The writer/publisher – part 12

The text and cover files for Danger Quicksand – Have A Nice Day went off to Publishers’ Graphics this afternoon and we all gave a huge sigh of relief. Gretchen and I have been doing round after round of final proofreading for the past few days and we were very happy to see it all end.

Putting any large document together requires great attention to detail and this book, at 220 pages, is the largest document I have designed on my own. It required eleven different fonts and several graphic images.

Once the editing was done, I had to create two PDF files which contained all of the fonts and graphic elements for the text of the book and for the cover. These are large files, 8 megabytes for the cover and 4 megabytes for the text.

I chose Publishers’ Graphics for the printing job after reviewing quotes, references, and samples again for all three printers. All three quotations and other responses were comparable, but Publisher’s Graphics had quoted the exact paper I wanted and their customer reference was doing exactly what I wanted to do. They also had the simplest requirements for submitting files. They told me to send PDF files.

In the final analysis, I learned a lot from being a buyer on this cycle. When your competition is very good, you get a competitive edge when you quote exactly what the customer asks for and you make it simple to do business with you.

When it came to making a decision involving thousands of dolllars of
my own money, I realized that I didn’t want to work with a vendor to
get what I wanted. I wanted to choose the vendor who got it right the
first time! I don’t have the time or energy right now to tweak things
to get them right. I want a printer who already understands what I want
and is ready to do it immediately.

Once the decision was made, all that was required was to send a
credit card authorization, signed quotes, and the PDF files. Of course,
as you know, the devil is in the details. Getting the files and other
information to the printer took at least another hour.

I was supposed to attach the files to an email and send them all off
to the printer. I sent the email, but they couldn’t receive it. So, I
set up an online folder from where they could download the files using
a browser. Of couse, it took a couple of tries to get the URLs right,
but the files are finally able to be downloaded.

In the next few days, someone will check the files for errors, and
if they are OK, will make up some proofs of the text and cover for us
to check. That should take about a week.

When we send back the approved proofs, they will get busy printing
the books and binding them. This part of the production cycle will take
three weeks plus shipping, so we should see boxes of books coming via
UPS by mid-April.

We are going to make a special offer to our friends who place orders
for the book before April 15th. You will see the details in tomorrow’s

Meanwhile, I am going to catch up on my sleep.

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