This is post twelve in a series about my experiences in publishing a book. The series starts here.
I said in an earlier post that sorting through the options for a book was a lot like working out the details of what goes into a house that you’re building. You’ve got a lot of choices to make, and it’s not clear exactly what the cost trade-offs are or what the final result will look like. Initially, Jerry Takigawa and I, together with the folks from Hemlock Printing, spec’d out a Cadillac book design. When I got the quote from Hemlock, there was an element of sticker shock. We tried peeling options out one at a time, but that proved fruitless – the turnaround time for the quotes ran to almost a week.
Finally, we happened upon something that worked, and I recommend this to people trying to find out which features are worth the money in any book they’re going to have published. We first asked for a quote for a very basic, but entirely adequate for most purposes, book. The spec we chose was spec that Brooks Jensen uses at LensWork Publishing Services. Then we asked how much additional money would be to add each of the options that we were considering to the basic spec.
Finally, we knew what each option would cost and could make a decision about whether or not we wanted it. 10 µm resolution didn’t make the cut. Neither did a dry varnish layer. In fact, a wet varnish layer is problematical; although, apparently, varnishes have improved, no one can say with any certainty that they won’t yellow over time, although it is unlikely that they will yellow in my lifetime.
We could also compare Hemlock’s quote to us with the LensWork Publishing Services price, and it is apparent that Brooks Jensen is offering a really good deal. So good, in fact, that my current plan is to have Jerry design the book and take the design to Brooks to get it printed. Brooks’ price includes the design, which I won’t be using, so in some sense I’m throwing money away. However, I really want a Jerry Takigawa design.
Jerry’s not used to working this way, and I don’t want to increase his workload, so if he has any questions about the book, they will go through me. There may be some stumbling along the way. If there is, I will report on that.
Brooks said that he would be okay with considering a few of the options. I sent him a list of the ones that I’d like to have. We’ll see what he has to say about that.
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