How to Choose the Best Options for Your Book

by Laura


Doing more with less is a constant challenge in publishing. Publishers must meet that imperative while still producing a book that stands out on the physical and virtual shelf and appeals to customers.

Sheridan Books successfully addresses those challenges by offering options that allow the creative production of a distinctive book through a streamlined process. Sheridan’s sales and customer service representatives know how to sort through the options to create a book that sells. James Rodriguez, Sales Manager at Sheridan Books, comments: “We truly have a relationship with our customers where we want to know who they are and what their goals are, both short and long term. A lot of what we do is driven by our customers.”

Sorting through options
When you’re looking at the cost of publishing a book, there are many considerations in addition to the base price. To help customers make the most cost-effective choices for their books, Sheridan representatives will start by getting to know you, your audience, and how you intend to sell the book. By taking the time to work closely with customers to understand their goals, Sheridan’s seasoned representatives can apply their valuable knowledge and experience to develop a plan that meets all needs.

Why delve into this much detail? So your Sheridan representative can help you make an informed decision on the best printing platform for the project: digital print-on-demand, digital inkjet, or traditional offset. Offset often looks like it will be the best price point, but a first glance might not reveal the bigger picture. This is where understanding a customer’s goals helps. If the customer has a goal of maintaining lean inventory, print-on-demand might be the most cost-effective option, even though the initial price per copy of print-on-demand might be higher. Maintaining inventory of offset’s higher press runs requires storage, which adds to the cost of the book production process.

Your Sheridan representative can help factor in these considerations to find the best print run option for each book. Rodriguez points out that in the event that a first run is successful, you can always change your printing platform for the next run.

Which choices make sense?
Another area where Sheridan’s expertise shines through is in cover enhancement recommendations: What can you do to make a book stand out in the marketplace? The cover is the first thing shoppers see, whether online or in-store, so the cover design must make an immediate impact. Customers might choose to enhance the cover with options such as gloss or matte finish, foil stamping, embossing, or a dust jacket. The trick is finding the balance between the cost of enhancements and differentiating a cover for the marketplace. A popular option, according to Rodriguez, is soft-touch matte lamination, which has a wonderful feel and makes a terrific impression.

Publishing success also requires smart interior choices — for example, there are numerous paper options. Paper choice will depend on factors such as whether there will be images that require four-color printing and/or the need for matte or gloss finishes or specially coated papers. For shorter works, publishers often choose high-bulk paper, which is lightweight but feels substantial, creating the perception of quality and value. However, this option isn’t recommended for titles that include images. Your representative can help narrow down the list of options, making your decision easier.

In addition to guiding you through the many material and specification choices, Sheridan will ensure that production of the final volume is streamlined. Your Sheridan representative can also guide you through converting your title to eBook form and provide solutions for direct-to-consumer sales using an eCommerce platform (Sheridan Connect, Publisher Connect,or ShelfWise) that fits your needs.

In the end, Sheridan’s people and systems ensure our customers’ success. Sheridan experts provide detailed guidance so that you can make the most of your book — in a cost-effective way. If you have never printed a book before, or if you have questions about any step in the printing process, then Sheridan’s Step-by-Step Guide for managing the book printing process is a great resource for you.