Food is one of the principle means
by which death is avoided.
Violet Moore and Kim Rempel of Steinbach Inksters were ready to publish. Now what? They checked around for a publisher and found many companies willing to help them empty their pockets. Sticker shock set in. Could there be another way?
Publishers handle books in two ways:
- “Published” – The publisher buys your book, underwrites the cost, markets the book and pays you a royalty.
- “Self Published” - The author underwrites the cost, and markets the book.
A new author has to be extremely lucky to be “Published”. The possibility approximates having a record label or movie company make you into a big star. The majority of new authors will be discouraged by repeated rejections.
The new author may then entertain the idea of “Self Published” until they become cognizant of the cost. Often the price per book including shipping is more than one can expect to sell it for. To be fair the publishing companies do provide services of value. They will edit your manuscript; format the manuscript for printing; design an attractive cover; print and bind the book.
One of our group overheard the term “Self Published” and naively placed the emphasis on “Self”. After all Steinbach Inksters is a writers club able to help and encourage each other with their manuscripts. All that is left is printing and binding the books.
By recognizing a few limitations and planning around them we have been able to print and bind books in sufficient quantity to test the market. Should the book become in great demand, visiting a local printer can solve the problem.
Whether famous or not, holding a bound copy of one’s work in hand provides a moment of deep satisfaction. Our goal is to help authors attain that moment.
Most domestic laser and ink jet printers do not print to the edge of the paper. Cover designs therefore need to have borders. One of our authors did not want borders and had the covers printed by a commercial printer. This increased the cost of the books. Sometimes it is worth it.
Most domestic laser and inkjet printers are designed for use with 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14 paper sizes. We have best success making the books 5.5 x 8.5 trade size. We print the books in 4 page signatures, fold the pages in half, align, clamp, then glue them. 8.5 x 14 card stock of suitable colour works great for the covers.
There are many excellent articles and videos on the World Wide Web that provide in depth instructions for binding books. Paperback book construction is referred to as “perfect binding”. Search the WEB for “diy perfect book binding”. Enjoy the read.
- Word Processor program
- Printer with auto duplex feature
- Gluing clamps made from surplus wood (Figure 1)
- Paper folding jig (folds need to be square and even) (Figure 2)
- Bone folder (helps make folds sharp)
- Artist brushes for spreading the glue
- Good quality fast drying contact cement
- 20lb photocopy paper
- Cardstock for the covers