Category Archives: Self Publishing

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!

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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.

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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/

 

 

 

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

Margaret’s Kickstarter

http://chinaunderthecovers.com/

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

We Went to Wordstock!

This time last week, Genevieve and Alison were loading up boxes of guidebooks, tote bags, business cards, candy, and Genevieve’s trusty typewriter Buttercup to drive south for Wordstock, Portland’s recently-rebooted  festival of books and writing hosted by Literary Arts.

2-wordstock-boothThousands of writers and readers from around the region gathered at the Portland Art Museum last Saturday to attend workshops, hear readings from over 100 authors, and wander the booths at the book fair.

We talked to dozens and dozens of readers and writers, most of whom stepped up to our booth to browse our beautiful selection of sample books, and to pull a word from a fish tank to use in a sentence on Buttercup, the 1950s Royal typewriter that made the trek with us. Many of them took a copy of our free guidebook to learn more about the book printing process for themselves or a friend or family member working on a book.free-words

As a short run book printer, we attended this  event not only to meet writers who might be interested in publishing their own work who might need a printer, but also to chat with the 25+ independent publishing companies who were there to meet writers and sell their books.

While many of these publishing companies are big enough to need quantities of books that warrant printing on offset presses, they may need Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) ahead of the run that will be sold in stores. Our digital printing methods mean we can keep costs low on a smaller run of books, and we can produce them on fairly short notice if a publisher finds themselves with a deadline an offset printer couldn’t hope to meet.

We had the great privilege of printing the ARCs of City of Weird, a fresh-released collection of short stories from Forest Avenue Press. This book was a Powell’s Pick of the Month in October! We also saw past clients at tables for Atelier26 Books as well as the Willamette Writers, who print their literary journal, The Timberline Review, with us. We made friends at booths for YesYes Books, Chin Music Press and Overcup Press.

All in all it was a day full of excellent conversation with fellow book-folk. We can’t wait for next year!

 

How Long Does It Take to Print a Book?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions when a customer places an order for a book. While our standard production time for softcover books is 10-15 business days once your proofs are approved, there are many factors that can impact the time your project is in our shop.

How you submit your files and the binding style of your book are the major variables that impact turnaround times.Need-books-in-a-hurry

Print-Ready PDF Orders

The fastest way to get from file submission to printed books is to design your cover and interior and submit print-ready files. Once you’ve created an account and generated a quote to match your file specifications (trim size and page count, plus the quantity you’d like printed), you can finalize your order with a credit card for half of the estimated order total right through our website. Then you can use our file upload tool to submit your print-ready files.

Once we have your files, we check them for potential printing problems then prepare your proof. If your files meet all of our requirements and we can proceed right to proof prep, we’ll have your proof ready to go in 3-4 business days. If you opted for an online proof, you can download and review the proof immediately. If you upgraded to a printed proof, we’ll mail an unbound proof to you via USPS Priority (1-3 business day transit time for most locations).

Design Services

If you opt to hire Gorham Printing for design services, the time between file submission and proofing is a bit longer. Depending on the complexity of your design and the components you’re hiring us for, the process can take anywhere from 5 days (Assisted Cover Design only) to 2 weeks or more (Level 3 Interior Design plus a Custom Cover, for example). Once design is complete, you’ll receive your proof in the format you’ve selected on your order.

Production Times

Once you’ve given us permission to proceed to production by submitting a signed proof form, your order will enter the production queue. Production times vary by binding style and quantity.

Most softcover orders for quantities under 100 typically take 5 business days until they are ready to ship. Orders of 500-1000 typically take 10 business days. Orders over 1000 can take up to 15.

Spiral bound books take 15-20 business days until they are ready to ship. Hardcover books take 6-7 weeks.

What if I need my book sooner?

Give us a call! Our production times are standards based on our experience and typical volumes, but we may be able to coordinate a compressed production window for clients who have events fast approaching. Call us as soon as you know you need books for a specific date, and we will work backwards to determine the date we’ll need your final approval in order to guarantee a specific shipping or pick up deadline.

We do not charge extra for in-shop rushes, but you may need to pay for expedited UPS shipping if our present volumes will not allow for the turn around time your shipping deadline would require.

DIY Quoting is Easier than Ever!

Need pricing on a short run of hardcover books? How about a square perfect bound book, or a landscape spiral-bound cookbook? Our new Quote Generator has more options and can price your custom book printing project instantly.

Take Advantage of Instant Pricing

We know that making the decision about where to print your book project is a big one, and we want to help you decide. Your time is valuable, too. That’s why we’ve upgraded our Quote Generator to put more versatile pricing right at your fingertips! Now you can compare pricing for all of our binding styles and paper stocks, trim sizes from 4×5” to 8.5×11” in portrait or landscape, design services, eBooks, and more without entering your personal information.

New Quote Generator

Click “Get Started” to price hardcover books, custom trim sizes, and a variety of paper stocks

Taking the Next Step

You’ve browsed our website, priced your project on our Quote Generator, and decided that Gorham Printing’s short run book printing and design services are the right fit for your needs. What’s the next step?

When you’re ready to save a quote for later, learn shipping estimates, or place an order, enter your demographic information to set up an account. Your information is safe with us, and we never sell it to third parties or use it to spam you. From this portal, you can create and save an unlimited number of quotes for future reference, get shipping estimates, track current orders, manage reprints, and make deposits or final payments with all major credit cards.

We are extremely excited to unveil the latest version of the Quote Generator. If you have any questions or concerns about your experience with our pricing tools, do not hesitate to give us a call. Kamra, Alison, and the rest of the front office crew are here to help!

Happy Quoting!