The Proof Is in the Printing


Yesterday, I finally got the proof for my forthcoming book. Because the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) at the University Book Store has been down for a few weeks (!), the proof was printed in Portland, on the EBM at Powell’s. Consequently, it took two weeks instead of a couple of days (I’m sure the sudden surge in business Powell’s got after Stephen Colbert declared war on Amazon a couple of Wednesdays back didn’t help—at least, as far as shipping the finished proof back to Seattle was concerned).

I was happy to see that everything looked really good. Apart from making the expected adjustments to the images to ensure that sufficient detail could still be seen in darker areas, I had to make only a few minor revisions to the text (ones I’d already spotted while preparing the e-book version), plus a couple of minor formatting adjustments (for clarity). Even the mistaken use of white paper for the book’s interior (I’d requested the cream stock) worked well; in fact, I’ve asked that the white stock be used for the finished product.

I don’t know yet what the turnaround will be for the initial printing, but I’m hoping for early July. In the meantime, since I haven’t marked up the proof, I’ve got something I can show people…

(14 June 2014)

3 thoughts on “The Proof Is in the Printing

  1. Good on you, you’ve got something of your own you can read without the fuss or worries :-).

    I wonder, how much does book printing cost??

    Alex Smithson

    1. From what I’ve found, the costs will vary somewhat from location to location. There’s a setup fee that covers the initial consultation, setup, and a couple of proofs; then there’s the per-book printing cost, which depends on the number of pages in the book, and the number of copies you order for yourself (there are often bulk discounts available). If you want an ISBN and corresponding barcode, there are one-time fees for those as well.

      For my 116-page book, the upfront fees were $50 (+ tax) for the initial consultation and setup, and $50 (+ tax) for the ISBN. (I could have purchased the actual barcode for another $5, but decided to take care of that myself.) My printing cost will be $6 per book, with available discounts of 10% for more than 30 copies and 15% for more than 75 copies.

      I also opted to take advantage of their author program, in which the book store makes the book available for sale both in-store and online (usually stocking 2 or 3 copies); those copies are printed at no cost to me, and I get 25% of the cover price for each copy they sell. The great things about this arrangement are that it automatically makes copies available through a place that people know, people can order the book through the store’s web site, and I can still have more copies printed for my own purposes.

      1. Oh, well I’m happy to know your book is now in the hands of everyone, as it is your creation that you’ve shared to the world, well done and good luck on the book :-)!!!

        Alex Smithson

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