Tag Archives: how-to

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!

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.

26Jan16Gorham-13-2

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!

 

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.

26Jan16Gorham-91

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.

Preparing Your Content for Design Services

If you are not sure how to get your content into a print-ready state, we offer both cover and interior book design services! We asked our design team for some tips on how to make sure your experience in our design department is enjoyable from start to finish.

What We Need to Begin

  • Design-Department

    Our world-class designers, Kathy & Genevieve

    Edited, word-processed manuscript in a single .doc file

  • Image files (.tif or .jpg) labeled to correspond with markers in the text indicating desired placement
  • Back cover copy, ISBN, blurbs or author photo if applicable
  • A .tif or .jpg, 300 dpi image for Assisted Cover Design orders

Text

The majority of the books we design are text-based, mostly prose, but poetry too. Submit your manuscript in a single word-processed file, ideally Microsoft Word in most cases. Kathy or Genevieve will flow your text into Adobe InDesign and set it to the trim size on your order, bearing in mind your pre-discussed preferences and industry standards.

Images

Many of the books we design include photographs, art, and other visual supplements. Images for design orders should supplied in their raw files (.tif or .jpg, minimum 300 dpi). We also offer professional scanning services for hard copy photographs and other documents. See our Service Rates for pricing.

Cover Design

If you have a piece of art, a photograph, or another pre-existing image for your cover, you can take advantage of our $199 Assisted Cover Design option. Kathy or Genevieve will transform your image into a book cover set to our print specifications, including a back cover and a spine with title treatment, author photo, barcode, and blurbs (all optional).

If you have a vision for your cover in mind but not the means to supply the image in a file, you can opt for our $599 Custom Cover Design. This will allow you to work one-on-one with Kathy or Genevieve to execute your concept for a professional cover design. Come to the table with your ideas and let us bring them to life!

Clean copy saves you money!

We like to remind all of our design clients to make sure they edit any text submitted to Gorham Printing multiple times, very closely before you send it. Because we are not a publishing company, we do not modify your content in any way as we sculpt it into book form.

Any editorial changes you find in your first proof are made by your designer at the standard design rate of $92 per hour. The fewer changes you find to make in the text, the lower you can keep your design costs, and your overall cost per book.

Reprints Made Easy

When you make an account in our free Quote Generator, you can save an unlimited amount of quotes for your book project(s). Your first printing should be the title of your book. The quote becomes your first printing when you agreed to the terms and conditions, make a deposit, submit files, and see the process through to finished books in hand. When your final balance is paid, Kamra archives your order.

26Jan16Gorham-87

Kamra is here to help with reprint orders!

The record of your book’s specifications is saved in our one-of-a-kind online order tracking software. When you need to price or order a reprint, log in to your account and find your order history under Past Orders. Review the specifications of the edition by clicking on Order Details. Click Reprint to quote the new quantity you need.

New Files: PDF or Design Change

Does your book need to be different from the last time we printed it? The reprint quoter allows you to tell us which components need to be different.

If you submitted print-ready PDFs for your original order, make necessary changes in your native file and convert it to a new PDF. Use our File Upload Tool to submit your new PDF after you’ve made your half-down deposit. We’ll send you a proof if you requested this option in the reprint quoter.

If Gorham Printing did your design and you need to make editorial changes, the best way to submit them is in a marked-up, page-tagged copy of your book. Kathy or Genevieve will make your changes at the standard hourly design rate, a new print file will be created, and your new book can go to production after you approve your proofs.

How fast?

Exact reprints often take less time than first runs because you can bypass proofing. The standard 10-15 business day production window begins the day after you place your order. Give us a call to discuss rush orders. We can work with you to accommodate most deadlines.

Can I log in?

Not sure if you have an account with us? Send a message to info@gorhamprinting.com and we can retrieve your password, or give us a call at 1-800-837-0970.

If you know you have an account, click here to log in.

FAQ: Are reprints less expensive than my first run?

In many cases, yes. Exact reprints of the same quantity of books will not include about $50 worth of file review costs included in the cost of your first print. If you order more or fewer copies in your second run, that $50 won’t be present in the total either, reducing your overall cost per book.

Reprints with changes are subject to new file review and optional proofing costs.

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.

Are You Ready to Self Publish?

Maybe you’ve tried the traditional agent-query letter route and had nibbles but no success in landing a book deal. Or you’ve discovered a shoebox of your mother’s poetry and would like to publish them for friends and family. You believe in your story or topic and passion moves you to look into self publishing.

To be an independent publisher takes more knowledge and understanding of how a book is made and to how to reach your audience than you might think.  There are a number of popular books available on the business of self publishing by Dan Poynter, Peter Bowerman or Fern Reiss. These books will lead you through the mechanics of publishing such as what an ISBN is and do you need one.

Why do you need to learn how to self publish? It’s like gardening, anyone can buy a packet of pumpkin seeds and plant them in dirt. But will you have a fat, round pumpkin by October? People with yards of flowers and green shrubs didn’t start out randomly throwing seeds. The colorful yard took months of work and planning, plus more hours to maintain it. They’ve read articles and books on how to grow a successful garden. So should you about self publishing.

Yes, there are print-on-demand companies who offer to do most of the work as a publisher for you, but at what high cost? You can publish your book yourself and save that money for marketing, another major topic for another time.  No one understands the dynamics of your book better than you do. How much control do you want to give away to get it out into the world?

As a publisher you have decisions to make. How do you envision your book? What trim size will it be, approximately how many pages, and what quantity do you want to start with? Do you need a short-run book printer? These are important factors that will affect the production costs.

Congratulations on writing your book, you’ve already accomplished more than most. The adventure of self publishing can be a rewarding avenue for your book as you go through the process from creating back cover text to deciding the price on the barcode or whether you need a barcode.

Anyone can self publish, not everyone will fulfill their dreams by self publishing.