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How can an author make sure the final product matches their expectations? What factors impact pricing? What are the reasons authors prefer traditional publishing over KDP, Ingram Spark, and the like? What influences schedules and turn-around time?

These were some of the many questions posed during the How to Work with a Printer for Customized Print Runs panel session that was part of the APSS (Association for Publishers of Special Sales) Free Virtual Book Marketing Conference. The conference took place September 10-11, 2020. Hosted by APSS Executive Director, Brian Jud, the session was comprised of a panel of printers, including Sheridan’s own James Rodriguez. Representatives from Color House Graphics (Sandy Gould), McNaughton & Gunn (Jonnie Bryant), and Total Printing Systems (Meg Souza) rounded out the expert panel. 

APSS Printer Panel

Here are some tips the panel offered during the lively discussion:

  • There are many checks and balances throughout the printing process to make sure the final product matches your expectations. For example, the quote lays out the specifications of your project upfront before you send in your file and, once the book is in process, you’ll see a proof.
  • Binding, trim sizes, text stocks, colors, cover treatments – All of these factors impact the price of your book. When you request a quote, let your printer know what options you are considering and they can show you the impact it will have on the final cost.
  • Traditional publishing offers an array of trim sizes, stocks, cover treatments and a dedicated point of contact. When you publisher through KDP, Ingram Spark, and the like you are locked in to limited trim sizes, text stocks, and cover options and do not have a dedicated point of contact.
  • As you discuss your schedule with your printer, make sure you understand how much time is needed to review proofs. Can you turn the proof around in 24-48 hours, or do you need to share the proof with several people and require more time for the review process? Communicate this with your printer upfront.
  • Pad your schedule, and be sure to consider transit times.

If you’d like more information about the printing process, download a copy of Sheridan’s The Self-Publishers Step-By-Step Guide to Successfully Managing the Book Printing Process or contact your Sheridan Sales Representative for a consultation.