Author Topic: The print gap  (Read 706 times)  

Offline Skip Knox

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The print gap
« on: May 29, 2018, 08:36:34 am »
My third book is due out soon and I'm discovering a curious problem between the ebook and the print book. Since I'm guessing there are at least a couple of people around here who self-publish  ;D I thought I'd ask.

I hire an artist to do the cover. They do some work, I approve it. Yay, cover!
Now, for the ebook, we're ready to go. The book is done, so just click Publish.
The paperback version, though, needs work. Because the artist cannot produce the paperback cover until they know the page count. And I can't tell them that until after the final proofreading run, which means not until after the book is Really and Truly Done. IOW, mere hours before I can click Publish on the ebook. But the artist, bless 'em, evidently does not sit about awaiting word from Yours Truly; they have other clients.

So it's a week, maybe two or three, before I can produce the paperback. Then I must order an Author Copy so I can do what they used to call proofing the galleys--verify that the physical artifact is what I was expecting. A delay of more weeks, even assuming the Author Copy is perfect.

That makes it a month or thereabouts between the ebook and the paperback. That seems crucial to me. Those first days are my few days of sunlight in the Amazon Ocean before I sink again into the briny deep, and there are still plenty of people who like to buy physical books. They notice me, they think hmmm interesting, only to discover there's no paperback available. Wait, don't go! Aaaaaaah! Lost forever.

OK, maybe a tad dramatic (Tad Dramatic would make a great character name), but I wonder am I worrying over something real? Have others run into this? Any strategies or solutions?

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    Offline GeneDoucette

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 09:25:07 am »
    I put my books in preorder, so I have the final file for everything well in advance of the release date.

    Offline Skip Knox

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #2 on: May 29, 2018, 09:31:59 am »
    Thanks, GeneDoucette. Do you (can you) have different release dates for ebook and for paperback? I see the option for the ebook, but not for the paperback.

    Offline AliceS

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 09:36:52 am »
    As soon as you load the interior doc into CS you will get a page count. You can give that to your artist right away. Then while you are proofing the interior online, they can be working on the spine. It really shouldn't take very long. They just need to load the size. There is always a tweak or 2, for me, before it's ready for a physical proof.  Then a week to get the proof. And there's always something I've done that needs another tweak.

    Plan your print release as another boost to the book. Another newsletter, social media, etc. So you've got the preorder announcement, ebook release and print release as promotion opportunities. If you want them all at once - plan it. Add the formatting and proofing time for the print to the ebook release.

    However, depending on your genre and marketing, print might not be a big seller.

    Offline GeneDoucette

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 09:48:15 am »
    Thanks, GeneDoucette. Do you (can you) have different release dates for ebook and for paperback? I see the option for the ebook, but not for the paperback.

    You can't do preorder on the print edition. I'll release it about a week before the ebook edition so it's linked up on Amazon by the ebook release date. I'm usually set to go about 2-3 weeks before the date I chose for release.

    Online ShayneRutherford

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #5 on: May 29, 2018, 10:30:11 am »
    As soon as you load the interior doc into CS you will get a page count. You can give that to your artist right away. Then while you are proofing the interior online, they can be working on the spine. It really shouldn't take very long.

    The thing is, what you're loading into CS is going to be the formatted interior - I'm assuming - so you already have the page count before you load it in. Because your PDF will show the number of pages when you open it up.

    It's not a matter of how long it takes to make the print cover. Adding a spine and back usually doesn't take more than a couple of hours, unless it's a really complicated back cover image. The problem is, most cover designers can't just sit around waiting on the author to supply them with that number. They have other clients, so while making the print cover itself may only take a couple of hours, they might not have room for it in their schedule until a couple of weeks down the road.
             

    Online ShayneRutherford

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 10:33:31 am »
    OP, if you  know when you're going to give your manuscript to your interior designer, and roughly what kind of turnaround time they have, could you not give your cover designer a heads-up for roughly the time that you'll be getting the formatted files back? That's what my clients do. They give me a rough estimate when they'll be getting the print PDF back, and I put it in my schedule so that I'm ready for them.
             

    Offline DCRWrites

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #7 on: May 29, 2018, 10:48:59 am »
    This is actually the reason I use KDP.

    I have my cover designer just do the front cover, and upload that to KDP, using their front cover only option. I then put my name on the spine and add my back cover copy and it's done. The font options are limited, but I never have to worry about calculating the spine thickness which was always the deal-breaker for me with going paperback on any previous book.

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    Offline Skip Knox

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #8 on: May 29, 2018, 11:54:06 am »
    Thanks for the responses. It looks like there are multiple ways to do this, it's just a matter of planning. This is my third book, the second with a cover artist, so I'm still guilty of being so focused on the story that I rather neglect some of the practical publishing aspects. I'll get there, especially with good advice.

    Offline VirginiaMcClain

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #9 on: May 29, 2018, 11:55:52 am »
    I simply wait on the ebook release (or have it set up on pre-order--which is only available for ebooks anyway) until the print book is ready. Then I set up both to release at the same time. But I plan my release dates working backwards from having the print book ready to go, so the ebook is always ready sooner, but that doesn't matter. I release them both together (or sometimes release the paperback a little bit ahead of time if it happens to be ready before the pre-order release date and I need to get ARCs out).
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    Offline Shane Lochlann Black

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #10 on: May 29, 2018, 11:57:51 am »
    As long as you announce the Tad Dramatic series soon, I'm all in.   ;D

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #11 on: May 29, 2018, 12:09:58 pm »
    I actually format the print first, because print has a lead time. Digital is later because once it is ready it can be sold almost immediately.

    Offline notjohn

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #12 on: May 29, 2018, 01:25:37 pm »
    As soon as you load the interior doc into CS you will get a page count. You can give that to your artist right away. Then while you are proofing the interior online, they can be working on the spine. It really shouldn't take very long.

    And a change of five pages either way won't invalidate the spine, so there's really no delay at all, assuming the artist isn't about to leave for Antarctica.
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    Offline jdcore

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    Re: The print gap
    « Reply #13 on: May 29, 2018, 09:06:05 pm »
    I took the time to learn to use GIMP so I can adjust my cover to fit as I publish. YMMV

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