I received a call from Lisa Pelto of Concierge Marketing in Omaha this week. She called to say “thanks!” for the completion of binding and finishing of the limited edition, leather bound family history entitled: Scootin’ Through The Years: The Life and Ancestry of Philip Wesley Welch, Jr. When I get calls like this for a nice project of this nature, I always ask if it’s OK if we can do a little feature on the project here at the blog, and Lisa graciously agreed.
We became aware of the project months ago when I spoke to Lisa earlier in the Spring to go over the preliminary specifications. A few months went by before I heard from her again. This is fairly typical in our business, especially when you realize that the book was a massive 754 or so pages filled with historical information, photos (both black and white and color) and ancestral charts, indexing …basically the whole nine yards went into this book!
Lisa’s team at Concierge Marketing handled all selection of cover materials, specification of foil colors as well as typography, layout overall design, and print coordination. I am sure that’s over simplifying it!
The cover design involved red foil stamping on front, spine and back of the book as shown in our setup sample below.
The cover material chosen was a specific type of Black Sturdite, a bonded leather material. To further complicate matters, this material was chosen months prior to completion of the books. As we approached the production of this, we were informed that this specific material was no longer being made. Luckily, we still had a small roll on the factory floor that was enough to cover this limited edition.
On the front cover we applied a 4 color printed tip-on mount as shown in the final product here at left.
Books were bound on our new Pioneer PUR binder. This machine is ideal for small run lengths and lent itself well for the fact that we had to to apply printed end sheets to the book blocks. This new binder has a special feature which allows us to apply printed, folded end sheets to a PUR bound book, without the end sheets being ground off at the spine! We bound the books and added red/white checkered head and tail bands to the editions.
When you send a project in to a supplier, (as Lisa did to us), I know from personal experience, that you are placing a lot of trust in that company. We don’t take that responsibility too lightly at Houchen Bindery, Ltd. Even with the best of intentions, complications can arise and misunderstandings can occur over the smallest of details. As the finish of the job came down to a difference of one day more than what Concierge Marketing required, we re-arranged some schedules and completed all aspects of the job in time for their deadline. As we rounded the corner to completion, just in time for the customer to fly out and deliver books to a family gathering, everything turned out nicely.
It’s always nice to work on a fancy project that turns out well due to proper pre-planning and experienced hands guiding a project on it’s way. If you are thinking about producing a family history or other type of self published book, and looking for some assistance, I would recommend the services of Lisa Pelto at Concierge Marketing. As the name implies, they can custom cater a program of assistance and services to authors or groups looking to publish a book or series of books.
About Lisa Pelto and Concierge Marketing
Lisa Pelto, is President and CEO of Concierge Marketing. She will help you create the very best book possible! Lisa speaks to groups both locally and nationally on cause-related marketing, cost control, manufacturing, special markets and other publishing issues. She is actively involved with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, SCBWI, Greater Omaha American Marketing Association, and a faculty member of IBPA University (Independent Book Publisher’s Association).
Film Lamination provides a beautiful, lasting, luxurious protection over a printed book cover or dust jacket. There are various styles and brands of film lamination, primarily in a High Gloss finish or also a Matte finish. Since I last posted previously about some of the challenges we face as a bindery, there have been some advances and new products coming out on the market. As we have spent the last few years perfecting our film laminating skills, I have also become friends with several other peers in the industry, facing the same challenges we do when it comes to film lamination. It is really nice to be able to reach out and get some advice sometimes from someone who may be dealing with identical challenges. It seems as though the industry and manufacturers are really making strides to address the challenges for film laminating on digitally printed book covers. We are seeing some positive advances talking place!
Aside from the film laminate itself, there are several factors at play: substrate, (machine) temperature, pressure and dwell. Other factors such humidity, and time between printing and the lamination process can also seem to affect the final product. Whereas some book manufacturing facilities may have greater control over all aspects of the process since they are printing and laminating usually on their own standardized materials, as a stand-alone trade bindery, we face the challenge of receiving numerous types of substrates from numerous customers who have used many different paper stocks and printed on many different types of print engines. Toner based digital printing can be difficult to adhere the film laminate to the sheet. If a cover design has heavy, dark coverage or it comes from a print engine that has excess wax or fuser oil, it can lead to de-lamination when we apply pressure to the book cover during the case making and case-in process.
Standardized paper stocks for film lamination
The most consistent performance we have found comes from using a 100 lb text gloss. The house stock that we print on is Altima Gloss (an FSC paper). Avoid synthetic papers, photographics papers, and even un-coated papers can be problematic at times. Also avoid aqueous coating a sheet that will be film laminated!
Here is a close up picture of a digitally printed sheet we received, which we were unable to film laminate. As you can see, the sheet has a super high gloss finish in the dark printed areas. This does not allow film lamination to adhere. It simply peels right off! The same thing happens if you use an aqueous coating over the 4 color process.
Do leave space around all images for lamination!
Do not trim down the cover or dust jacket sheet before supplying it to the bindery for lamination. Here is an example of an offset printed sheet, delivered to us “2-up”, with all the appropriate white space around all edges and in between the 2 images. This allows us to select the right size lamination roll for the height of the cover and to have enough white edge for sheets to overlap as they travel through the machine. Here is a short video that shows how covers are film laminated
As I mentioned, it has been very positive to see our lamination film suppliers across the world address the new challenges we face with digitally printed sheets. There have been numerous advancements within a short period of time with improved Super – stick or high tack laminates for the digitally printed sheet. One other exciting development we have now completed testing of is newer matte lamination some people are calling “Soft Touch” or Velvet touch. I have come to find out that a few different manufacturers offer a similar product under different names. The new film has a matte finish with a tactile feel to it something like the skin of a peach. It’s a very distinctive look and feel. I have already been using it on a number of projects recently with great results.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any questions or comments, perhaps just want to share some war stories you have had in regards to lamination of your projects, please feel free to call or email me!
Martin Pugh | 1-800-869-0420 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(C) 2013 Martin Pugh All Rights Reserved
Things You Should Know about Film Lamination
Note: The copyright of each title in pictures above are owned by their respective publishers. The images of these books are posted here for educational purposes only.
Just less than 2 years ago, I had posted a very widely read guest blog article by Nancy Humphreys. Just this week, I was delighted to hear from Nancy again with a request to guest blog here at www.editionbinding.com! Nancy has done some great research work on this very important topic that many publishers and authors may not immediately think about. Please read on:
What Size Should a Library Book Be? by Nancy Humphreys
If you could make your book any size you wanted, what size would you pick?
This is a question I recently asked myself. At first I couldn’t think of anything. Then, for some reason, the idea of a 12 x 12 inch square book appealed to me.
But this isn’t a choice we really have right now, not if we want to sell our book(a) to the biggest hidden market in the US – libraries.
There are about 120,000 libraries in the US alone. Libraries spend over a billion dollars each year for buying books. This is why the size of a typical book, hardback or paperback, is determined by the standard sizes of shelving currently found in libraries.
I’m going to tell you what size book to create for sale to libraries and what to do if you already have created or want to design a book that doesn’t fall into the standard size-ranges that librarians prefer.
Standards for library-book sizes
The typical shelf in a library bookcase will be 12 to 14 inches high and 10 to 12 inches deep. As a result, your bound book should be around 9-10 inches tall and 6-7 inches deep
Individual shelves within a library bookcase can be raised a couple of inches to accommodate reference books, large-print books, and children’s picture books up to 12 inches tall and still leave enough space above the books so that readers can pull a book out from the shelf.
Books that are much bigger (or smaller) than 7 to 12 inches tall will cause librarians problems with storing them.
Undersize books and standard-sized thin books with floppy covers tend to get shoved back behind other books on a library shelf, so they are usually stored in pamphlet (PAM) boxes or file cabinets.
“Oversize” books tend to get parked in in odd corners and unused nooks in the library. They will be stored far away from the standard-size books about the same subjects. This means these books may never garner any readers.
The fate of oversize books in libraries
Oversize books tend to go on the bottom of the shelves because they are bigger and heavier than regular books. This means their spines are harder to see. Librarians and patrons who have to bend over to pick up heavy books (or dig out small or flimsy books) from the bottom shelves will not be happy with you.
You want happy readers who will read your book and spread the word about it: word-of-mouth advertising is how most books get sold.
Here’s an example of a double-faced oversize book bookcase. This shelving unit has two shelves, low-to-the-ground to accommodate the weight of the larger books. Note that most oversize bookcases will only house books with a depth of no more than 16 inches from the spine to the front edge of the book.
Libraries where book size doesn’t matter
On my Authormaps blog site, I’ve written about the important change taking place in the “Largest Libraries of the Future“. These libraries are currently implementing ASRS storage of books.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), created for use in commercial document storage centers, are springing up in larger libraries all over US and the rest of the world. Here’s a partial list of US libraries using them:
- California State University, Northridge
- California State University, San Francisco
- Chicago State University
- Colgate University
- San Francisco State University (video)
- Santa Clara University (video)
- University of Chicago (video)
- University of Louisville
- University of Missouri at Kansas City (video)
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- University of Utah
- Utah State University
- Valparaiso University (video)
The University of British Columbia Library in Vancouver was the first Canadian library to adopt an ASRS system back in 2005. It nicknamed its system “the library robot”. In ASRS systems, huge robotic cranes lift giant bins off metal racks and deliver them patrons in a matter of a minutes.
This video from Macquaire University Library in Sidney shows the first ASRS system built in Australia.
What changes are ASRS systems bringing?
In ASRS systems, books are shelved by size not subjects in bins rather than on shelves. ASRS bins can accommodate books of widely-varying sizes. If this trend catches on with librarians, authors and publishers may become free to choose almost any size they like, that can be printed and bound, for their books.
For now, stick with standard library-size books. But if you’ve got an oversize book, think about a targeted direct mail campaign to libraries that use ASRS systems. These are libraries where your book will have the same chance as any standard-size book of being discovered by library patrons.
For details about how to send a targeted mailing to selected librarians, see my guide, “Marketing Your Book to Libraries: An Insider’s Guide for Authors” at Authormaps.
I know (boooo) I have not posted anything here at the blog for a while. We have been so busy at work, I was in need of turning off the tap for a spell. I will get back to more regular updates here soon. But today, for a completely different reason, I felt compelled to use this blog and your readership to help a friend:
It was about 2 years ago I reached out to some book designers on LinkedIn and did some interviews with several of them. I did a special spotlight on Judith Stagnitto Abbate at the time, and ever since then we have kept in touch as virtual friends on a fairly regular basis. I was saddened to find out the news today that Judy is in need of a big surgery. I truly can relate to the fears and concerns she must be having, especially as a self employed book designer.
Please click on the link here and read the story further at youcaring.com. If you could reach down and help donate to a truly talented person and a wonderful couple, I know they will truly appreciate this!
Every so often we get to work on a project that is hard to just box up, invoice and ship it off without a little “show and tell” about the project.
Rocks and Oil, The Memoirs of Paul L. Keyes was one of those type of projects. The project was spearheaded by Scott Damshroder, founder of the book design firm Big Ransom Studios in Georgetown, TX. Although we are both busy working on quite a few hot projects right now, when things simmer down, Scott has agreed to guest host a blog article providing some further in depth information on the origination and various aspects of this fine edition.
Producing projects like this requires an enormous amount of attention to detail and team work. Over a period of months, we worked together with designer, printer, our bindery and an outside specialty finisher to complete the final product.
Here’s a few shots of some of the production techniques deployed on this fine edition:
My hat’s off to Big Ransom Studios for such a fine job on the design, concept and production of this fine edition. Look for more details here from Scott in the near future in relation to this impressive production!
Self publishing is such a hot topic of discussion these days, that if you follow headlines in social media, it starts to become a bit overwhelming.The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287 percent since 2006, and now tallies more than 235,000 print and “e” titles, according to a new analysis of data from Bowker® Books In Print and Bowker® Identifier Services
Is it all so easy? Is it always profitable? Is it a better deal to self publish than go the traditional route of seeking a contract through a book publisher? (My answers in order are not too hard, definitely not and it depends….)
Mary Beth Smith of Alphagraphics invited me to be part of a self publishing workshop last month in Dallas. They had a great turnout and the program was really well planned. One of the stand out take-aways I can recall she spoke about was the first question you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not to self publish your work:
“Are you going to sell your book?”
This is the crucial question to determining the production elements, the overall book design, the potential print run and how you will go about promoting the book. After all, if you are not going to worry about selling your book, then perhaps you don’t need to worry about spending too much on the editing and design of the book…..certainly you won’t need to get an ISBN # if you are just passing out a few copies of your memoirs to friends and family. But if you want to go beyond that, there are many things you need to carefully consider.
“Self Publishing” does not always mean going about it all by your self. There are many good “coaches” and author service type companies out there that can guide you through the maze of a book production while still allowing you to retain all rights to your book.
I had another meeting the following week after Dallas with a new publisher in Minnesota who works with authors, writers and self publishers in areas ranging from traditional book publishing to interactive media. According to some of the statistics he quoted: only 8% of self published books sell more than 100 copies within one year of publication and only 3% of self published books sell more than 50 copies more than that after over one year of publication. So in other words, only a very small percentage of self published books are commercially successful to any great degree. He also mentioned that 81% of the entire population feels as they have a book inside them and a very large percentage of them will act upon this through the attempt of self publishing. As he mentions, these days–it is pretty easy to get a book printed, but it is much harder to sell it!
As to traditional book publishing it’s no easy game either: statistics show that of all the titles published annually by the established commercial publishers, only about three out of ten are financial successes.
Having been in the business for awhile, I have had the opportunity to see the gamut: Bestseller success for a few titles, moderate sales for many and dismal failures for many others. Here’s a few of the trends I have seen among the best ones:
* Successful book projects have a well mapped out plan for editing, design and promotion- all in advance of any work being done. Whether this involves one person or an entire publishing team–the plan is key. You have likely heard the phrase: …..“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
* Editing, cover and interior book design as well as indexing are very important and should be budgeted for and proper time allotted. Don’t leave these tasks to amateurs if you don’t have the skill set your self.
* When planning the marketing and promotion of the book, ask the printer/binder to see if they can produce an advance sample so that you can weigh the book. It’s very important to know (in advance) how you will ship individual copies and if by changing the size of the book ever so slightly, will it save production and/or shipping costs?
* A successful book project usually has a very clearly defined target audience. Books that don’t have that- or try to cover too many topics within one book, usually suffer. The title of the book should clearly convey this.
While many self published books are produced as inexpensively as possible, in a soft cover format, there are certain genres where a hardcover book is an excellent choice. Children’s books, coffee table books, memoirs and historicals, scientific and medical reference books to name a few. I have worked on many a self published title in these genres for our customers and always welcome the chance to be of assistance should you have any questions in advance of your production. Working a project backwards through the bindery production aspects first can often filter out potentially hazardous choices you would make and we can correct them before occurring. Spending some time in advance discussions with designers and printers is always useful.
That’s all for this week’s post. Hope you have found this information helpful. If you are going to self publish, chances are no one will be able to talk you out of doing it! Just use some of the information in this post to approach the project with your eyes wide open. My next post is going to cover a few of the ways you can make wise production choices to keep your unit cost of book production within reason.
Some related posts you might find useful:
Tips for Self Publishers Choosing a Book Designer
Book Designer Spotlight: Abbate Design
The Importance of Indexing Your Book by Nancy Humphreys
(C) Copyright 2013 Martin Pugh All Rights Reserved
Martin Pugh | 1-800-869-0420 | email@example.com
I posted about this project a couple weeks ago. The Kickstarter project by Eric Gross, Followers of the Pandorics ~ The Hands On Workshop is now 132% funded with 2 weeks to go.
Because of the wonderful response to the project, Eric has upped the ante with a specially designed clamshell case for donors of $200.00 or more. The hand crafted clamshell case will be covered in the same Black Eurobond Flanders leather as the bound book itself.
Here’s a glimpse at a photoshop prototype provided by the craftsman who will be hand producing these exquisite clamshells.
Please check out this Kickstarter project here, while there is still time to get in on what truly will be a very special collectors edition!
Do you have an idea for a book production and want to launch a Kickstarter campaign? Let me know how we can help be of assistance with the production aspects of the project!
Last month, Houchen Bindery Ltd. was visited by Emily Nohr and staff from the Omaha World Herald. She runs a regular in depth article called Made in the Midlands, and had a very nice feature on our company.
I was aware in the past 12-13 years, March was typically dedicated in certain literary circles as SMALL PRESS MONTH. I went to check out www.smallpress.org only to find out it appears to have been overtaken by a Chinese website I could not decipher. Oops…Ni Hao Ma! (that’s “Hello” in Chinese). I also follow www.goodreads.com where Sarah Johnson mentions it appears to have lost funding or interest, nevertheless she will forge on with spotlights throughout the month on Small Press topics.
A Small Press by definition could possibly be a self publishing company, a “micro-publisher” or just a publishing company that does not produce titles in large volumes, but more so for a niche audience. Some of the famous small press’s have a very large backlist of titles in print.
We get to see several of these types of projects at Houchen BIndery Ltd. where our focus is on short run length, hardcover and soft cover book binding. While I appreciate receiving direct calls from independent authors wanting us to work with them, we are truly focus on providing the tail end of the book production service–binding. So I often find myself in need of referring these folks to the services of a freelance book designer, and editor, indexer, or printers. who can assist them in the areas of book development that they may need help with. Here’s a previous blog article about some of the freelance designers I network with.
It all seems appropriate as I head down to Dallas on March 6th to participate in a workshop on Self Publishing hosted by Mary Beth Smith of Alphagraphics. Alphagraphics of North Dallas/Park Cities is making a conscious marketing effort into the area of Self Publishing down in it’s local market, and I see that it is a good fit and a growth market. They are providing individual authors consultation services from design through production and marketing support. I look forward to being part of their workshop. Mary Beth has a widespread following through her LinkedIN organization “Girls Who Print”, but is also blogging now at dallaspublishingblogspot.com.
In our own backyard, another firm called Concierge Marketing in Omaha NE, is run by Lisa Pelto. Lisa and staff have for many years now been working with independent authors and micro-publishers providing a variety of services ranging from business planning, book design, production services all the way through book marketing and fulfillment. Do-it-yourself publishing can be daunting. Rather than being left high and dry on the digital desert by going it alone, the services she provides can be enormously important to the success of your project. I have worked with Lisa on a few projects and can vouch for the value of their service. Check out her blog where she is writing an article every day this month related to Independent Author/Small Press topics. I have also invited Lisa to guest blog here and am hopeful you will be seeing something from her here soon.
Another area of focus for me this year is in networking with individuals and groups that want to produce a project through a KickStarter campaign. I spoke about one such project 2 posts ago, and as of today Eric Gross of The Hands On Workshop’s: Toy Maker’s Magnum Opus Act One is now as of tonight, 62% funded with 4 weeks left to go. I look forward to working with many other projects in the coming months. I have a few other “friends in the business” who will be funneling projects our way to help work with on the finishing/binding aspects of their projects. As I wrote about previously, a KickStarter campaign can be a great way to fund a project while limiting your risk of investment. I have seen that successful campaigns are usually those for people who already have a good following and well executed plan. Don’t expect to come out of nowhere and get funded. In Eric’s case, he has been working on this significant series for many years, developed a strong following and the KickStart is more or less the icing on the cake to help complete a phenomenal project. Parts 2 and 3 of his grand undertaking will be following shortly thereafter.
As a book binder, when I am out on the factory floor, it hardly feels like we are at the tail end of a project that may have taken years to culminate. It feels like like we are right in the middle of the action! But I do know that we are but a small (but extremely important) part of a long chain that needs to communicate clearly all the way across to ensure success. So no matter what part of the book publishing process you may be involved with, feel free to pick up the phone and give me a call. I welcome the opportunity to be part of your success.
Get My FREE E-BOOK on BOOKBINDING!
Would you like to know more about the various techniques we use to bind books? I created this e-guide to help educate new and existing customers on our procedures. If you would like to receive a Free copy of my E-Book on bookbinding, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Martin Pugh 1-800-869-0420