Category Archives: Self Publishing

Are You Ready for Alaska Book Week?

Did you know that October 1st through 7th is Alaska Book Week? In 2015, the governor of Alaska declared the first week of October the official week to “celebrate [their] writers and the state’s rich literary tradition.” They encourage Alaskans to participate in events such as book clubs, author readings and library visits to promote “a passion for reading among all [their] citizens.” (You can read the full declaration here.)

We could not be more excited to learn about this celebration. In the last three years alone, we’ve printed books for at least seven Alaska-based authors. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase their work, and tout our ability to happily accommodate everything from complex design work to logistics-heavy barge shipments out of Seattle.

Who are the Alaskans we print for? Read on to learn about a few!

Matias Saari is a veteran marathoner who brought us the story of the USA’s oldest marathon: The Equinox. He hired us to design the interior and the cover of this thoroughly researched and reported personal and impersonal history book. He wanted to make sure he had books in time to sell at the 2016 marathon, so we worked under a deadline to get 1000 copies of his books on a barge to Anchorage before last September. Learn more about The Equinox: Alaska’s Trailblazing Marathon and buy a copy at Saari’s website.

IMG_0382Outdoor adventurer and transformation coach Wendy Battino and her world-famous  Alaskan husky, Luzy, brought us their irresistible landscape softcover, Luzy Lessons, to print in July, and we’re proud to report they needed a reprint by August! Luzy has a vast social media following, and Wendy turned her popular photos and positivity lessons into a book. You can get a copy, “signed” with Luzy’s paw, at their website, wendybattino.com.

Jan O’Meara is the owner of a small publishing operation, Wizard Works, who’s worked with us for several projects. Late last year, she brought us files for Cosmic Kitchen: Breakfast, Lunch and Friends, a cookbook compiled by two Homer-based (but Hawaii-raised!) restaurant owners, Sean Hogan and Michelle Wilson. This book makes our mouths water every time we printed it – four times in less than a year! If you’re in Homer, visit their restaurant to say aloha and pick up a copy to take home (I know I would).

IMG_0383Arguably the “crown jewel” of our Alaska-oriented books was researched and written by Cora Holmes and designed by our own Kathy Campbell. Alaska’s Wild West: The True Story of Alaska’s Range Wars in the Aleutian Islands, an 8.5 x 11 inch cloth-bound hardcover, has it all: color images printed on 100lb coated stock; a gloss-laminated dust jacket; custom printed end sheets; and foil on the cover and spine stamped with a custom die. This book catches the eye of many of our in-shop visitors, and we are proud to have designed and printed it. Learn more about Cora and all the books she’s hired us to work on at her website, coraholmes.com.

If you are an Alaskan author looking to self-publish, an Alaska-based independent publisher, or an Alaskan family or organization who needs books to preserve your history, Gorham Printing is ready and able to put beautiful books in your hands!

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August 2nd is National Coloring Book Day!

Coloring books have become a big category in the publishing industry, with adult coloring leading the trend. Even those of us who are less artistically inclined can find relaxation, creativity, and fun in the pages of a coloring book.

We print coloring books for a variety of customers. As you can see, plastic spiral binding is a popular choice because of its ability to truly lay flat. Jamie David, Hawaii-based author of the early reader novel, Johann Sebastian Humpbach, created a companion coloring book (example page on the left).

Coloring Books

Gigi Murfitt is a writer, speaker, and mentor who has developed a series of journals to help people going through tough times. She incorporated coloring book pages into her journals and devotionals. Great idea, Gigi!

Do you have a coloring book project you’ve been planning? Come to us for multiple binding options (we can perfect bind your coloring book, too!) and high-quality paper that will hold your colors.

Just feel inspired to color inside the lines? Enjoy a few vintage book plates to get you going.

Learn more about Coloring Book Day here: http://www.coloringbookday.com/

And don’t forget to call us if you’re planning your own coloring book!

 

Store, Sell and Ship Your Books with Gorham Printing’s New Sales Tools

We are thrilled to announce our brand-new Sales Tools program!

It is not uncommon for our customers to ask, “How can I sell my books online?” We now have an answer that doesn’t involve major online book retailers.

Booksite with Buy Button

Sales Tools connects you directly to online shoppers with your very own Booksite. Your Booksite is a web page hosted on gorhamprinting.com that includes an image of your book cover, a book summary, reader reviews, your author photo and bio, social media links, and the all-powerful Buy Button. All you need to do is supply those pieces and we take care of the technical work.

Quality Book Printing + Safe Storage

When you enroll in Sales Tools Booksite + Store & Ship, you tell us the number of books from your print order you’d like sent to the fulfilment warehouse owned and operated by Major Goods, right here in Centralia. Major Goods stores your books in their climate-controlled facility, waiting for orders to be placed on your Booksite by your future readers.

Order Fulfillment

When your customer clicks the Buy Button and enters credit card information, Major Goods receives a notification. They pick, pack and ship your book to the address entered. Your customer pays the shipping & handling with their order, and the rest of their payment goes directly to you via PayPal.

Sales Tools

Really?!

Really! You paid us when we printed your books, so we’re not going to charge you every time a customer wants to order your book, too. We charge you once to enroll in the program and set up your web page ($170) and again every year if you’d like to continue ($60). PayPal does have a small service fee for each purchase, but the rest of the funds go right to you. It really is that simple.

You’ve Got Options

Like so many other facets of our approach to book design and printing, we can tailor our program to meet your needs. Prefer to store your books and fill your orders from home or your local post office? For $120 we’ll set up your Booksite and you receive the notification when your customer places an order.

Already have a website? You can work directly with Major Goods to integrate their sales platform (that magical Buy Button!) into your web content, then tell us how many of the books we print you’d like to store in their warehouse.

Special Offer!

Enroll in our Sales Tools program before September 30, 2017, and receive fifteen months of service instead of just twelve with your first payment. Learn more today!

Small But Mighty

Did you know it’s National Small Business Week? With a team of just ten people, Gorham Printing most definitely fits in the small business category. That ten-person team includes our owner, Kurt, as well as the production crew, customer service reps and administrators, design and prepress staff, and our very own marketing director. Although we are located in Washington State, and proudly serve a large base of customers in our greater Pacific Northwest community, the majority of our books are shipped to customers all over the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.

Between 2000 and 5000 books come out of our shop on a weekly basis. We usually have between 75 and 125 individual titles making their way through the design, prepress, proofing, and production phases on a given day.

Not only are we a small business ourselves, but we support other small businesses whose models and practices involve printed material in book form. We design and print manuals, field guides, textbooks, workbooks, spiritual and religious texts, cookbooks, and how-to books for experts in a wide array of fields.

The late Tom Newton started printing books with us well over a decade ago. The story of his book is somewhat mythic in our shop. Tom was teaching auto shop at a high school in California and looking for a textbook about how cars work when he realized such a book

Newton Spines

We are binding a run of 3000 today!

did not exist. So, he wrote that book. Currently in its twenty-second printing, with at least 2000 books in each run (usually 3000!), How Cars Work is thought to be the book we’ve printed the most copies of. Tom’s daughter has decided to carry on her father’s business, and is also exploring the possibility of producing an ebook!

FiskeNewFinalCoverPrint

 

 

We were very excited to hear from Leavenworth-based yogi Holly Fiske when she brought The Book of Handstands to our shop in the summer of 2016. Holly sells her book along with a line of adventure apparel at wildmovements.com.

Mike and Angela Chute are the owners of RoseSolutions, a Rhode Island-based landscaping business. They deepened the integrity of their business model by writing and publishing Roses for New England: A Guide to Sustainable Rose Gardening and the companion spiral-bound journal, Rose Gardening By Season: A Journal for Rose-Book_Cover_LightenedPassionate Gardeners. Not only can local clients hire them for landscape work, but rose gardeners all over the region can benefit from the years of knowledge they’ve compiled to share in these volumes. They also speak at garden centers in the area, which is a great way to supplement books sales on their website, rosesolutions.net.

Are you a small business owner? Our small business wants to help your small business grow by harnessing your knowledge, products, and services in the pages of a book!

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

http://www.breenabard.com/

 

 

 

front-spine-back-covers-under_covers-outlined.eps

 

 

 

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

Margaret’s Kickstarter

http://chinaunderthecovers.com/

 

 

 

 

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

https://www.ellenkingrice.com/

 

 

 

 

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.

RUDEK AND THE BEAR VOL 1.indd

Peter’s Kickstarter

Peter’s ongoing web comic: http://zuzelandthefox.com/

Test the waters for your book project! Try crowdfunding!

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!

An Evening with the Authors

Last Friday the Lewis County Historical Museum welcomed the public for its sixth annual Evening with the Authors. We had the privilege of attending this event and decked out our table to match the museum’s incredible Christmas Village and the rest of the festive decorations.

table-top

We took great pride in joining a good handful of our local authors at this event. While we love printing books for writers, families, and small presses all over the country, there is particular joy in supporting our local authors. This group of clients showcases the diversity of books we print. They represent novelists, historians, non-fiction and self-help writers.

our-authors

From left to right: Jan Pierson, author of the Ghostowners Series (calamityjan.com); Ellen King Rice with her novel, The Evo Angel, a mycological thriller set in the Pacific Northwest (ellenkingrice.com); Buddy Rose, author of Fire Mountains, a hiking guide to Washington’s three volcanoes; Margaret Chambers with her history of a rural Lewis County church, St. Urban’s Church: Early Years; Randall R. Booher and his personal development workbook, You Are the Issue, hot of the presses, along with his illustrator (and sister!), Leslie Gammelgaard; and Julie McDonald Zander with just two of her many local and personal history books, Winning a War and The Other Side of Banking (chaptersoflife.com).

We hope to see even more of our local authors here next year. Contact the museum for more information on how to participate.