About Us, Book production, Design, Page Layout, Self Publishing

Preparing Your Content for Design Services

If you are not sure how to get your content into a print-ready state, we offer both cover and interior book design services! We asked our design team for some tips on how to make sure your experience in our design department is enjoyable from start to finish.

What We Need to Begin

  • Design-Department
    Our world-class designers, Kathy & Genevieve

    Edited, word-processed manuscript in a single .doc file

  • Image files (.tif or .jpg) labeled to correspond with markers in the text indicating desired placement
  • Back cover copy, ISBN, blurbs or author photo if applicable
  • A .tif or .jpg, 300 dpi image for Assisted Cover Design orders


The majority of the books we design are text-based, mostly prose, but poetry too. Submit your manuscript in a single word-processed file, ideally Microsoft Word in most cases. Kathy or Genevieve will flow your text into Adobe InDesign and set it to the trim size on your order, bearing in mind your pre-discussed preferences and industry standards.


Many of the books we design include photographs, art, and other visual supplements. Images for design orders should supplied in their raw files (.tif or .jpg, minimum 300 dpi). We also offer professional scanning services for hard copy photographs and other documents. See our Service Rates for pricing.

Cover Design

If you have a piece of art, a photograph, or another pre-existing image for your cover, you can take advantage of our $199 Assisted Cover Design option. Kathy or Genevieve will transform your image into a book cover set to our print specifications, including a back cover and a spine with title treatment, author photo, barcode, and blurbs (all optional).

If you have a vision for your cover in mind but not the means to supply the image in a file, you can opt for our $599 Custom Cover Design. This will allow you to work one-on-one with Kathy or Genevieve to execute your concept for a professional cover design. Come to the table with your ideas and let us bring them to life!

Clean copy saves you money!

We like to remind all of our design clients to make sure they edit any text submitted to Gorham Printing multiple times, very closely before you send it. Because we are not a publishing company, we do not modify your content in any way as we sculpt it into book form.

Any editorial changes you find in your first proof are made by your designer at the standard design rate of $92 per hour. The fewer changes you find to make in the text, the lower you can keep your design costs, and your overall cost per book.

About Us, Page Layout, Pre Press, Self Publishing, Writing

Free Guidebook on Self Publishing

Not much is free anymore, yet here is a perfect-bound (trade paperback) book with pricing and information any writer could use. Who’s giving away a free guidebook? Gorham Printing is, tucked away in southwest Washington, they are a manufacturer of dreams. Real dreams from the heart of people who have wanted to write the great American novel, author a self-help book, or the poet with a collection of sonnets and verse. For over thirty years Gorham Printing, a short-run book printer, has been churning out soft cover and hard cover books, of all genres, for authors and small publishers across the country.

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com
Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

What is a short-run book printer?

At Gorham Printing the minimum order is 25 copies of a book up to 2,000. Small only in size, with ten people full-time employees, this dedicated staff produces giant size professional quality and customer service for their clients. Kurt Gorham, owner, has created an environment of knowledge and expertise in Centralia, Washington, where thousands of book are designed and printed every year. This is an all-digital shop, producing books in black and white and full color. An author can place an order for one hundred books to be used as gifts, advance review copies, or for immediate marketing and selling in various venues.

Order Your Free Guidebook!

On the Gorham Printing website, there are various click points for ordering a free copy of their informative guidebook which includes pricing and details about producing a book-industry standard book. The guidebook is also a sample of the standard text and copy stock used at Gorham Printing. Get your copy today.

Design, Page Layout, Self Publishing, Writing

Why is My Word Count Important?

Ever wondered why traditional publishers require certain word counts to a manuscript? It comes down to number of pages in a completed book and the cost of printing x-amount of books. A 300-page book will naturally cost more to print than a 240-page book and a publisher knows the magic formula for estimating the page count of a book.

When you self publish, knowing the approximate page count of your book is important. So what is the formula based on the word count of a manuscript?

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com
Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

With professional, book-industry design, your word processor file is imported into a page layout program such as InDesign. To get an idea of your estimated page count, use the following formula:

For a 5.5×8.5 trim sized trade paperback, figure approximately 300 words per page and for a 6×9 size book figure approximately 350 words per page.

As an example, if your book contained 48,000 words, it would end up at approximately 160 total pages for a 5.5×8.5 size book. (48,000 words divided by 300 words per page = 160 5.5×8.5 finished pages).

If you have photos or drawings in your book, a fair estimate is two photos or images per page added to your page count.

Don’t forget front matter such as title page, copyright page, dedication and such will also add to your total page count.

Design, Marketing, Page Layout, Self Publishing

Professional or Casual? Your Author Photo

When purchasing a book generally the cover design is the first thing that draws a reader in. Within seconds they flip the book over and read the back cover copy which should i04 Shaputis photonclude an author photo with a few lines of bio. Readers like to know about their authors.

A photo or head shot brings the author into the reality conversation when reading a book. Stephen King seems rather normal with his dark hair and beard. Yet his mind is a carnival of storylines leading into terror and entertainment. If you passed him at a grocery store, would you realize you were seeing the king of scare? Without his author photos, readers wouldn’t recognize him.

Granted, an author typically isn’t going to become an overnight celebrity but having a photo on the book resonates with your readers. Makes you more personable to your readers, not just a name. If placed on the back cover, the image can be in full color. Maybe your photo was taken at sunset, so the oranges and yellows of the evening sky would radiate around you. Maybe the color of your shirt matches the color of your eyes, why not put the author photo on the back cover. If located on the About the Author page inside the back of the book, typically the image would be grayscale, black and white for economical reasons.

Do you need to spend hundreds of dollars for a professional head shot? No, a simple well-taken photograph in high resolution will do. But if you haven’t gone to a photographer since your school days, you might want to look into having a session done. Not only is a professional shot good for your book but having copies made for family is a side treasure. Whichever you choose, you’ll want two digital copies of the image: One in high resolution for printing and another saved-for-the-web size you can upload to your website, Facebook or any online marketing.

Select your photo carefully, whether a portrait or outdoor shot. You may need to send copies of the image to various media and social media outlets during the marketing of your book. Be sure the photo is something you are very comfortable seeing over and over again.