Within a few weeks, Publishers’ Graphics will be launching a new bookselling website called PG Direct.  This e-commerce site replaces the existing PG Bookstore and will have a new domain.

PG Direct is a new sales channel that features a well-designed shopping experience aimed at the consumer. By eliminating multiple steps in the book printing and selling process, we’ve simplified the supply chain, making it easier to order, print and distribute your book. PG will offer discounted retail pricing, free USPS shipping, and fast production and delivery times for titles in this proprietary catalog.

With its singular focus on books, PG Direct offers an attractive alternative without distractions from unrelated products and content. Publishers will especially benefit with an additional sales channel that provides more exposure and visibility for their titles.

What does this mean for my book? The PG Bookstore (www.publishersgraphicsbookstore.com) will no longer exist as of late July. If you are a current retail or wholesale bookstore customer, you have an opportunity to include your book in this new sales channel. Just like before, each title will consist of a personal storefront with book image, description and a retail price established by you. There’s no cost to list your book, and we’ll handle all the transition details.

Personalized storefront for your titles

Personalized storefront for your titles

What’s in it for me? It’s a unique opportunity for you to reach a broader audience. Along with a fresh, up-to-date look, the new site is considerably more powerful than our current bookstore with robust search capabilities. Plus, we’re investing in online search engine marketing so that more customers can discover, purchase and enjoy your titles. In addition, advertising and promotional opportunities will be available to feature your books.

How will I get paid when my book sells? Our model offers a competitive pricing program. Here are a few examples:

B/W Softcover                                                                   B/W Hardcover

6 x9, 200 pages                                                                  8.5 x 11, 200 pages, with dust jacket

List price:                         $14.95                                        List price:                    $34.95

PG printing:                      $2.41                                          PG printing:                  $7.48

PG commission (25%):    $3.74                                         PG commission (25%):    $8.74

Customer makes:         $8.80                                           Customer makes:      $18.73

What if I don’t want to participate? That’s okay; you’ll still be able to easily order your titles via our customer portal on the PG website. Our new Reprint Center enables you to quickly log-in, view your titles and order, all with a few clicks of your mouse.

When will this happen? Very soon! We hope to go live with the new site within a week or so.

What are the next steps?  If you wish to participate, there are some easy forms to fill out. Give us a call and we’ll email  them to you. If you have questions, please email:: choffmann@pubgraphics.com or call 630.221.1850.

 

 

 

HELP WANTED

in St. Louis, MO (Earth City)

Capture

**These positions are best suited for individuals who are NOT interested in full-time employment, but who may need only occasional income or who may want to supplement a fixed income (i.e., the stay-at-home Mom/Dad, a part-time student or someone who is semi-retired).

We’re excited to introduce two new PG employees: William Hendrickson and Darin Morgan. Short run book printing, POD

Our new Bindery/Print Manager William Hendrickson will be based in our Florence, Kentucky facility.  William has 23 years’ experience in the printing industry.  He has a successful track record of staff leadership and training, color/quality management, budget administration and operational efficiency.

William’s most recent position was with Hennegan, an RR Donnelley company, where he was a Quality Assurance Manager. There he demonstrated strong leadership, superior communication abilities and provided direction and strategies for customers in the printing/mailing industry.

William has kept abreast with rapidly evolving technology and has Xerox repair training along with education from the University of Kentucky, in Bowling Green. We look forward to working closely with William as he leads our production team in our Florence, Kentucky operations.

Also joining PG is Darin Morgan. Darin is our new Direct Mail Account Representative based in the St. Louis area.

Darin has spent most of his career helping hearing aid companies with their direct mail campaigns.  From brainstorming creative ideas to targeting new audiences, his passion and knowledge of the hearing aid industry is readily apparent.

Darin possesses an abundance of energy and willingness to go the extra mile to assist his customers. In fact, he admits to taking a 24/7 approach, routinely fielding phone calls from clients in the late evening just to discuss a creative idea or two. Armed with creativity, enthusiasm and a successful track record, Darin is ready to take on your next direct mail challenge.

Here in the Midwest, we’re happy to see some COLOR finally reappear in the landscape. Color outside makes us think about color in books. Lately,  we’ve been printing a lot of great color in our books, and we do get loads of questions about this topic.

By now you’ve figured out that there’s lots of lingo to know in printing. Let’s start with the basics. One phrase you have probably heard more than once is 4 color process. The four color printing process is universally used in the graphic arts and commercial printing industry for the reproduction of color images and text.

Four-color process simply means that the four colors combine: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, or CMYK for short. The K is Black. You can think of CMYK as building blocks because most of the color spectrum can be reproduced with just the four process ink colors.

 

CMYK, the building blocks of color printing.

CMYK, the building blocks of 4-color printing.

These four colors combine during the printing process to create the full color butterfly image, pictured to the right. Formerly, this was achieved with photographic film on a graphic arts camera, but it is usually done digitally with software now.Look at the detail view of the wing. It’s really just dots of CMYK, using filters and screens and combined, forming the final 4-color image.

So now you know what CMYK is and you’re ready to quote. You’re most likely going to run into some letter/number combinations that are confusing. Here are a few shortcuts you’re likely to see:

4/0:  It means:  4 color process on side 1, no color on side 2

4/4:  It means:  4 color process on side 1 and side 2

4/K:  It means: 4 color process on side 1, Black (K) on side 2

Color is one of our specialties at PG. It’s not just for covers; more and more, we’re seeing it used within text pages and insert sections.  We’re always happy to help you understand it and  utilize it in your titles.  To help you get inspired,  here are a few images of color books recently printed.

DSC_0846DSC_0813DSC_0835

 

Book spines

When books are stacked up on a shelf, what’s on the spine is the only visible information about the book. In a book store, the details on the spine are what initially attract attention.

Creating a book spine is a critical aspect of the book design process. Whether hardcover or softcover, all perfect bound books require a book spine. But all too often spine measurements are overlooked during the design phase, and you end up with problems. Too thick of a spine, and your book closes with a tent-like gap. Too thin, and your book won’t close at all.

When you’re building your files, the width of the spine must be calculated and that measurement must be built into your cover art.  Yes, there is some math involved, but it’s not difficult and after a few tries, you’ll get the hang of it.  Of course, with all math problems, there is an equation:

spine width

In short, take the number of text pages and divide by the PPI.

What’s PPI?  It stands for Pounds Per Inch.  All papers have a PPI;  you can ask your printer for the PPI for your paper stock.  The chart below lists some PPI’s for papers on our floor.

PPI's for book weights

Here’s an example: Say you have a 500 page book and you choose a 70# Natural uncoated paper for the text pages.  Using the chart above, the PPI is 385.  Your equation is: 500 divided by 385 equals 1.29870.”  Rounded up, your spine width is 1.30.”   Simple, right?

There are some tools and templates on the PG website Resources page to help you calculate spines:  http://www.pubgraphics.com/resource-center.htm

Lastly, keep in mind these important considerations:

  • for hardbound books, add an additional 0.14 to the width (to accommodate the boards)
  • The minimum width of a hardcover spine is .0375
  • Max spine width is 21/4″ or 1200 pages
  • Avoid imagery/copy in the gutter– keep it 2mm away–  as glue won’t adhere to the spine

 

How do I market and sell my book?  By far,  it’s our number one question from authors. So after connecting with Alexa Whitten I knew I found someone who could expertly answer that!  Alexa is a head book coach at the Book Refinery, where she offers help with writing and publishing services for all aspiring authors. Here are her proven strategies:

Writing a book is such a powerful way of showing off your expertise, but many fall at the last hurdle –

Download a handy infographic

Step by step guide to market your book

There is not much point in going to all that effort, if your marketing isn’t spot on, and you are not able to get your book into the hands of your targeted readers. Many people wrongly assume that if they list their book on Amazon, they will become wealthy – but unfortunately that is not true. Amazon has had some terrible press recently (and rightly so, in my opinion) as they expect self-published authors to give a discount on the cover price, and the actual money made, once they take their cut, is pennies. Amazon is more interested in getting books out FOR CHEAP – and they will browbeat the supplier (or author, in this case) for the privilege.

So, instead of turning straight to Amazon, give these 7 simple strategies a try – and get the maximum profit for the book you’ve worked so hard to produce.

Number 1: Create a landing page for your book. This is most effective, especially if you can obtain a URL that is close to your book title. It costs roughly $20 a year for a domain, and it looks really smart when you use the URL in your advertising. Then you create a simple landing page (check out this site for what a good landing page should contain) and have a clean, easy to use, system for people to buy the book.

Number 2: Your List. Now depending on what kind of book you’ve written, I am going to assume you have a list of people who you regularly keep in contact with. Don’t have a list? Well, start!  Begin  by getting people to ‘opt in’ to your business website by offering something of value for free at the front end. In fact, you could offer the first chapter of your book – ask your designer (or whoever created your book) to make a nice PDF version – that includes the contents and the first chapter – then offer it, for free, with no obligation. You can do this in print ads too. Once you have searched out and ‘found’ the people who are technically interested in your writing (by requesting the free chapters) you then know they are the figuratively ‘raising their hands’ for more info.

Number 3: Publications. So, where do your targeted readers hang out? What papers do they read, what magazines do they buy? If you know that, then test small ads (or better still, try and get an editorial piece in the publication itself) offering your book and sending them to your landing page. Do your research and find out what your readers read. Also, offer the publication something of value – a reader offer. It’s a win, win situation – the magazine gives something of value for their subscribers, you get to distribute your book to targeted customers.

Number 4: Book Launch. Now most book launches are very self-serving – they promote the book, with little take away value for the attendees. If your book is aimed to get leads (written to position yourself as an expert) then use your book launch to continue that premise. Here’s an author who did just that – you can read all about it here. It doesn’t have to be about just  ‘your book’. Try and step into the shoes of your attendees, and gain leverage on that audience.

Number 5: Social Media. Now this is a no brainer. No matter what book you’ve written, social media is a great way to advertise your book. But be careful, no one really cares about your book per se. They care about the RESULTS it provides, so make sure you communicate that in your posts. Make it about the reader, not about ‘selling your book’. Offer competitions, reader specials (first 10 responders get 50% off cover price) and engage with your social media followers. With so many other people vying for attention, make sure you come from a different angle, and highlight the benefits of your book.

Number 6: Radio. This one can be really effective, as long as you approach it in the right way. Firstly try and get the names of the people at the local radio station – dealing with the right person holds lots of credit. Make sure you pitch your ‘talk’ or ‘interview’ as a benefit to their listeners. Again, people don’t want to hear you prattling on about your book…however, they would love to hear you talk about how you can help them in the area that your book is covering. Make sure you convey this to the radio station – and I’m sure they will be biting your hand off for you to come in and fill in a half hour slot. Make sure you advertise your books landing page when giving out details. (This is where having a URL with your book’s title is very effective, makes it much easier for the listener to remember.)

Number 7: Affiliates. In any line of business, you will have companies that offer parallel services to yours, and it’s these people you can approach to offer a special deal to their customers. This could be a very effective way of getting in streams of new clients and even if you offer your book for free, look at the revenue that could be gained from the back end. One new client could easily pay for the free books you might give away. Your joint alliance partner will also be offering their customers a great deal, as they are offering something of value – for free. It really is a win win.

You can find out more about Alexa and her company on her website: www.thebookrefinery.com

Visit pubgraphics.com for more information.

Even though we’ve been printing for almost two decades and see hundreds of titles everyday, most of us still get excited to see nicely designed and printed books go through the plant. In our increasingly electronic world, there’s nothing quite like print: the texture of the paper, the richness of the imagery, the satisfying snap of turning pages.

So get inspired…. and enjoy this new collection of books, hot off the PG presses!  (All photos by Jeff Kulinski)

POD books in full color

Full color bleed, gutters too!

POD for art books

Lots of white space and clean layout

Hardcover books with full color

So vibrant, the hand looks real!

casebound small size POD

Small but mighty

 

POD digital book

A picture worth a thousand words

Perfect bound POD

What will your next book be?

 

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