Community, Events, Local authors, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing

National Encourage a Young Writer Day is April 10th!

The crew at Gorham Printing was excited to learn that Encourage a Young Writer Day is a thing, and it’s right around the corner! Monday April 10th is a day marked to let any young writer in your life know that they should keep up the good work.

We participate in and support many young writers and literacy projects in our community. Last year we sponsored a young writer contest in affiliation with the Roosevelt Elementary Read-a-Thon, and we’re doing it again this year. Last year Arianna’s The Girl Who Saved a Dinosaur was a hit in our shop. A winner has been chosen for this year and we can’t wait see his story (we’ve heard it’s about a ninja pig!).

Last spring we also sponsored the printing of the Olympia High School Literary Press anthology, Attic. This anthology showcases the talents of English classes at Olympia High School and pairs it with submissions from the art department. Students solicit and gather submissions, curate and edit the content, then design and promote their book.

A few of the local colleges hire us print anthologies and other projects, too. South Puget Sound Community College printed their annual literary anthology, The Percival Review, with us last spring. We print The Evergreen State College’s Vanishing Point anthology, too, along with collections of student work from various creative writing courses.

We even have one young author who published Small Stories, an adorable 5×5” collection. Hadley Stanfill’s mom Laura is the editor in chief at Forest Avenue Press and we take great pride in helping her encourage her daughter to write and publish!

Young Writers

Do you know a young writer? Whether they’re a college student studying creative writing in an undergraduate program or a third grader writing stories in their journal, let them know you support and admire their efforts as a growing artist.

And if you happen to know a young writer who has a story they want to turn into a book, let them know Gorham Printing is here to help!





Reading, Self Publishing, Writing

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
Design, Page Layout, Self Publishing, Writing

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
Free 2014 guidebook available at

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.

Design, Marketing, Page Layout, Self Publishing

Professional or Casual? Your Author Photo

When purchasing a book generally the cover design is the first thing that draws a reader in. Within seconds they flip the book over and read the back cover copy which should i04 Shaputis photonclude an author photo with a few lines of bio. Readers like to know about their authors.

A photo or head shot brings the author into the reality conversation when reading a book. Stephen King seems rather normal with his dark hair and beard. Yet his mind is a carnival of storylines leading into terror and entertainment. If you passed him at a grocery store, would you realize you were seeing the king of scare? Without his author photos, readers wouldn’t recognize him.

Granted, an author typically isn’t going to become an overnight celebrity but having a photo on the book resonates with your readers. Makes you more personable to your readers, not just a name. If placed on the back cover, the image can be in full color. Maybe your photo was taken at sunset, so the oranges and yellows of the evening sky would radiate around you. Maybe the color of your shirt matches the color of your eyes, why not put the author photo on the back cover. If located on the About the Author page inside the back of the book, typically the image would be grayscale, black and white for economical reasons.

Do you need to spend hundreds of dollars for a professional head shot? No, a simple well-taken photograph in high resolution will do. But if you haven’t gone to a photographer since your school days, you might want to look into having a session done. Not only is a professional shot good for your book but having copies made for family is a side treasure. Whichever you choose, you’ll want two digital copies of the image: One in high resolution for printing and another saved-for-the-web size you can upload to your website, Facebook or any online marketing.

Select your photo carefully, whether a portrait or outdoor shot. You may need to send copies of the image to various media and social media outlets during the marketing of your book. Be sure the photo is something you are very comfortable seeing over and over again.