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All the news that's fit to print--or not.  Check in here for our latest articles and updates about anything in the ePublishing world.

 


KDP, Print on Demand and Printing books in Color

Through the Looking Glass xoloe illustration, Tweedledum's fuss by John Tenniel

"But, but...what do you mean, that it will cost THAT MUCH?!"

Thus begins a discussion that I get to have, repeatedly, with new-to-it self-publishers that have come to us, with a manuscript that they've tended lovingly, worked on, slaved over for months--and have chosen just the perfect image--in color--for some element or the other. A frontispiece, let's say, or just a small graphic detail for the title page.  (You remember the icon-ish graphics for The Hunger Games books, right?)

And what this means is that I get to explain to new publishers that color printing is expensive. I don't care if you're doing traditional publishing (more on that below) or POD (print on demand)--color costs. And it costs a lot.

Color costs. And it costs a lot.

What most new publishers don't realize is that there isn't any way, in POD printing, to only print the color pages (or that one hotly desired color image) on the color machine.  Unfortunately, in print on demand, the entire book interior, start-to-finish, is printed on one machine and one machine only.  

In traditional publishing, you can pay a bit more for design and layout, and your book designer can design your book so that it lays out in 'signatures,' which means that s/he plans the pages for printing together. S/he can lay it out in such a way so that all the color pages can be printed easily, together, and then cropped and included in the final book, with the bulk of the text printed on the regular Black ink printer.  (You can read more about how signatures work, here:  https://pressnostress.com/impositionwizard/tutorials/imposition/booklet/ and you can then envision how book designers can manage to make color-only sections work, for a printed book.)

But, in POD, nobody is doing signatures, nobody will print the pages separately and then collate, combine the book.  That's just not how that goes.   That means that you either pay the freight for 100% color, or you live without.  (On a bright note, you don't need the level of expertise that signature design takes, either, for your book designer.)

 If you're like most would-be self-publishers, you're thinking, "oh, so what?  How much can it really be?"  So, let's run the numbers, shall we? Let's take a typical, 300-page novel, laid out in 6" x9". (n.b.--the trim size is  not taken into consideration when the costs are calculated, so you pay the same for a 5" x8" page as you do an 8.5" x 11" page.)

  • 300-page book, Black ink printing:  printing cost, $4.45. Minimum list price on Amazon.com: $7.42. If the book is on sale for $10.00, your royalty from .com would be $1.55; the book would not be priced high enough to qualify for Expanded Distribution.
  • 300-page book, Color ink printing:  printing cost, $21.85. Minimum list price on Amazon.com: $36.42. If the book is on sale for $10.00--well, it can't be.  If you price your sales price at $40.00, your royalty from .com would be $2.15; the book would not be priced high enough to qualify for Expanded Distribution.  for ED, the book would need to be priced not less than $55.00, and you'd earn a $0.15 royalty from ED. (And $11.15 from Amazon, if anybody was nutty enough to buy it, of course.)

 I know, I know, you think I'm crazy.  No, you think, she can't be right!  Five times as much? (Believe me, the arithmetic multiplier goes up, too.) So, here's the link to Amazon's Royalty Calculator:  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200735480#royalty_calculator .  Download it yourself; it's an Excel spreadsheet with built-in macros, so if you don't have Microsoft Office/Excel, you probably won't be able to use it, sadly.  Ask a friend to use it for you if that's the case.

We all love color--humans are built that way.  But before you set your heart on that sunset, that icon, that fleuron in pink--be aware of just how much that love will cost you.

Until next time!

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Holiday Closing Alert!

Independence Day (July 4th), 2020 

(And a notice about phone calls.) 

4thJuly2020 smaller

As amazing as it is, this year, for the first time ever,  we're going to be closed for the 4th of July!

That means we're going to be closed, Friday-Monday, July 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2020.

And please, don't forget why we honor Independence Day. 

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the week of the 5th July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.  

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Phone Call Alert! 

(Please read, thanks.) 

Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

And since nobody reads anything, I've simply removed the phone number from the site.  

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.   

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Waiting for a reply to your inquiry? 

(Please read, thanks.) 

Man standing in the dark next to his computer holding a candle, like Diogenes of Synope

 Due to a Spambomb attack, our contact form is having issues!  

A notification about our contact form inquiries:  A few weeks back,  we endured a spam-bomb attack.  We received literally tens of thousands of emails, via our contact form on the CONTACT page.  Our web guys leapt into action, and put in a "ReCaptcha" element, to try to stop the spam bombs.   And it worked, hooray. However, it apparently also caused a glitch, in which we have NOT received all the submitted inquiries, from real customers and prospective customers. We apologize for this and we're in the process of fixing it. In the meantime, if you do not hear from us same-day, or at the absolute latest, within 24 hours, please email us directly, not using the CONTACT form, but the email address on our CONTACT page in the "How to Reach Us" column, thank you. We apologize for any inconvenience and we hope it's all resolved shortly. 

Thank you for your understanding.   

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2018-19 Winter Downtime Closing Announcement

2019-20 Winter Downtime Admin Office Hours:

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Super Happy New Year to you all!

Santa and Dasher Relaxing on the Beach

As many of our returning customers know, like Santa, early winter-to-Christmas Eve is our busiest time; some years, like this one, nobody gets a day off--not even Sundays--for many weeks, sometimes even months, heading into the last production day prior to Christmas day.  Each year, we close over the holidays, to recharge our batteries, just like Santa and Dasher here.  

We'll be closed, administratively, from 2/21 at noon, through the morning of January 6th.  Yes, TWO WEEKS.  On the morning of the 6th, Indy, our Queen o'Quotes, along with Jay, our Doyenne of Customer Delight (Production and Customer Service), and someone new to many of you, Judith, our Princess of Perfection (QA), will be covering for me from the 21st until I return on the 6th.   Production will be full-tilt boogie while the office is closed, but in Admin, phones will not be answered and emails will only receive auto-replies until we're back on our regular schedule. Books that are in production will be shipped, fear not.  But we won't be undertaking new work submitted during the Downtime, thank you.  Please respect that we work very, very hard in the early winter, and we need this break, thank you.  

Again, if you are an existing customer with a book in production, please don't panic.  All is normal, but this old girl, she needs a BREAK.  

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Latest Blogs

11 July 2020

KDP, Print on Demand and Printing books in Color

"But, but...what do you mean, that it ...

02 July 2020

Fourth July Closing Announcement 2020

Holiday Closing Alert! Independence Day (July 4t...

02 July 2020

Phone Call Ban Notice

Phone Call Alert! (Please read, thanks.) ...

02 July 2020

Contact Page Problem Notice

Waiting for a reply to your inquiry? (Please rea...

20 December 2018

2018-19 Winter Downtime Closing Announcement

2019-20 Winter Downtime Admin Office Hours: Merry...

20 December 2018

Holiday Closing Announcement 2019

Remember our Fallen Memorial Day, originally call...

Holiday Closing Alert! Memorial Day, 2021   

william zhang 310797 unsplash small

As amazing as it is, this year, for the first time ever,  we're going to be closed for Memorial Day!

That means we're going to be closed, Saturday-Monday May 29th-31st,  2021.

I know what you're thinking--what???  The whole country's just opening up!  Whaddya mean, you're taking off?  Well, we haven't been closed during The Plague.  We've been here working harder than ever, due to a wildly increased demand for our services, so honestly, the Crew and I desperately need these days away.  No telephone calls or emails will be answered.  The admin office needs a break.  We'll be back, everything to the ready, the morning of Tuesday, June 1st, to get cracking.  Thank you for your support and understanding.  And please, don't forget why we honor Memorial Day.  We should never--never--forget The Fallen.  

For those of you already in production, the production crew is running full steam; Judith (QA--Quality assurance, our Princess of Perfection) and Hakima in QA, and Jay (Our Doyenne of Customer Delight) will be here and working, checking books and sending them out, so please, don't worry.  It's just we lazybones in the admin office that need a break!