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By Penny Callmeyer, Tiger Lilly Ent./Color House Graphics.
#1 - BEFORE GOING TO PRESS
You’ve finally written your first book, now what? Please make sure that you find an editor, book and cover designer that “specialize” in working with books. Be certain to interview them, get samples of their work and talk to their references before making your choice. Ensure that they are willing to “communicate” with your printer of choice, to make sure that the files (see #3 below) are prepared to the printer’s guidelines. (File preparation instructions should be found on your printer’s website). Experienced book & cover designers should understand that some design features can be very expensive (make sure they are aware of your budget) or a manufacturing nightmare. An enticing book cover will typically generate 85% of the sales of the book, so the front, back and spine should be equally interesting.
#2 – REQUEST FOR PRINTING QUOTATION
If your have been told to send an RFQ to 20 printers, you are wasting your time and will be more confused than you ever dreamed. It is recommended that you narrow the number of printers down to 3-5. Understand that printers have many different types of presses and each of those presses is designed for certain trim sizes and run lengths. Choose the right printer/equipment/specifications for your project; below is a quick guide to the types of decisions you will need to make.
PAPER: Printers have different “house” stocks, so ask for a recommendation, which can save you money. You should check paper weights, opacity and bulk (PPI), etc. Note that if you choose a special order stock, there may be a lead time of 2 or more weeks. If you choose a special order stock, please make sure to sign your quote and get it to the printer prior to submitting your files in order to keep your schedule on track. Quotes are normally good for 30 days only to allow for changes in paper pricing.
BINDING: Standard bindings are saddle stitch, perfect bound and case bound. (case bound: round back, flat back, adhesive or smythe sewn, this method of binding as well as optional bindings will require additional manufacturing time)
Optional: Wire-O, Spiral Wire, Plasti-coil, Otabind, Semi-concealed Wire-O, etc. (optional bindings can be quite expensive)(Prices for embossing and foil stamping are based on the image area).
COATINGS: Varnish, Aqueous, UV and lay flat film lamination.
This is a brief overview of the printing process, so please:
#3 - SUBMITTING FILES FOR PRINTING
Whether you have prepared your files or have hired someone else to do that for you, make sure that the file preparation guidelines and check lists have been followed.
#4 – PROOFS
Depending on the printing method you have chosen, typically proofs will be sent to you in 2-7 days from file submission. PDF or “soft” proofs are being used more often unless you request a hard copy proof. The days of the “blue line” and “color key” proofs are long gone. If you receive either a digital or hard copy proof, know that they are being generated digitally. So if your book is being printed offset, a digital proof will not be a match for what you will get off of an offset press. Toner, Ink jet and Ink are all different processes. If you are printing digitally, your hard proof will be an exact match.
#5 – UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Assuming you have done your homework and have chosen the best printer and printing method for your project, expectations should not be a problem. Please remember that book manufacturing is just that, manufacturing. Manufacturing = machines and people. There is no such thing as perfection with that combination. Choose to work with people that specialize in the manufacturing of books. Legitimate Book Manufacturers are capable of turning out a fine book. Yes, sometimes problems occur and both sides need to be willing to compromise to work out a fair and reasonable solution.
You have by now noticed that the words “COMMUNICATE & ASK” are shown in BOLD TYPE. That is because those two instructions are the most important ingredient in a successful publication. Do not operate on blind faith. The more you educate yourself, the more questions you ask, the more professionals you talk to, the better choices you will make. Creating your first book might seem overwhelming. Talk to every expert you can find, ask all of the questions you can think of and then some, and join your local Publishers Association. Let the experience of the members of the Assn. help you to make this an exciting and profitable adventure!!!
© Copyright 2009 Penny Callmeyer, All rights reserved.
Are you a busy executive, a business coach, life coach, business owner that serves a niche or a medical professional who has a lot of information in your head that would help general consumers, people in your industry, business owners and executives? Do you have an idea for a book that would help you reach your marketing objective? For example, you have climbed to the top of your profession and want to mentor those starting out in your business, passing on information that you wish you had known early on in your career? Or maybe you work with medical patients, providing them with a much-needed service or product. Sharing your story with them helps them and your business at the same time.
Would the book be a great gift to your new clients or customers? Would it help spread the word about your business, products and/or services? If you own a franchise, is the book something that could help you expand more easily, and could be something you would include in the buy-in and ongoing marketing for each and every one of your franchisees? (For example, they may have to buy a certain number of these books to give to their clients/customers.)
Truth is that a book can help boost your business in a lot of ways. Once you understand the objective with the book, you need to find the right story to share and hire a good ghostwriter to help you complete the book. If you are a decent writer and have a clear outline of what you want the book to achieve, you can write it yourself. However, if you are busy running your company, it’s often best to have someone else write it. The review and editing process will eat enough time as the book comes together. You will be plenty involved. Your opinion matters. Your input in needed.
If you are stubborn and like to burn the midnight oil, you can write your book, but for Heaven’s sake, be wise and hire a professional editor and a separate proofreader (or ask the editor to find a proofreader). Why you want the proofreader is because we all make mistakes. Even the best editors can miss things. The time to find those typos is before the book goes to the printer.
Printing costs can be high, dependent upon the number of pages, the type of cover, the colors used in the book, the paper stock and so on. You will also need a good designer. We offer all the services you need and will walk you through the self-publishing maze. In short, there are two ways to self-publish. Do you know what they are?
You also need the book to be in downloadable e-book format. There are a variety of ways to self-publish an e-book. In fact, doing so takes little time. Smashwords is an excellent resource for online publishing, and you can’t beat the price. It is free to publish, but you need the book in the right format. Smashwords gives you a wonderful tutorial. At the time of writing this, Smashwords does not support Amazon’s Kindle. They are working on it, and they do support Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Smashwords also supports other platforms. For Kindle, go directly to Amazon and publish through the Amazon system. Again, the price is zero, and your book needs to be in the right format. The system tutors you on what to do. You want your book downloadable from your website and any social media pages you have, too. Otherwise, it’s not a very good marketing device. Rather you aren’t getting all you can from it as a marketing device. We can guide your in self-publishing your e-boor or do it for you for a fee (dependent upon the type and size of your book).
Gather stories from clients, customers, other professionals in your field, people in your company and your own personal stories to help support what you say in your book. Nothing works better as a marketing device than strong testimonials. In this case long testimonials or shared tales of the effectiveness of your strategies. Testimonials in brief are wonderful mechanisms for your website and social media pages, too. Use them as graphic components. It is advisable not to have a separate testimonials page. That can be irritating to site visitors. For your website, try getting video testimonials.
This is just a taste of what you might do to expand your company’s brand. The purpose is to get your brain percolating a little bit more about a book you might write or have written by a ghost that will help you in your professional marketing goals. There are nontraditional means by which to market, and a book can be part of that effort. Ask us how!