how to store your books to make them last
Reading, Self Publishing, Social Media

How to Store Your Books as a Self-Publisher

Most people are accustomed to storing a few books in their personal library. What they are not accustomed to, however, is handling a shipment of 100+ copies of their freshly printed book. Self-publishers often struggle with finding storage space while also preserving their books’ quality at a level that will be satisfactory to their customers.

If your library of books is becoming frayed or worn, you might be storing them wrong. Here are 6 tips for how to store your books to make them last.

how to store your books to make them last

1. Firstly, you will need a storage space that is neither hot, cold or damp. Storing books on concrete, such as a garage floor, is a recipe for trouble. Similar to a sponge, the paper used in books is hygroscopic, meaning it wants to reach equilibrium with the surrounding moisture level. Moisture from damp floors will transfer to your cover and interior pages. This also holds true for stacking against a concrete wall. Instead, consider using a wooden pallet to elevate your books while also ensuring proper air circulation underneath them.

2. Open cartons of books can attract insects. Unhatched insect eggs can appear as small specs on the pages. If caught in time, the eggs can be cleaned with a soft brush. Sealable containers, such as plastic cartons, can prevent bugs from infiltrating your books. However, do not wrap your books in plastic wrap or foil, as this may trap moisture against your books’ covers and lead to mold.

3. If possible, store books in a climate controlled area. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can result in mold. The ideal storage space has a temperature of between 60-75 degree Fahrenheit. Spaces like garages, which can suffer dramatic temperature changes between night and day, should be avoided.

stacked books

4. While you may be tempted to display your books next to a window to show off their beautiful covers, too much direct sunlight can lead to bleached covers and cracked spines.

5. Shelves not only provide a nice display for your books but also provide good ventilation to help prevent dust from collecting. Make sure your shelves are high enough to avoid potential water damage caused by spills or flooding.

6. The way your books are stacked also matters. For long term storage, books should be kept together according to size and weight. Books should never be stored on their spine. Rather, books should be either stored upright or stacked flat with the heaviest books at the bottom. If they are stored upright, make sure the books are pressed tightly together and not slumping at this can lead to creases.

Keep in mind these suggestions are for books for general usage. If you have rare or extra valuable books, additional means of protection should be considered.

With proper care and regular cleanings, these steps can go a long way in keeping your book beautiful, clean and ready for the market.

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Book production, Cost, Links, Local authors, Marketing, Self Publishing, Social Media

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!

About Us, Self Publishing

How Do I Get Started?

If you found this blog post, chances are you have content that wants to be a book. Gorham Printing is here to help!

When you decide you’re ready to turn your content into a book, one of your first questions probably pertains to cost. Aside from the binding style you’re interested in, we need three specifications to start talking about your price per book: the trim size you’d like the book to be, the page count of your print file, including color pages, and the quantity of books you’d like us to print.

Each book project that comes through our shop must have two separate components: a cover and an interior. If you have these two components in PDF format, you are ready to start pricing your book. If you know you need a softcover book with a standard trim size (5.5 x 8.5”, 6 x 9”, or 8.5 x 11”) printed on our house stock and a gloss laminated cover, check out our Quick Price tool for one-click pricing.

If your content is not yet print-ready, you may have questions about how to make it so. We offer instructions for file prep on our Prep Your Files page. We also offer comprehensive, individualized book design services guaranteed to meet your needs.

Unlike the Quick Price tool, our one-of-a-kind Quote Generator can price your design work in addition almost our entire range of product offerings. If you are interested in pricing a hardcover book or a book with a custom trim size or upgraded paper stock, set up an account on our website and play with our Quote Generator for accurate, to-the-penny pricing for your unique project.

When you’re ready to submit your book project, your quote becomes an order with a half-down deposit. You can make this payment with a credit card right through your account. After you make your payment, you will see a confirmation page that includes a link to our secure File Upload Tool. If you’re not quite ready to send your files, you can find this tool again under the Prep Your Files tab on our homepage.

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Alison can’t wait to meet your book!

If you have questions about our prices, products, or procedures, you can call our office between 8:00 and 4:30 PST and Alison, Kamra, or Catherine will answer the phone. We are here to help you start your book printing journey!

 

About Us, Book production, Pre Press

Getting Ready for Print-Ready PDF Orders

The components for a majority of the books we print come from a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. While some clients choose to take advantage of our professional design services, many design their own covers and interiors and generate their own PDFs, or hire a book designer to do it for them.

The majority of the interior files we see are generated in Microsoft Word and InDesign. We also see covers designed in Photoshop or Publisher. Here are some notes on getting ready to submit your print-ready PDF files to Gorham Printing.

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Our Prepress Technician, Catherine, will review your print-ready PDFs
  • You are ready to generate your print file when your editing is complete.
  • Once you’ve converted your interior native file to a PDF, check every page closely. Each page should look exactly how you want it to print. Same goes for your cover.
  • If you have one (and not all books must), make sure your ISBN appears on your copyright page, and that that page contains all information you’d like to include.
  • We are not a publisher or an imprint. We will not modify your PDF without your consent. File modification requests are subject to hourly prepress rates.
  • Review our print-ready requirements. Not all printers are the same, so even if your book was printed elsewhere you’ll want to verify that your PDFs are set to what we need
  • Familiarize yourself with our proofing procedures to avoid surprises and production delays.
  • When you’re ready to upload your files, the fastest way is with our secure File Upload Tool. This is a secure third-party server that can accommodate up to 10GB at a time. You can also mail us a CD or a flash drive.
Please note: We cannot accept files via email, dropbox, or other outside file sharing services due to security concerns, file size limitations, and possible processing delays.

We want your experience at Gorham Printing to be as pleasant and stress-free as possible. Keeping these tips in mind when you’re getting ready to submit a print-ready PDF order will help make that a reality.