The stage is set: You're at your desk, a tasty beverage at the ready. Your hands are clasped in front of your chin, eyebrows creased in concentration, and you're drawing a blank as large as the blank page illuminating your screen.
Outside of print fanatics like us, it’s unlikely that many people off the street would have a favorite type of binding. Sure, plenty of people could weigh in on the hardcover vs paperback fight, but there are so many more options when it comes to binding.
The most common exception: spiral binding.
We just completed a relatively small order for one of our clients. Generally, small orders move through our production process quickly and frankly, without much fanfare. This particular project, however, caught my attention. The job was basically a photo journal that was compiled by our client during a recent trip with a close friend to the Appalachian Mountains. Many of her photos were exceptionally beautiful, most were your typical “tourist” photos. What struck me the most was the fact that, despite the variations in their aesthetic appeal, all of those photos were especially meaningful to her, and to the friend for whom we were printing the 72 page hard cover book.
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, that's true, but remember a book's cover includes the "stuff" on the back. That stuff, also known as a blurb, typically goes a long way in determining a potential reader's likelihood of purchasing and reading your book. And let's face it, we all do it: we pick a book off the shelf at the bookstore or library, look at the cover, and then almost instinctively turn the book over to peruse the "back of the book blurb." Most of us utilize that one-handed reverse flip motion of our dominant hand's wrist.
Whether dealing with Steuben Press or any other book printer, a key question for every author to ask is “how many books should I print?”
There’s no exact answer, of course—everyone author and every book is different—but we ask our clients to consider a few points when making their decision.
One of the most frequent questions we receive from new authors is what type of paper would we recommend for printing. It’s an important consideration for the look and feel of your finished book, and deserves some real explanation. However, it can also be a confusing and overwhelming question for someone who isn’t around a print shop every day.
It’s no great revelation to say that printed words are the basis of books; the average novel contains around 80,000–100,000 of them. We commonly say we're “reading a book,” but we’re really reading thousands and thousands of words.
Despite their importance, I’m willing to bet you've never told someone “I loved this book! The characters were so real, and the font! The font was just incredible!”
Printing words on a page seems simple enough until you recognize the challenge publishers and printers face: the words should essentially be invisible.
Earlier this year we had the real pleasure of beginning work on a book project by Timothy Imbriaco, called “If I Was A Rainbow.” One of the best parts of our job as book printers is to work with clients like Tim who are so very passionate about the message they want to share with the world. Their energy and dedication to the task is what I believe it takes to succeed as an author, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share Tim’s book and story with all of you.
For any author, making sure people can find your book is one of the essential elements of success (maybe second only to actually writing a book). It sounds much simpler than it is, of course; the main challenge of self-publishing is the self-promotion and marketing.
With all of the work involved in self-publishing a book, it could be tempting to trim down the process. While we’re all for making life easy there’s one element no author should skip: the ISBN.
Bleeds in a document are a very important consideration, though they are easily overlooked during the design process. Please review the following information to ensure your files are properly formatted for quick and accurate printing, especially when it comes to your book’s cover.
I’ve had three books printed by the team at Steuben Press. The folks here are generous in their advice and insights and efficient and timely in delivery. As long as this team exists, and I author books, our relationship will endure.
Check out Fr. Joe’s new book, “A Mighty Wind!” at www.frjoeoblinger.com