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Over her 45 year career, Sarah has literally touched millions of books!

Story by Ann Hoover

Sarah Billingsley has retired after nearly 45 years in the printing industry.  Sarah started her career in printing with Corley Printing Company on March 29, 1971 and ended it with Publishers’ Graphics on January 22, 2016.  During that time, she worked in the bindery department at two plant locations while company ownership changed 5 times, under the direction of 5 supervisors and side by side with hundreds of co-workers.

Over the years Sarah has handled, literally, millions of books. And, because of her level of commitment, those books were quality products!  Her dedication and attention to detail were to second to none.  Just imagine how many peoples’ lives have been touched by the books she produced!

Beyond her contributions to the company’s success was her personal contribution to daily life at the company. Sarah has a wonderful sense of humor, and she isn’t afraid to “shoot from the hip” when it comes to expressing her opinions.  She’s a straight-talker who, over the years, has surprised and amused all of us.

Sarah ended her career as she began it – with the appreciation of her supervisors and the admiration of her “work family.” As was mentioned at her retirement luncheon last week, she has finished the race and finished strong!  Sarah will be sorely missed, but we are very happy that she is beginning this new chapter of her life.  Good luck and God bless, Sarah!

Sarah with cake

 

Last time punching out!

Last time punching out!

 

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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

 

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?

 

goodmove artwork

Over the weekend, the Commercial Letter team moved across town into the PG facility in Earth City, Missouri. To accommodate the added staff and equipment, the PG plant was remodeled: walls were knocked down, cubicles broken down and reassembled, offices rearranged, electricity and security enhanced—all topped off with a fresh coat of paint.

Behind the scenes, system integration is well underway and new technology platforms are being developed.  There’s more work ahead, but overall we’re pleased with our progress.  By the looks on these smiling faces, everyone is happy that this phase is completed!

With the CL and PG staff now situated under one roof, it’s full steam ahead!  Here’s some photos from the big move!

 

As a publisher, you’re often asked to promote books, authors, and events like book signings. That means you might require additional print services like postcards, catalogs, lists, and direct mail.

Now you can look to PG for everything you need all under one roof. With our acquisition of Commercial Letter, we’re excited to offer direct mail products and services. Here’s a partial listing of what we can do:

Are you announcing a new book or book event? There’s a postcard for that! Common sizes are 4 x 6, 6×9, and 6x 11, and we can even print a jumbo size of 9 x 12.

We now offer printing and mailing of postcards, catalogs, direct mail pieces.

We now offer printing and mailing of postcards, catalogs, direct mail pieces.

You asked for them:  Publisher catalogs are now a reality!  List and promote your titles (and your back-list) with our saddle-stitched 4-12 page catalogs and booklets.  Popular sizes are 8.5×11 and 8.5×5.5.

Is your direct mail project more complex? We offer a variety of formats for self-mailers, folder packages, custom handwork or the works—from simple letter-sized packages to multi-piece 9 x 12 packages.

Are you trying to reach a select audience? From consumer and business lists to specialty lists, our list services team can help you obtain the addresses you need in the areas you want to target.

What if you could print a personalized map with directions to a book signing event?  With Variable Printing you can! We can integrate your data into a truly personalized direct mail piece that sets you apart from the competition.

Data management is Square One. If your mailing list is a mess, you won’t reach those targets you want to market to.  Before you spend money, let us analyze and  clean your list with tools like postal formatting, NCOA processing, and merge/purge services.

Are you printing and distributing journals? Do you have a warehousing plan in place? As you wade through complex postal regulations—both domestic and international—you may need some guidance!  Our team can analyze your current program to find those areas that need some tweaking.

Challenge us! We pride ourselves on finding ways to help you with even the most complex packages, including printing ideas, suggestions for the best formats, and data/list advice.

Visit the Commercial Letter website to find more information about our new direct mail products and solutions.

By Katie Owens, PG customer service

A lot of authors create their content in Word documents.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but like most digital printers, PG works in a PDF workflow, so final files must be submitted in that format.

So how do you convert your Word documents to PDF’s?  It’s easy!  Just follow our step-by-step guide:

Step 1:  On the top bar of your work document, you will see multiple tab options. Click on PAGE LAYOUT.

On the top bar of your work document, you will see multiple tab options.  Click on PAGE LAYOUT.

Step 2: Once you are on the PAGE LAYOUT tab, click on the drop down option for SIZE. Next select MORE PAPER SIZES. 

Once you are on the PAGE LAYOUT tab, click on the drop down option for SIZE.  Next select MORE PAPER SIZES …

Step 3:  Go to the PAGE tab and you will enter in the WIDTH and HEIGHT of the book you want.

Step 3

Step 4:   The final step is saving your Word document as a PDF – see below for more detailed instructions.

Step 5

TIP:  Before proceeding, save a copy of your files, just in case something goes awry!

Go to “File”

  • Save As
  • Save As Adobe PDF
  • You will see a pop up notification from Acrobat PDF Maker: “Do you want PDFMaker to save the file and continue?” Click YES
  • Next you will see a new pop-up menu to save you file in a specific location and to name your file.

Make sure under the FILE NAME, you enter in the SAVE FILE TYPE AS and select PDF

  • Select OK and your Word file will be converted to a PDF.

That’s it!  Now you can rest easy knowing your files are set up in the proper format for digital production.

As always, you can give us a call or  visit pubgraphics.com.

 

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