Community, Design, Local authors, Self Publishing

Gorham Printing Honors Our Veterans

Here at Gorham Printing, we take special note of Veteran’s Day. We have printed dozens of veterans’ memoirs over the course of our time in business, and we believe it is some of the most important work we do. We’d like to take a moment to showcase a few examples in addition to thanking all our veterans for their service to our country.IMG_0637

In 2014, retired Master Chief Petty Officer Peter Slempa brought his story to our shop with the help of local personal historian Julie MacDonald Zander. A Pennsylvania native, Pete Slempa served in the Navy aboard the USS Worcester CL-144 before qualifying for an underwater demolition team. He became a plank owner and first master chief of SEAL Team One, and served six tours in Vietnam. His memoir, Why Me, Lord? chronicles his life of service, including multiple near-death experiences. Earlier this year, we had the privilege of working with Officer Slempa again when he brought us his first novel, Ten Minus Nine Equals One Half.

Julie MacDonald Zander has had a hand in preserving the stories of dozens of veterans. She helped Lee Grimes tell the story of the founding of Lewis County’s Veterans Memorial Museum, now captured in the pages of the hardcover book, The Miracle Museum. Mr. Grimes conceived of the veterans museum in 1995 after a spiritual encounter, and realized his call to gather and preserve IMG_0638the stories of our veterans. The museum also serves as a community meeting space for local veterans to socialize, and seek support and healing. Copies of this book as well as Officer Slempa’s titles are available for sale here. You can learn more about the museum on their website,

Gathering and preserving the stories of our local veterans makes up a significant part of the work done by Legacy Washington, a project run by the Secretary of State’s office just 30 minutes north of us in Olympia. Their big publication this fall was Korea 65: The Forgotten War Remembered. This 180-page 8×10” softcover commemorates the 65th anniversary of the “shaky armistice” that marked the end of the war on the Korean Peninsula that took the lives of 532 Washingtonians. John Hughes, Lori Larson, and several other members of the Secretary’s office have done and IMG_0639continue to do incredible work to make sure that our veteran’s stories are not forgotten. You can buy copies of Korea 65 as well as Washington Remembers World War II (2016) in Legacy Washington’s online bookstore.

We take a tremendous amount of pride in the work we do for veterans and the people who’ve committed themselves to preserving their legacies. We get to do this work year-round, and we always do it with gratitude, but today and tomorrow are special days set aside for deep reflection of and gratitude for the countrymen who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom.

From all the hearts at Gorham Printing, thank you.

Community, Events, Local authors, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing

National Encourage a Young Writer Day is April 10th!

The crew at Gorham Printing was excited to learn that Encourage a Young Writer Day is a thing, and it’s right around the corner! Monday April 10th is a day marked to let any young writer in your life know that they should keep up the good work.

We participate in and support many young writers and literacy projects in our community. Last year we sponsored a young writer contest in affiliation with the Roosevelt Elementary Read-a-Thon, and we’re doing it again this year. Last year Arianna’s The Girl Who Saved a Dinosaur was a hit in our shop. A winner has been chosen for this year and we can’t wait see his story (we’ve heard it’s about a ninja pig!).

Last spring we also sponsored the printing of the Olympia High School Literary Press anthology, Attic. This anthology showcases the talents of English classes at Olympia High School and pairs it with submissions from the art department. Students solicit and gather submissions, curate and edit the content, then design and promote their book.

A few of the local colleges hire us print anthologies and other projects, too. South Puget Sound Community College printed their annual literary anthology, The Percival Review, with us last spring. We print The Evergreen State College’s Vanishing Point anthology, too, along with collections of student work from various creative writing courses.

We even have one young author who published Small Stories, an adorable 5×5” collection. Hadley Stanfill’s mom Laura is the editor in chief at Forest Avenue Press and we take great pride in helping her encourage her daughter to write and publish!

Young Writers

Do you know a young writer? Whether they’re a college student studying creative writing in an undergraduate program or a third grader writing stories in their journal, let them know you support and admire their efforts as a growing artist.

And if you happen to know a young writer who has a story they want to turn into a book, let them know Gorham Printing is here to help!





Book production, Cost, Links, Local authors, Marketing, Self Publishing, Social Media

Need to pay for your book project? Try crowdfunding!

We’ve seen many authors and artists come through our shop who have used a crowdfunding website to fund the cost of publishing their books. What is a crowdfunding website? It’s a website that exists as a platform to help people who have an idea, but need dollars to make the idea a reality. In our line of work, that idea is a book.

Listing your project on a crowdfunding website is also a great way to test the market’s interest in your book before it’s published. It will help you start thinking about the niche your book will fill. If you can successfully generate buzz for the concept of your book on a crowdfunding platform, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy some traction with your marketing efforts once the book is published.

The most commonly-used crowdfunding website is Kickstarter. Here is a link to their handbook to get you started, and a few tips to help along the way:

  • Backing others helps you learn the ropes and get a feel for the Kickstarter community.
  • Set up your payment options in advance so you are ready to accept funds on day one.
  • Be clear on discounts and perks – and get creative!
  • Aim high when setting your dollar amount, but not so high you can’t meet your goal and cash in.
  • Tell the story of your book, and consider making a video.
  • Answer all backer questions. They are supporting your efforts!
  • Use a simple analytics tracker to learn more about your readers.

Time to get inspired! Here are a few authors we know used Kickstarter to fund their book projects, then hired us to print them.

Bard_Hey Baby


Breena Bard, a Portland, Oregon-based cartoonist and graphic novelist released “Hey Baby,” a 6.5×8.5″ softcover, in summer 2016.

Breena’s Kickstarter








Margaret Davis, another Portland-based writer and book artist, funded “China Under the Covers” this past winter.

Margaret’s Kickstarter





Adobe Photoshop PDF



Olympia-based fungi enthusiast Ellen King Rice funded her novel “The Evo Angel” in 2015 for publication in spring 2016.

Ellen’s Kickstarter





Back in 2014, Peter Donahue funded a beautiful full-color, full-size landscape hardcover book complete with custom-printed end sheets and a matte-laminated dust jacket for the first volume of his popular “Rudek and the Bear” comic collection. As one of his Kickstarter pledge prizes, Peter drew any supporter who pledged $35 or more into the style of his characters and added it as a spread in the beginning of his book.


Peter’s Kickstarter

Peter’s ongoing web comic:

Test the waters for your book project! Try crowdfunding!

Community, Design, Events, Local authors, Marketing, Reading, Self Publishing, Social Media

Promoting Your Book at the Library

Are you looking for new ways to promote your book? Libraries are a great place to gain new readers and connect directly with your target audience.

Consider approaching your local library to set up a speaking engagement. If the library is interested in hosting your reading, they’ll likely put you on their event calendar so you can generate interest ahead of time. Ask if you can register the event on any other community event calendars, or with local special interest groups that might be interested in your topic.

The promotional tools an event like this can offer don’t stop there. The library might announce your reading on their social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to continue to share these event announcements, and encourage your friends and followers to share them too. The library might even have event posters printed, so ask if you can have a few to post around your community.ray_biko-frontcover-for-web

Many of our self-published authors give talks throughout their local library systems. In fact, we have a few regional authors with library events coming up!

The Naselle Timberland Library will host Laura Ray, author of Because of Biko, this Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00 PM. Laura will read from her book, which tells the story of her travels in Africa, and a discussion and book signing will follow.fateful-fourth-cover

On Saturday, March 4th, local author and historian Russell Holter will talk about his recently-published title, The Fateful Forth: The Story of America’s Worst Trolley Disaster at the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library at 2:00 PM. A book sale and signing will follow. Russell’s book is part of our History Book Program, so you can order a copy online!

Author and Life Coach Anatha Attar will host a workshop title Tarot: A Path to Greater Personal Creativity at the Lacey Timberland Library on Saturday, March 4th at 3:00 PM. Anatha published her title Tarot and the Twelve Powers: A Journey for the Heart and Soul in summer 2016. You can learn more at her website.

Reach out to your local library system today to find out how you might be able to promote your book with their help!