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Some books go through the ringer: Children’s books, library books, and reference and educational books are all subjected to extreme wear. Open, close, open, close….all day long.  Binding these types of publications is truly a challenge, and regular binding techniques like gluing, smythe sewing and saddle stitching often don’t cut it.

For books that need a super strong spine, we now offer Side Stitch binding equipment. It’s ideal for sewing short-run books on demand, either casebound or perfect bound.  As the name implies, the threads are sewn through the side of signatures close to the spine. This technique produces an incredibly strong book block.

Children’s books are especially good candidates for this type of binding since these books ordinarily take a lot of abuse!

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Stubbornly strong 

Our new Side Sewer has several important features including Back Tack Technology where the sewing machine does a reverse back stitch on the head and foot of the book block. This ensures a strong side sew that won’t come apart at the head and foot like standard side sewn books can (and often do).

Souped up and speedy

Speed is critical when you need to get books delivered to an important event. With the new Side Sewer, we can stitch up to 10 books per minute. That’s 600 books per hour!

Hardy half-inch thick

There a few limitations when it comes to spine thickness allowed for this technique.  Our maximum spine width for this capability is 1/2″ thick while which equates to about 70 pages of 60# offset paper.  The minimum book size is 1/32nd size.

If you have a book that might benefit from this binding format, give us a shout. Here’s a few photos of our new equipment.

 

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[Carol Stream, IL, March 1, 2016] Illinois based Publishers’ Graphics, a leading print on demand book manufacturer to the publishing industry, is celebrating its 20th anniversary of business this month. Two decades of experience have transformed the company from a small venture of innovative ideas into a successful company that employs over 100 employees working in three manufacturing facilities throughout the Midwest.

Publishers’ Graphics (PG) was founded in 1996 by Kathleen and Nick Lewis in Naperville, Illinois.Publishers' Graphics 20 Year Anniversary The Lewis’ initially established the company as a short run digital printer, helping both small and large publishers meet the growing demand for smaller print runs. In November of 2009, Publishers’ Graphics opened its second printing facility in Florence, Kentucky, serving as the in-plant manufacturing arm for a large global publisher. Rapid growth followed and key technological investments were made including web-to-print workflows, a virtual bookstore, and online print quoting.

More recently, strategic acquisitions of St. Louis-based Corley Printing and Commercial Letter, Inc., has helped fuel PG’s expansion, adding new capabilities in offset book printing, direct mail, database management and global distribution.

Innovation continues to be the hallmark of the company, culminating in the 2015 launch of PGDirect (www.pubgraphicsdirect.com), an online bookselling platform. Featuring a dynamic direct to consumer sales model, this “Bookstore on a Mission” eliminates waste, conserves energy and reduces the carbon footprint to its very minimum. With over 250,000 books already in its catalog, authors and publishers are finding the site a welcome addition to the marketplace.

“We at Publishers’ Graphics are thankful for our many customers for making this anniversary possible,” said Nick Lewis, President of Publishers’ Graphics. “Their feedback has shaped the company through the years, and we look forward to continuing to serve our valued customers for many years to come.”

About PG: As a leader in POD and short-run printing for publishers, Publishers’ Graphics brings innovative procedures and workflows to book creation. Providing customized solutions to its customers has made PG a go-to resource for publishers around the world.  Headquartered in Carol Stream, IL, PG has an in-plant satellite operation in Florence, Kentucky, as well as manufacturing and warehouse facilities in St. Louis, Missouri. Publishers’ Graphics distributes globally by printing its products locally on three continents through strategic partnerships.

For more information, please visit http://www.pubgraphicsdirect.com or www.pubgraphics.com

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online bookstore PGDirect

A new direct to consumer site offers options.

  1. Selling through PGDirect complements the workflows that most publishers have in place. PGDirect is your 3rd Option (and most likely, we will prove to be your best).
  2. The corporate structure at PGDirect is different from other book printer/seller combinations. We can sell publishers’ books at a lower price because most of the publishers’ discounts are passed on to the consumer, ultimately resulting in the sale of more books.
  3.  PG’s printing quality is excellent, printing and binding options extensive, and costs are competitive.
  4. PGDirect helps market publishers’ titles by periodically featuring books on the homepage with “About the Author”Email Blast Vertical 129 features.
  5. PGDirect offers books that are environmentally friendlySince PG prints and binds every book we sell,  all the materials used are FSC certified.
  6. PG’s production process only occurs after a book is sold, thereby assuring no waste or remainders, and no book ever listed as “out of stock.” 
  7. Quick turnaround (48 hours for softcover/72 for hardcover) gets books to consumers faster as the orders stream seamlessly from retailer into production instantly.
  8. Creative use of social media between PGDirect, publishers and authors enables organic growth on the internet and builds strong backlinks for optimizing SEO plans.
  9. PGDirect and PG offer a personal touch to our business relationships and customizable solutions.
  10. PGDirect’s Reprint Center allows publishers to sell to their authors via unique portals for each author, 24/7, with customizable pricing, packing lists, and invoicing.
  11. PGDirect sells publishers’ books, prints and binds them, ships them, bills them, collects the payment and sends publishers a check for their profits each month. Get set up on PGDirect and get a check for just…. being!   

Visit PGDirect and learn more by calling PG at 630-221-1850.

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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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.

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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

 

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.

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