuring over 100 pieces of original prose, poetry and artwork, Sanctuary celebrates the talent and craftsmanship of Olympia’s young artists.

The unveiling concludes the year-long efforts of the school’s student-led literary club. To accomplish their task, club members were divided into groups, each charged with a different facet of the publishing process, including fundraising, layout and design. This year’s editors faced the particularly difficult task of narrowing down over 500 submissions.

Club presidents Emily Hoppe and Maisy Maclay kicked off the event by inviting students to read excerpts from their work. Readers took turns in front of the room, showcasing the magazine’s electric range of subject matters and styles.

Sanctuary3
Student writer Haily O’Hara reads her submission to celebrate the unveiling.

“The name Sanctuary represents what we want the book to be for students,” said co-president Emily Hoppe. “We want the magazine to be a safe space for students to express themselves.”

The magazine not only serves as a creative outlet for students but also offers real-world industry experience. Several club members expressed hopes of applying the editing and design skills they learned while working on the magazine towards their portfolios and future careers.

“What makes this year’s magazine special is that I didn’t have to do anything,” said Carolyn Gilman, an OHS English teacher who serves as the magazine’s advisor. “The students really did everything, from editing to design to judging the submissions.”

Sanctuary4
This year’s magazine was the first to feature full-color artwork. Artwork by Maggie Koontz.

Local book printer, Gorham Printing, helped sponsor the publication by donating 100 free copies towards the magazine’s 250 print run. As part of the publication process, students were invited to tour Gorham Printing’s print shop to learn more about the equipment and procedures used to print the magazine.

Free copies of Sanctuary were distributed to students who had their work featured in the magazine. Additional copies are set to go on sale for $10 at local bookstores and the school’s annual craft fair. Those interested in purchasing a copy can also do so via email by contacting: olyliterarymagazine@gmail.com.

Sanctuary1
From left: Club advisor Carolyn Gilman. Editors in Chief Emily Hoppe and Maisie Maclay. Interior Designer Jupiter Kenser.

The day concluded with books being exchanged for signatures. It was a bittersweet moment for co-presidents Emily Hoppe and Maisy Maclay, who are both set to graduate at the end of this year.  Together they hope to pass their knowledge and experience to next year’s editing team, ensuring that the magazine’s tradition will continue for years to come.

types of paper stock
Book Printing Cost, Book production, Cost, Design, Self Publishing

How to Choose the Best Paper Stock for Your Book’s Interior

What paper should I use for the interior of my book?

With the amount of time it takes to write, edit and perfect a book, it’s easy to understand why paper stock is a commonly overlooked aspect of book making. In addition to pricing, paper stock plays an important role in how a reader approaches your book.

The best way to understand paper stock is to divide it into categories. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the paper stocks commonly used by industry book printers for interior pages.

interior-paper-stock-book-printing

Coated Paper vs. Uncoated Paper

One of the first choices authors are faced with when choosing a paper stock is coated versus uncoated. As the name suggests, coated paper is paper that has been coated with a mixture of materials or a polymer. With toner-based printers, the image quality of coated and uncoated paper is virtually the same.

Depending on the type of coating, coated paper can take on a number of textures and finishes but in most cases will have a less porous, waxier surface than standard, uncoated paper. Common finishes include:

  • Dull: Also known silk, dull coating is a non-reflective finish that gives your pages a softer look and feel.
  • Glossy: This reflective coating can add a level of pop to images in color, making it a great option for art or photography books.

However, coated paper also has its drawbacks. Coated paper does not adhere well to the standard adhesive used in softcover book binding. A somewhat more expensive PUR adhesive option must be used. The weight of the book can also become a factor. Typically, using a coated sheet will add about 30% to the overall weight of the book making it more expensive to ship as well as slightly more awkward in the reader’s hands  Additionally, coated paper’s somewhat reflective surface makes it both difficult to write on and hard to read in harsh lighting due to glare.

Uncoated paper, on the other hand, is the popular choice for softcovers (paperbacks) and most text-based books, such as novels, textbooks and journals. This option imparts a more traditional look and feel to your pages. Uncoated paper typically offers a wide range of textures and colors to choose from and is the best option if you intend readers to write or make notes in your book.

White Paper vs. Natural Paper

Many people assume that paper is naturally white; however, this is not the case. The wood pulp commonly used to make paper undergoes a bleaching process, which determines the color and brightness of the paper. Brightness refers to amount of incident light reflected from paper under normal lighting conditions.

Most printers will offer both white and natural uncoated paper options. Also known as “warm white,” natural paper is a minimally bleached paper type that appears cream in color. This is a great choice for authors wanting to convey a softer or historical feeling with their books.

Alternatively, the color of white paper can be compared to that of the copy paper used by most home printers. This paper color provides the most contrast for black/white text, making it a popular color choice for most books today.

types of paper stock

Choosing Your Paper Weight

For the purposes of book printing, uncoated paper is typically offered in weights between 50lb and 80lb. For reference, 50lb uncoated paper can be compared to the weight of standard 20lb bond copy paper used at home. Deciding the best paper weight for your book depends on a number of factors:

  • 50lb Uncoated: At the lowest weight, 50lb uncoated paper is the best option for conserving spine width and thickness. This weight is commonly used in textbooks, manuals or books with ~600+ pages.
  • 60lb Uncoated: This weight is the most popular paper stock choice and often considered the “sweet spot” for most books. 60lb paper is strong enough to protect your book and flexible enough to be held comfortably for long periods at a time.
  • 70lb Uncoated: Being slightly more opaque than traditional stock, 70lb paper helps prevent your book’s content from being seen through your pages. This is especially useful for books with a lot of color images.
  • 80lb Uncoated: Typically the thickest option available, this sturdy weight paper should be considered for image-heavy books with low page counts, such as photography and art books. However, books using this weight will be slightly stiffer and more difficult to hold open.

Coated paper is usually offered in 80lb or 100lb options. As with uncoated paper, the best choice is determined by the intended purpose of the book. Lower weights offer higher flexibility and reduced thickness. Higher weights increase both your pages’ opacity and durability.

Other Considerations

In addition to the above qualities, you may also want to consider:

  • Sourcing: More and more book authors are looking for printers that use responsibly sourced paper. Consider choosing a paper stock that is either Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certified, or Rainforest Alliance Certified.
  • Acid-free: In the past, the acidic qualities of the wood pulp used to make paper caused pages to naturally yellow and deteriorate over time. Today’s paper is in most cases acid-free due to a shift in the fillers used in the paper making process. Average paper grade has a life expectancy of 500 years. Higher grades of acid-free paper, sometimes known as archival quality paper, have a life expectancy of 1000 years. Paper at this level will often be made from acid-free cotton pulp.

Knowing more about paper types allows authors to be creative with their choices. Take a few minutes to explore the custom options available in our quote generator to see styles and pricing for your next book.

Contact us to request a free paper sample booklet