Category Archives: Writing

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!

 

An Interview with Roy I. Wilson

A retired ordained United Methodist clergyman and Cowlitz Tribal Elder, Roy Wilson has written more than 30 books, many printed by Gorham Printing. His role as a spiritual leader gives him a special insight into both Native and Western spirituality. His special-interest books encompass tribal history, language and Medicine Wheel wisdom. Roy has recently completed Bear Raven longhouse, a retreat and spiritual center for Native and non-Native people to join together and study Native American spiritual teachings.

We had the privilege of chatting with Roy in the shop one day when he stopped by to pick up an order of books.

Gorham Printing: When did you start writing about history?

Roy Wilson: I started writing history back in the early 1980s, thirty to forty years ago, when nobody had written a history on the Cowlitz tribe. I did what I call a simple ‘dateline history.’ It was a little booklet of only twenty-eight pages. It started off 1806 and then simply the statement, “Lewis and Clark land at the mouth of the Cowlitz river,” nothing more. Nothing about it. It was twenty-eight pages of just a date and a line of a few words.

That was my first start [writing history] but I was very busy at that time. I was still pastoring. I was on the Washington State Governor’s advisory council. I had two national offices in the Indian world. One year I made 62 cross country flights. It was a nightmare. I was living out of a suitcase. I didn’t have any time to write and so I’d just write little short things. I wrote a number of little booklets until I retired. I started taking those booklets and using them as a table of contents to write larger books. The twenty-eight page dateline history in the early 80s became a 243 page book on the history of the tribe in the 90s.

GP: How did you find Gorham Printing?

RW: It was a woman from up on Bainbridge Island who had followed my Indian teachings for a long time and she had a book printed by Gorham. And she had copies of my books and she sent me an email. She said I’m going to be down in Centralia in a few days to get my book that’s being printed. Sure would like to see you too! So I came up and met her here while she was getting her and books. Up until then I was having my books printed in Ohio. Prices were basically the same. The difference was shipping cost! I just pick up my books at Gorham now.DispossessedCover

GP: What are your thoughts on the purpose of preserving history, particularly in book form?

RW: Several different comments. One. History repeats itself. Quote-unquote. We are creating history with our actions today. Maybe we can do a better job of it if we study what’s happened in the past. History is important to create the dynamics of a powerful future.

The next thing is that we need to realize that history needs to be looked at from many different points of view. I recall an article that quoted, “There is no existing accurate historical record in existence.” Each writer has written history from their vantage point, their point of view.

I gave a lot of thought to that. It makes writing history more important because I need to look at the history of that event through as many different eyes as I can to come up with what might have really happened. The Indian history that’s taught in our schools and our universities is all written from the white man’s perspective. So it’s important for me to write it from an Indian’s point of view. What really happens when the Indian dies? There are several Indian historians now who’ve done this and I have copies of some of their works. It’s just a totally different story.

It’s important we see all the different views and then make up our own mind about what we think really happened.

 

To learn more about Roy Wilson’s work, or to order a copy of his book, visit his website: http://sundancemedicinewheel.com/

 

 

Q&A with Local Author Mary Gentry

Mary Gentry is an Olympia-based writer whose books we’ve printed since the summer of 2014. Her first book, a collection of essays titled Quite Contrary, was released that September. She brought us her second title, Too Far from the Tree, to be printed the following spring. Mary’s essays and short stories have enjoyed healthy popularity locally. It is not hard to find Mary reading at bookstores in the Puget Sound region. Reading events with Mary are extra special because her cover artist, a well-known local print maker name Mimi Williams, will often join Mary for a demonstration of her lino-printing techniques.

Mary and I are practically neighbors, so when Mary orders a reprint, I like to bring her order up to Olympia so I have the chance to chat. When I delivered her reprint last week, I asked if she’d be willing to answer a few questions about books, writing, and the importance of storytelling.

Gentry_Quite-Contrary-Cover

Gorham Printing: What kind of books do you like to read?

Mary Gentry: I gravitate to books with well-developed characters. Motivation and character development are more important to me than action. I listen for the character’s ‘voice’ and if it rings ‘true’ then I keep reading.

I read a lot of procedural detective fiction – that would be my favorite escape reading, I guess. I’m also very fond of novels in which place is well developed, as if it were a character. I like to see and smell the locale. I am often inspired by characters, real or imagined, who manage to rise above themselves.

GP: When did you start writing? What do you like to write about?

MG: I have written on and off all my adult life. Once I started practicing law in the early 80’s, I realized how much I missed the creative environment I had experienced in teaching. In order to find the time to write, I routinely rose early in the mornings – very early – before anyone else got up and often before I went out for a 45 minute run.

Initially, I focused on short stories as well as children’s stories, the kind of books I was reading to my daughter. It was fun for me to put her into these stories. It was also a way to capture her ‘development’ and make a record of sorts.

I am drawn to write about very ordinary things; sometimes it is something that strikes me as humorous, other times, poignant. I prefer a “light” touch whenever possible. I think that it is in the very ordinary, commonplace moments that we can relate to one another. We rarely share anyone’s full life experience, but we do have frustrations, mishaps and misadventures in common, and I enjoy exploring that.

Gentry_Too-Far-CoverGP: When and why did you decide to compile your writings into a book?

MG: I decided to create a book when I realized that I had all these stories and essays written that weren’t going anywhere and I wanted to see them in a collection. I had posted a number of essays on a blog for a few years, which was initially satisfying but ultimately not quite enough. I wanted something more permanent and at the same time, more tangible.

GP: How did you find Gorham Printing?

MG: A friend, Holly Harmon, with whom I initially consulted about publishing my stories, introduced me to Gorham. Earlier in my career, I suspect that I would have balked at the idea of ‘self publishing’ but at this point in my life, it seemed to me the best and most logical route to go. I have limited time to write and I didn’t want to spend what time I did have trying to get something published in a magazine or by a publishing company. Now I realize that I really appreciate the freedom and control that comes with being one’s own publisher. I have frequently turned to The Little Red Hen for inspiration and guidance – she led me to Gorham, and with your help, “I did it myself!”

Want to learn more about Mary and her books? Check out her website: http://marygentrywrites.com/

See more Mimi Williams prints at her website, http://www.mimiwilliamsprintmaker.com/

Alison of Gorham Printing, Mimi Williams, and Mary Gentry at a reading and print demo event this spring.

Alison of Gorham Printing, Mimi Williams, and Mary Gentry at a reading and print demo event this spring.

Make Your Book Your New Business Card

In the state of Washington an injury lawyer has a simple free book on tips you should know if ever in a car accident. An accounting firm has a free book on hints for filing taxes. Books are a marketing commodity more business owners are tapping into, a tangible object people keep handy for reference or information. What better way to get a company’s name into the minds of potential customers than offering information they want and need in a pocket-size book.

More substantial than a leaflet or tri-fold brochure easily thrown away, a book represents quality experience and knowledge and is now being touted as a significant marketing tool for business owners and entrepreneurs as their new business card. For decades, the industry of personalized pens, can holders and such begged companies to attach their logo to just about anything plastic or metal. Yet a book not only touts a company name and logo but is filled with interesting fine points, proving an expert edge to any subject.

Whether a small business owner or service provider, imagine handing a potential customer a professionally designed book of your company or expertise. A guidebook of statistical data or fun how-to procedures for better living, a manual of making a better mousetrap will boost exposure for yourself and your company. A memoir of the company’s owner is another viable book idea creating a revenue source worldwide; people love to read about people – hence the popularity of the national magazine of the same name.Gorham_Printing_Banner

Today’s short-run book printing is a flexible process where you can easily start with fifty copies and see what helpful reviews and evaluations come back. Then simply make any changes, if needed, for a complete guidebook or how-to edition to start handing or mailing out to customers. Ordering in quantities of 500 books means not worrying about costly storage and still keep the cost per book down.

Learning how to write a book or books for your company is as easy as attending the Nonfiction Writers Conference May 6-8, 2015 with industry experts explaining the various steps and issues.

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.

Read a Book Day – Sep. 6

Not to be confused with World Book Day in March, or National Book Lovers Day in August, Read a Book Day is on September 6th and this year it falls on a Saturday. What better excuse two days from now to set aside time to indulge in a good book than Read a Book Day?

If you don’t currently have a book in progress in your stack, why not visit the library, a local bookstore, or an online eBook seller to find something of interest? Or, go back and revisit an old favorite. Heard the book was better than the movie? Now is a great time to grab a copy and find out. Curl up on your couch, rocking chair or your bed, but if the weather is just right indulge by heading to the beach or a park!

The best research for being a writer is reading books. The more you read, the sharper your creative skills will be. Though unable to find the history of how this special day started, Wikipedia has nothing, Saturday, September 6 is your day for grabbing a book and enjoy!

National Read a Book Day, Saturday, Sept 6

National Read a Book Day, Saturday, Sept 6

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.