Re: OT? Printing a Book

Subject: Re: OT? Printing a Book
From: "Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, <mmpc0014 -at- pclink -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 11:11:34 -0400

Carol Anne,

First of all, don't even think about using Word for a book project. This will increase the cost and cause all manner of difficulty in your relationship with the printer. Frame and PageMaker are both good choices.

Second, those church recipe collection cookbooks are not a great model for you to be imitating. The companies that produce those specialize in just that kind of project and they charge a hefty service fee for their publishing skills. You want to deal with a printer who has experience producing books. You are the publisher and editor on this project, so you don't want to pay someone else to fulfill those roles.

Third, get a good grip on book design basics (you don't have to do anything fancy and, in fact, the simpler and more traditional you keep this, the better for everyone involved (particularly you). Chicago Manual of Style can provide all the guidance you need, and I recommend it to you.

Fourth, remember that you are typesetting, not typewriting. If you want this book to look like a professionally done book and not an amateur production, familiarize yourself with the basics of typography. Use en dashes and em dashes correctly, for instance. Use typographer's quotes. Yadayadayada. Again, Chicago is an excellent resource.

Fifth, be sure you understand the variables of book printing before you begin. This means you should probably settle on a printer before you lay out a page. Choosing a printer determines the maximum sheet size, which in turn determines the ranges of efficient page sizes that can be made from that sheet. Know what a signature is, what a dummy is, and how the book will be printed and bound before you begin. Find out from the printer what kinds of files you have to provide, what kinds of printer's marks you have to build into your pages, where the pictures can go if they're color (for example you may need to put all color pictures on one side of one signature in order to save on printing costs). NOTE: All discussions with a printer begin with how many copies you want to print. Everything else falls out from that single fact.

I'm sure there is more that others will offer, but this is a start.


Carol Anne Wall wrote:

>Now I need to find out what it will cost to get the book printed. I've
>never done this before (my employer doesn't publish its documentation), and
>neither has the director.
>I will be contacting the writer who wrote a history of a local church to
>pick her brain. After talking to her, I plan to call her publisher plus
>any other local print houses I can find listed in the miriad of church
>cookbooks I find sitting on our kitchen shelf. (my husband: cook,
>cookbook collector)
>Has anyone out there done this before? Any tips, tricks, pitfalls to
>avoid? Will I most likely need to write or transfer the project into Frame
>or Pagemaker (the agency has a copy of Pagemaker)? Or will Word alone work?

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