1. Mitch445
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    Mitch445 Member

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    Cost of designing a short book

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Mitch445, Jul 19, 2009.

    Hello. I desire to self publish a 55,000 word manuscript (no pics/graphics. Just text). I'm assuming that text layout for such a project wouldn't be too difficult for an experienced designer, but I've been receiving eye popping quotes that fall just short of the printing costs for 1,000 copies. Does this seem outlandish?

    Can someone with self publishing experience tell me what a reasonable price range would be to layout a 55,000 word book and create a pdf? Such information would give me greater confidence during round 2 of my designer search.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't know what prices have been quoted, so can't tell you if it's outlandish, or not...

    i use gorham printing, in centralia, WA for my books and the cost for cover design and printing a 68+k ms was:
    50 - $465.00; 75- $560.00; 100 - $643.00

    why do you only want to pay for the design?... are you going to print it yourself, on your own printer, or what?

    and if you are going to print it yourself, why don't you lay it out yourself?... it's not that hard... i did it for all of my 6 books in ms word and my printer converted the ms to pdf... if you want help, drop me a line... or i can lay it out for you, if you want, as long as it has not violent content [applies to fiction only]...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. Mitch445
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    Mitch445 Member

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    Hello Mamma.

    I will be using a printing company, but the printers in my area do not provide layout services, so I have to find a freelancer to do that because I'm very inexperienced. Unfortunately the quotes were $10 and $12 per page. If the book hits 175 pgs, the layout job alone could be as high as $2,100. I 'm wondering if this is a normal estimate or if they were trying to take advantage of my lack of publishing experience.

    You could lay out a book on MS Word? The printers in my area are not willing to accept Word files. They say it creates problems. Perhaps the pdf driver is a challenge to them. I'm not sure why. Afterall, converting Word to pdf is no longer a process in its infancy.They advise to find an interior bk designer who works with Adobe Indesign. Now I see why some authors leave it all up to IUniverse. Haha.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Frankly. if you don't have the expertise to know the layout issues and methods, it really isn't something you should be tackling yourself.

    Self-publishing, as attractive as it may sound, is just another form of vanity publishing. You pay for everything out of pocket, you have to become an expert in every phase of te process (including marketing and distribution), and there is no guarantee that anyone outside of your circle of friends will wish to purchase it.

    Are you REALLY sure this is a road you are ready to travel?
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A few thoughts:

    1. First, there are always POD type businesses such as Lulu that are reportedly pretty easy to use and formatting a book with them isn't difficult. The overall upfront cost is much less than you're looking at, but the cost per unit/book will likely be much higher. If you go through Lulu, I believe they have a package that you can purchase to get an ISBN and availability in places like Amazon.com etc., that you would have to do on your own if you went the other route.

    2. I don't know where you live, but if there is a joint vocational (career technical) high school in your area that has a graphic arts program, they may be able to assist you with layout issues. Students would probably do the work, but as it is part of their training, so other than materials, labor costs wouldn't be there.

    3. A lot really depends on the type of book/novel you're going to self-publish and your goals for it, and also if this will be the only book you plan to take this route with or if you have plans to self-publish more. If you're going to self-publish more, then learning the setup and design is probably going to be the only cost effective way to do it.

    4. Self-publishing is very time consuming and very difficult to get noticed or books into stores (other than possibly a few local ones). It may be better to try to go the traditional submission to established royalty paying publishers. They have the experience and distribution to help make a novel successful (read by many), but they are selective and the process takes a long time (from submission to acceptance to seeing the book on a shelf) and there is no guarantee that a publisher will be interested in your novel.

    Just a few thoughts after reading your post.

    Good luck,

    Terry
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you're really committed to getting your book printed to give away or sell on your own, you could also find yourself a printer who'll do what mine does and convert your ms word document to pdf...

    but keep in mind that you have to be a very good editor, because neither printer, nor any of the self-publishing venues will do much, if anything, to edit your ms and it will appear in print with goofs, glitches and typos unfixed...
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Converting a word document to a pdf file is very simple, if you have the progream (you need more than the free adobe acrobat reader).

    For a basic conversion/save: You save the MS Word file as you want it to appear and then 'print' to the pdf file format (much like the 'save as' option) and it will convert the file to pdf. It appears exactly as it did in MS Word, page for page.

    Terry
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Make sure you carefully examine a Print Preview first with your PDF "printer" selected. Changing your print device can change where page breaks occurl and other layout components may shift in undesired ways. That is why print shops expect PDF or other page-image formats instead of Word.
     

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