About Us, Additional Services, Marketing

What’s New for Gorham Printing in 2021

It seems as if the world around us changes faster and faster these days. Here at Gorham Printing, we have been working on finding new techniques, tools, knowledge, products and features to help you on your publishing journey. Right now, we have some big news we would like to share with you!

self publishing guidebook

Updated 2021 Guidebook

We would like to announce that our brand new guidebook, Journey Into Self-Publishing, is now available! The new guidebook is made free for authors at any stage of the publishing journey. It covers editing, designing, printing and marketing your book. The guidebook includes a Quick Reference page in the front of the book with an author’s checklist to help you track your progress. Here are a few more things you will see in the guidebook:

  • The new editing section details different types of editing. It has tips on how to do it yourself and what to look for when hiring a professional. It also has information on important publishing numbers such as ISBNs.
  • The new design section includes tips for designing the book yourself and showcases our new design packages. From choosing a program or choosing a font, we have tips for all stages of DIY book design. If you are looking for professional design services, we offer new design packages that fit any author or genre. Check out the new design packages in the guidebook or right now under our Design Services.
  • The print your book section includes example pricing, new promotional programs and new premium add-ons now available. We have added a full page to show off our new premium features and if you haven’t seen it yet, we have added a new section in our Get a Price tool that allows you to select some of our premium add-ons! These include:
    • 3D Spot UV
    • Interior Foldouts
    • CD Inserts
    • Metallic Printing
    • Inside Cover Printing
  • eBook conversions can now be purchased as a standalone service using our eBook Get a Price Tool. Check out the new guidebook to find a first time eBook conversion discount code.
  • The new marketing section will help you price your book. This can be found in the Marketing Your Book section along with other new tips and tricks to get your book out into the world.

Now through June 30th, we are also offering a promotional deal of Free Shipping! For orders of 100 books or more going to one destination, we will pay for your shipping cost. This includes USPS Media Mail and UPS Ground to all 50 states. Start your order today to take advantage and let us make your books a bit lighter.

Even if you’ve received our guidebook before, you can still be one of the first to receive Journey Into Self-Publishing. Order your physical copy or download the PDF instantly.

Our expert team will be writing new blogs each month to give you insight on new techniques and book printing knowledge! Subscribe to the Newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out!

Additional Services, Book production, Design

How to Craft the Perfect Foil Stamp Book Cover

Foil stamping is one of the oldest methods in the world to make a book shine, and it’s one of my favorites. Used for hundreds of years, foil stamping can be found anywhere from traditional, high-end books to new and innovative cover designs.

What is foil stamping?

Foil stamping is the process where hot metal foil is pressed into the cover of a book using a stamp. You might hear it called foiling, embossing, debossing, or stamping.

How are books foil stamped?

Foil stamping starts with what we call the die. For our dies, we use solid copper created in the exact shape of your design.

book design foil stamp

When it’s time to stamp your books, hot metal foil will be put on the die, and then the die will be pressed hard into the cover of your book. The heat and pressure make the metal foil stick to the book permanently. 

Because we create a custom die for each book order, you can stamp anything you want on your books. You have an unlimited choice of fonts, designs, illustrations and choices. I love this because it gives each author a chance to make their book look unique. Seeing the new foil stamp designs is one of my favorite things!

Sometimes we receive a stamp design and know immediately it’s not going to get great results. Because we care about the quality of your books, we’ll always make sure to let you know if something looks off with the foil stamp. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re daydreaming about your design.

Three tricks for excellent foil stamping

  1. Use thick lines or thin lines, but not both.

The thicker a line is on a foil stamp, the harder the stamp has to be pressed into the book. When thick and thin lines are mixed, the thinner lines are pressed so hard that they expand and obliterate the design.

foil stamp cover example

This foil stamp uses text and a signature, and keeps the line thickness in the same range. As a result, all of the lines are crisp, none of them are muddied, and the stamp looks refined and classic.

2. Watch out for the small stuff—literally.

When it comes to printing your book, small details are no problem. You can include small fonts, little lines, and all the details in the world, and your book will still look fantastic. But because foil stamping is pressed, not printed, those small details have a tendency to change from intricate designs to messy blobs. The smaller the detail, the more likely this is to happen.

foil stamp closeup

This doesn’t mean you can’t have small details. This book has plenty of small lines and dots, and ends up looking fantastic—it’s one of my favorites from 2021 so far. The key thing here is that there’s room for those lines to grow without bumping into each other. A great foil stamp design is one that has medium to large font and good spacing between details.

3. It can be complex—but it doesn’t have to be.

Simple doesn’t mean boring. These books used different approaches—one an image, and one a simple title with matte black foil—to create book covers that would pop out on any shelf. The foil stamp for your cover can be anything you want, but the best foil stamps are designed with simplicity in mind. This lets the cover design shine.

Designing for Foil Stamping

If you do have a complex design, or your design absolutely needs multiple colors and intricate detailing, don’t give up hope. A printed hardcover with 3D Spot UV is a great alternative when a foil stamping design doesn’t fit.

Ultimately, the thing that sets great foil stamping designs apart is that they’ve clearly been created with foil stamping in mind. When an author is writing a book, they’re spending a lot of time in the digital world, worrying about commas, plot points, sentence structure, and how to get Microsoft Word to mirror their margins. When it’s time to print the book, some authors make the mistake of staying in that digital world. But a book is more than the files you send in; it’s a physical object, and things like fabric choice, paper stocks, and line size play a big part in how the final books feel.

foil stamp book examples

I recommend taking some time to peruse a couple books at your local bookstore. Peek under the dust jackets of your favorite hardcovers or grab a new softcover book and you’ll find stunning foil stamping waiting for you. As you take a look at what other authors have done, you’ll have even more inspiration for what you’d like to do.

ebook conversion service
Additional Services, Book Printing Cost, Design, Page Layout, Reading, Self Publishing

Understanding the Difference Between eBooks vs. PDFs

Ever since their rise to popularity in the early 2010s, eBooks have dramatically changed the way we read, share and enjoy our favorite books. In 2018, e-book sales accounted for roughly a quarter of global book sales, further cementing their place in the growing market of readers.

While printed book sales continue to rise in 2018 and beyond, eBooks still play an important role in the marketing strategies of many self-published and indie authors. eBooks represent a nearly unlimited resource for authors, requiring no investment beyond the initial conversion cost. In other words, your eBook sales will always perfectly match your demand.

ebook conversion service

But what is an eBook, and what makes it different than a PDF?

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a common file type that can be easily downloaded, shared and read across a wide range of computers and monitors. Most documents can be converted into PDFs using standard text editing programs, such as Word or InDesign.

However, PDFs lack many of the quality-of-life features of your standard eBook file. The two most common file types for eBooks are Mobi and ePub. Mobi files are required by Kindle and Amazon devices. ePub files are accepted by most other online booksellers, including Google Play and Barnes & Noble.

Both Mobi and ePub files are specifically designed to be read on an e-reader or tablet. As such, they’re equipped with some convenient features, including:

1. Linking

eBook files are an HTML-based format, meaning they may contain links within the text. This allows readers to quickly navigate between sections of the book, from the index to relevant pages, or out to separate websites. This is especially handy for textbooks and guides, which may contain reference notes.

2. Reflowable Text

eBooks text will “reflow” depending on the viewing window. This allows eBooks to be conveniently read on multiple devices and sizes, including tablets, phones and computers.

3. Pagination

With reflowable text, the total page count of your book will increase or decrease depending on the window size of your device. Publishers handle this differently; some embed pages to match the print or PDF version, and some leave them out entirely. As such, some eBooks will not display a page number and will instead allow users to jump directly to chapters using the Table of Contents.

In some instances, however, you will not want your page count to change, as in the case of some academic books with chapter or section citations. In these cases, PDFs are often the preferred format as they will lock in your total page count.

online ebook conversion

4. Accessibility

For impaired readers, eBooks give users the ability to modify the appearance of the content on their device, making them much more accessible than a PDF. Features, such as font style and font size, can be easily modified on the fly to meet the reader’s needs.

5. Zoom In/Out

Unlike PDFs, eBook files do not have a zoom in/out tool. Instead, users can customize the font size of their books using their device, and the text will automatically reflow to fill their screen.

6. Advanced Features

In addition to the above features, eBooks can incorporate many advance features, including:

  • Video — embed a video that your reader can watch.
  • Audio — enhance your message by including audio recordings in your content
  • Gallery — your readers can swipe through an entire collection of images with captions instead of navigating through pages to find them.
  • Read-aloud — make certain words, sentences, or paragraphs of an ebook read aloud to the reader. This can be useful when reading to children.
  • Multi-column Layout — add visual appeal to your content with multiple columns.
  • Pop-over — this feature enables the readers to access another window that contains additional information, data, or another image to give more context about the selected image with just a tap.
  • Scrolling Sidebar — insert relevant information and topics into a scrolling sidebar so readers can view additional or explanatory material without ever leaving the page.
  • Interactive Image — incorporate callouts and pan-and-zoom features to your images.
  • Reviews — let the readers review their knowledge using different types of tests such as multiple choice, select correct image, label the image, or a mix of all three. Authors can include up to six possible answers to each question.
  • 3D Images — instead of just seeing flat images on your ebook, your readers can interact with 3D objects by touch.
  • Keynote Presentations — browse presentations with custom animations right inside your ebook. This feature includes controls for slide navigation as well as optional auto-play presentations.

how to make an ebook

What’s the difference between a “classic” and “fixed-layout” eBook?

A classic ePub or Mobi file has flowable text so it can be read on any device using the reader’s preference for font size and styles. There are no official pages because the  text flows into each device differently, much like a web page. With this kind of eBook, the reader has more control over the reader experience. The classic-layout is less expensive than the fixed layout because less attention is paid to the look of the pages.

A classic ebook layout is ideal if:

  • Your book is mostly text (such as a novel)
  • Your book uses only small images that are embedded between paragraphs

A fixed-layout ebook does not reflow

because each page is locked in place, much like in the pages of a printed book. This type of eBook is ideal when pages rely heavily on images or formatting, such as with children’s books, cookbooks or books with detailed layouts. The reader has less control over his/her reading experience other than the ability to zoom in/out. Fixed-layout eBooks are more expensive than classic eBooks because they require extra attention during the conversion process to maintain the design.

A fixed-layout eBook is ideal if:

  • You want to preserve the look of your pages
  • You want your book to have a horizontal orientation
  • You want multi-column text pages

Learn more about our eBook conversion service to find out how to get an eBook copy of your book.

Additional Services, Marketing, Self Publishing, Social Media

How to Sell Your Self-Published Book Online in 6 Steps

In 2018, the debate is pretty much over; online sales are a key component of any self-published author’s book marketing campaign.

But for authors, who often prefer to be between the pages of a book than on the internet, it can be daunting for someone with little technical experience to break into the sphere of digital marketing. Fortunately, the internet’s ongoing shift towards user-friendliness has given authors more tools than ever to market and sell their book online.

dreamstime_s_55718231

Even if you have little to no technical experience, these six steps can go a long way to increasing your online book sales.

1. Have a website

Convenience is king. In the increasingly saturated online marketplace, customers need a quick way to browse and purchase your book.

A website acts as a “home” for your book. It’s the place where all of your marketing efforts eventually lead back to. Ideally you’ll want a website with a checkout cart that will allow customers to order your books online. By reducing that number of steps needed to buy your book, you significantly reduce the chance that a customer might distract him/herself from making a purchase.

sales tools sell your book online

Creating, hosting and maintaining a website can often be an expensive endeavor. However, a growing trend in online marketing is to utilize a template website service, which will create and host your website for you.

Looking to service independent authors, we at Gorham Printing recently relaunched our Sales Tools service. Sales Tools supplies authors with a one-page, customizable web store where customers can browse, share and buy their books.

2. Write some blog articles

Imagine this: your book is finally finished. You’ve spent months, maybe years, writing, editing and perfecting it. Then someone comes in and tells you that you have more writing to do.

Blogs keep the conversation about your book going long after its publication. They are a great way to promote upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking events.

Write blogs to inspire discussion among your readers. Write an article about your writing process or a character’s intentions, and let your followers carry the discussion from there.

3. Host an online launch party

Launch parties are a great way to kick off your book release with some momentum. But what if I told you that you could have hundreds of attendees without any of them having to leave their houses?

Online launch parties make it convenient for readers to participate in your release. Often times these launches are paired with giveaways that incentive users to like, comment and share your content. Many authors choose to give away signed copies of their book.

how to sell your self-published book online in 2018

4. Start a newsletter

The quickest way to a customer’s heart is email. A newsletter starts by asking your readers for their email in exchange for relevant and interesting content. Prepare a content calendar following the release of your book with interesting blog articles, event invitations and anything else your readers might find interesting.

5. Create a social media business page for your book

Social media is no place to be shy. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are finely tuned to make sharing content quick and easy.

Beyond just sharing content on your personal profiles, consider creating a business account page for your book or publishing group. This will allow you to gain followers specific to your book without diluting its content with your personal information.

6. Contact popular bloggers for reviews

You don’t have to do all that sharing on your own. There are scores of book review bloggers and websites that are hungry for new content.

Start by looking for local reviewers, who would jump at the chance to feature an up-and-coming local author. From there, expand your search to include bigger bloggers. Even a 140-character mention from a popular reviewer can skyrocket your popularity.

While these online marketing strategies can’t guarantee a successful release, by increasing your online presence you can continue to stay relevant on the minds of your readers long after your books’ release.