Submitting Native Files Can Save You Money

Many self-publishing authors are concerned about submitting print ready files. Often, an author will submit print ready files only to discover that the files do not meet on-demand printing requirements. This results in frustration, extra work, and additional fees. To help you better understand the process and avoid spending extra money, here is some basic information you need to know about print ready files and on-demand printing requirements.

On-demand Printing is Unique

On-demand printing is different from offset and home printing. Therefore, the requirements are different. On-demand printing is digital, and machines are not recalibrated to complement the book and file settings. Therefore, the file needs to meet the on-demand requirements.

Your Files Need Reviewed

Authors who submit print ready files often complain about being charged for the self-publishing company reviewing the files. However, many authors will submit print ready files that are not correctly formatted. This results in frustration and extra fees. To avoid this, authors can submit native files and allow the designers at the publishing company to format the book.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Choosing a Self Publisher

Self publishing is a big decision. Before jumping in, you need to research your options and pick a self publisher that meshes with your needs and goals. Here are three things you should look for when choosing a self-publishing company.

Design Options

Review the company’s interior and cover options. Most companies have standards for each genre. These standards are typically based on what is most viable in the marketplace.

Internal Processes

Each company has a process for handling the publication process, and requesting exceptions to this process can result in extra fees.

Prices and Options

Each company offers a variety of services during production and marketing. Find out what each company offers and the prices.

I’d love to know, what factors helped you choose a self-publishing company?

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Illustrations Affect the Success of Your Children’s Book

So – you have written a charming children’s story. Your children and all of your friends’ children love the storyline and the characters. You dream of becoming a published author. Perhaps you have ideas for a series that involve many stories with the same characters. Bringing those figures to life with an investment in high quality illustrations will contribute to the success of your book.

 I regularly tell authors: if you do not purchase one of our professional illustration sets, please hire an independent graphic illustrator to create your images. Make sure that you get a release from the artist giving you permission to use the illustrations and always get in writing that they will not be receiving any portion of the royalties from your book.

If you want your book to be taken seriously, you need to spend a little money to make it look professional.

 

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

 

What You Need to Know About Custom Covers

You’ve heard the cliché “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is especially true in the publishing industry. The cover is the first impression a reader gets of your book. Therefore, it needs to be appealing and professional, but it should also reflect the tone and style of your book. If you have a specific vision of your book’s cover, you are probably considering a custom cover. However, there are two different types of custom covers. Here are the basics.

Regular Custom Covers vs. Illustrated Custom Covers

Regular custom covers are created with photos from a photo image site. Illustrated custom covers are drawn by professional illustrators. If you take a trip to the bookstore or browse book covers online, you will see that covers with photos and covers will illustrations are two very different styles. Also, illustrated covers offer more unique designs. The type of custom cover you choose depends on your vision.

Choosing a Cover

When deciding whether to choose a regular custom cover or illustrated customer cover, consider these questions:

  • What do I want my finished book to look like?
  • What do other books in my genre look like?
  • What insight has my market research provided about cover art?
  • What is my budget for cover art?

I’d love to know, do you plan on using a regular custom cover or an illustrated custom cover?

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

The Importance of Illustrations

They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Don’t think that is true? Ask yourself, “Would A.A. Milne’s children’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh, be just as charming without the illustrations from Ernest Shepard?” Maybe, but the beautiful illustrations have brought the world of the Hundred Acre Woods to life. Award-winning illustrations are often the difference between a good book and a GREAT one.

Finding the Right Illustrator

The illustrations in your book help communicate your book’s value to readers and buyers. As a children’s author, you must remember that children are you audience but adults are your buyers. You need to produce a book that is appealing to both children and adults. One of the ways to do this is by combining your story with great pictures.

When choosing an artist, make sure their style meshes your vision of the book. There are a wide range of illustration styles, so it is essential that you choose one that helps convey your message. Self-publishing companies such as Outskirts Press allow you to choose the artist who best fits your needs.

How Illustrators Are Paid

Payment arrangements typically include a flat fee or royalties and usually depend on where you find your illustrator. Self-publishing companies are a good place to look for an illustrator. Some companies such as Outskirts Press don’t require you to publish your book with their companies to use their illustrators but offer a discount on services if you do publish with their company. When considering a self-publishing company, be sure to read all of the fine print.

Another option is to hire a freelance illustrator without going through a middle man. This can be done by searching sites such as www.guru.com and www.elance.com. You can also talk to other writers to find out which illustrators they recommend.

Before hiring an illustrator, make sure you look at sample work. Ask yourself, is this how I want my illustrations to look? If not, keep searching. There is an illustrator out there whose style will complement your story.

Beyond Picture Books

Illustrations aren’t just for children’s books. Pictures can enhance any book. Whether you are in need of a book cover, an interior image, or a full series of illustrations, there is an illustrator you can bring your book to life.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING:
Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Color Printing vs. Black and White Printing… What is the Difference?

When you choose to self-publish a book, you must decide you want the interior of your book printed in color or black and white. This decision impacts the look of your book as well as the price. When considering your options, it is important to understand the process as well as the benefits of each choice.

Colored Printing

Colored printing is typically used for smaller manuscripts averaging 30 to 50 pages. These are usually books geared towards children. Because illustrations tell half of the story in a picture book, color is extremely important in children’s books. It captures the imagination and brings the story to life.

Black and White Printing

Black and white printing is typically used for longer manuscripts. This not mean that you will have a black and white cover. It simply means that the interior pages of your book will be printed in black and white. This option is more cost-effective for longer manuscripts because of production cost and market price.

How is this different from traditional publishing?

In traditional publishing, the black and white pages of a manuscript are printed on one press while the colored pages are printed on another. After all of the pages are printed, the manuscript is assembled. Print on demand (POD) publishing works a bit differently. Each page is printed individually on the same press. This means that just some spot of color will require your manuscript to be printed on the colored press. This immediately increases the cost of your book because the colored press is more expensive to maintain and operate. It requires a more skilled operator and heavier, more expensive paper.

What options do authors of long manuscripts have?

As an author of a long manuscript, you need to not only consider the production cost of your book but also the market price. Long manuscripts that are published in color have a higher market price because of the production cost. This in turn typically results in poor sales because readers are unwilling to buy a book that is overpriced compared to other books of similar lengths.

This does not mean that you have to publish a dull book. If you want to include images in your longer length manuscript, you can use a grayscale. Your manuscript will still be printed on the black and white printer, but your colored images will be converted to black and white. This is an option that is frequently and successfully used by POD authors.

If you are passionate about your book being published in color, it is an option. Just be prepared for higher costs, and plan for a higher market price. One of the perks of self-publishing is that you are in control of your book. You decide how it will look, so make the choice that is best for you and your readers.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA:
Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Publisher Format Your Book

Your book’s format is important to its overall success. It’s so important that authors often outsource their book’s design to get the best possible results. While there are some authors who are skilled in graphic design, many authors are mainly talented in their own area of expertise — writing.

Authors that decide to publish their book using a self-publishing company, such as Outskirts Press, typically choose to allow the publisher to format their book for them. However, there are some authors who opt to either format the book themselves or hire a graphic designer. If you’re using a self-publishing company, you should not let them format your book if:

  • You don’t mind a poorly-designed book. The best writers can also be the most amateur book designers. If you aren’t experienced in graphic design, you should have someone else do this for you.
  • You want to pay more money — on top of your publishing package cost. In most cases, your publishing package has the fees for book design already built into the cost. Publishers typically don’t reduce the cost of your package even if you submit a “print-ready” manuscript. On top of that, graphic designers are in demand and charge premium fees. This can add a hefty amount to your publishing costs.
  • You want to have “more control” over your book’s formatting. One of the biggest benefits of self-publishing is maintaining creative control over your book. The importance of this benefit cannot be overlooked. So, while this may initially seem like a good reason to design your own book, you can achieve the same result by allowing your publisher to design it for you.

Did you let your publisher design your book for you?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA:
Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.