Tag Archives: Books

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.

Gorham Printing’s Mini-Me is Open

Not only is Gorham Printing, short-run book printer, fulfilling dreams for self-publishing authors around the country but they’ve become the first neighborhood Little Free Library location in Centralia. With a quiet grand opening on September 30, the miniature building/bookcase looks similar to the Gorham shop down to the same green metal roof.Book plate single

Have you heard of the Little Free Library program? This national, nonprofit organization began in 2009 with one little library in Wisconsin, with locations growing by the thousands in just five years. Gorham Printing’s official sign lists their library as charter No. 17,768. Facing the parking lot, it hangs from the wall with glass doors protecting the collection of used books. The initial selections have been donated by Gorham Printing staff.

Gorham Printing, relocated to the Port of Centralia in 2006, designs and prints books in all genres from memoirs to children’s picture books in both perfect bound or hard cover. Gorham prides itself on quality production and excellent customer service in the Pacific Northwest. Being a short-run book printer means your order can be as few as twenty-five copies for friends and family up to two thousand.

Gorham has now installed a Little Free Library for local readers as well. The Gorham library works on an honor system, people can borrow a book and bring it back or drop off a gently used book in exchange. The housed bookshelf next to the front door of Gorham Printing is open to the public 24/7, no permission needed when taking a book. Editions for all ages are available and the titles will rotate based on donated books.

More information about the concept and how to start a Little Free Library yourself is available on the littlefreelibrary.org website.

What Your Book Will Do For You as a Speaker?

Have you thought of becoming a speaker? What if you had a book you could sell at the back of the room after your talk? As a small business owner writing a book will increase your exposure across the country. Imagine a guidebook of generalities about your business, a handy volume of tips and tricks or an entertaining memoir of the CEO.

As a speaker, your topics may vary, yet your book subject matter should fill a need or void of information for your reader. Your book will help advance your ideas, maybe call attention to a new idea, or serve as a tangible representation of your experience. Your book will establish you as an authority on the subject.

Interestingly the words “author” and “authority” come from the same Latin word. To be an authority, you need to be an author. As an author, you are an authority. In a study cited by Forbes and BusinessWeek, 96% of surveyed business authors “realize a significant positive impact on their businesses from writing a book and would recommend the practice…”

A great example is national speaker Jen Mueller, CEO of Talk Sporty to Me, Seattle, Washington. Her book Game Time has gone through multiple printings, including custom orders from other venues to give away as gifts.

A published book under your arm as a speaker will increase the effect on your audience, elevate their respect for your knowledge whatever the topic. With the wonderful concept of short-run book printing, you can start with fifty to a hundred copies of your book to gauge reaction. Once your schedule starts filling up with speaking engagements, you order runs of books to be ready when you are. Are you ready?

Is short-run book printing right for you?

Is short-run book printing right for you?

Back of the Book Matter

“The End” or “El Fini” is not always the last page in a novel anymore. Granted it ends the storyline but you may find additional pages before the back cover. Such as About the Author information, maybe Acknowledgments even the first pages of the author’s next book. There could be an order page or advertising for other books the author has written. These pages are considered back matter.

People are accustomed to seeing six to twenty pages of back matter with a non-fiction book. This may include:

  • Appendix
  • EndnotesArtOfDevotionText
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author
  • Index

A single book does not need all of these included. It will depend on you, as the author, to decide how much and what kinds of back matter to include.

Typically back matter is designed in a smaller font size than the main body of a book. This helps minimize the room the research matter takes up, however, these pages must be included in the total page count.

Why do some books have blank pages at the back of the book? When printing offset for a large production of books, the text is run in signatures. A signature can be a sheet containing sixteen or thirty-two pages of the book. If the end text runs out at page twelve of a sixteen-page signature, the last four pages will be blank.

Whether you’ve written a trilogy for young adults or a new revelation in building self-esteem, you’ll need to decide how much back matter your book needs for your audience.

What is Front Matter?

Open any book from your shelf, whether soft cover or hard cover to the first page. What do you see? A title page? A half title page? A page of endorsements for the author’s previous books? The first page could be any one of these. Now flip through the pages until you reach Chapter One. How many are there? Could be a minimum of four pages, could be quite extensive depending on the information the author has included. All pages in a book before Chapter One are considered front matter.

The cost of printing a book depends on three things: trim size, quantity of books ordered at one time and the total number of pages. Keep in mind the front matter of a book is included in the total number of pages. A minimum of four pages in the front matter would include: title page, copyright page, dedication with a blank page behind it. Typically these pages are numbered in Roman numerals beyond the dedication.

Half title page
Many novels start with a half title page where it’s a mainly blank page with only the title printed in small caps or at least smaller font than the title page. The back side is typically blank or includes a book card: a listing of previous works by the author or other titles in the series.

I thought a half title page allowed more room for the autograph. The author could personalize the book more extensively. What I’ve heard from bookstore owners, is an author’s signature should go on the title page itself making it more valuable.

Like Wearing Suspenders with a Belt
The number of front matter entries is up to you; however, too much is like doubling up protection for holding up your pants. Do you need to include a preface, introduction, foreword, list of illustrations and more in your book? No, and especially no if the book is fiction.

What’s the difference between a preface and an introduction? Both may be written by the author. A preface is an opportunity to state why the book came to be or what the author’s credentials are in writing this book. Sometimes various appreciations or gratitude’s are included. An introduction is written about the content of the book, maybe an overall view of the subject to introduce the reader to the subject. Typically the preface comes before the introduction.

Spell That Again? 
One of the most misspelled words an editor will find in a manuscript is the word foreword. Many writers mistakenly spell it forward, as in forward motion. An easy way to remember the correct spelling is thinking “before words” be-foreword-s. The foreword of a book is typically written by someone other than the author. This may be a testament from a professional source or celebrity in the genre.

Think of an engine on a train, this is the front matter. These pages of information bring the book forward, into being.

This is Not Typing Class

Image

Professionally designed page layout.

Whether you were trained on an electric typewriter or more current keyboard classes, there are definite differences in what you were taught in school and what works for page layout in books.

Did you learn the home-row keys in school? Can you say them in order without moving your fingers to remember which key is where? Those who type with two fingers may not understand what home-row keys are, but for those that do, let’s take a closer look and undo a few concepts.

Design layout for a business letter is not the best layout for a book. Business letters, school reports and other documents you produced while learning to type were set up for easy, quick reading in short amounts of time. A book, on the other hand, is multiple chapters of information and a professional looking page layout has been designed from research over the years to be easy on the eyes of the reader, where hours could be spent reading umpteen pages with the least amount of strain.

In the world of self publishing, you want your book to be of high standards as it has to compete with traditionally published books and the growing population of new self published authors. Many writers feel they can design their own book after finishing the manuscript and save money by doing it themselves, right? Warning: Nothing stands out, or screams amateur more than pages of a book set up like a business letter, blog or how you were taught in typing class.

When a possible buyer flips through your book, the pages should look professional, book-industry standard. Sadly, many self published books do not keeping a negative vibe over the process and you may lose sales because of it. Open a similar genre book in the library or local bookstore. Nothing should pop out or immediately draw attention away from the information or story.

Most common mistakes found are:

  • Using Times New Roman for the text. There are a dozen serif fonts you can use which will enhance the readability of your book. The TNR font was originally created for newspaper print, columns of text. Trying to read a novel in Times New Roman is tough and tiring on the eyes. It can be used in a double-spaced manuscript for an agent or publisher review. The double-spaced lines and wide one-inch margins will compensate for the font. Just because it is typically the default font in your Word program is no reason to use it for book layout.
  • Extra spacing between paragraphs. When reading a novel or memoir there should be no additional break between paragraphs unless there is a scene break or change in the point of view. When your eyes see the extra divide, they will pause and alert something different is coming. If you layout your text with double-spacing it is more difficult for your reader to stay with the flow of the story. Subconsciously, there is a slight pause after every paragraph disrupting the action or drama going on.
  • Two spaces after a period. Since book design is set up for full justification, you want only one space after a period. Any more will hurt the flow of the type causing compression or expansion between words in a sentence or paragraph. This can create rivers of space in the text or just noticeable gaps.

These are a few of the differences between a professionally designed book and one homemade. You want to give your book, your information, the best advantage out in the world of publishing. It’s not worth saving a few dollars now to possibly losing more revenue in the future.

10 Strategies for Fiction Writers – A quick how-to for novelists

Gorham Printing released its first informational free eBook on March 1st. These ten publishing strategies provide over forty tips and tricks to help you jump into the world of self publishing: including building a platform, developing your business and more. Easy to implement, and cost-effective tips for self-publishers and small publishers!

More fiction writers are taking their publishing future into their own hands. This free informational guide for authors is written by a published writer, Kathleen Shaputis who works at Gorham Printing short-run book printer. Shaputis is a published author of three non-fiction and two novels. Her genre is romantic comedies and contemporary fiction.

At Gorham Printing Shaputis deals with newbie authors and veterans alike every day and has found a way to support and encourage fellow writers everywhere with this new informational guidebook.  “Whether you have a kernel of an idea staring or a complete manuscript, I wanted to help share some ideas a writer may not have thought about,” Shaputis said. “This eBook is short, fun and may help kick start writers.”

Reading “10 Strategies for Fiction Writers” explains:

  • How to define your fiction genre market
  • Ideas to develop your own publishing company
  • The importance of professional design
  • Grassroots marketing ideas.

You can find this free ebook at: www.gorhamprinting.com/writer