Are eBooks A Priority for Your Titles?

First time publishers and content creators are often so preoccupied with getting their books printed that they overlook other formats which may be successful for their book.

Many self-published authors have found success in converting their work into eBook format and distributing it to many of the popular eBook retailers.

eBook Conversion Services

There is nothing special that has to happen with your print ready files in order to have an eBook made from them.  This is typical no matter who you have print your books.

It is common for printers to need additional information such as the format of your eBook, the retailers you plan to distribute it to and meta-data information.  In general, if your printer has your files and you would like an eBook made from them, only small amounts of additional information are needed.

Of course if you want different artwork, text or a cover in your eBook file, you will have to submit other files.

Is it a good idea to have an eBook made?

The answer to this question will depend largely on the target market for your content as well as your budget.  In general, converting files to an eBook is less expensive than having a moderate amount of books printed.

Some customers of Edwards Brothers Malloy have opted to have their book converted to an eBook format before having traditional books printed in an effort to “test the waters” with their content.  Others have found than an eBook version appeals to buyers of their titles or that it increases exposure.

With the proliferation of eReading devices on the market it seems like it would always be a good idea to have a conversion done however you may want to research your market before doing so.

Edwards Brothers Malloy performs eBook conversions for its customers and distributes to all major retailers.  If you have more questions about converting your titles to this format, contact your sales or customer service representative.

Have you produced an eBook before?  Was it beneficial in your efforts to market your title?  Check out the infographic below which is brought to you by onlineuniversities.com for some good information about Americans and eReaders.

 

ebook conversion services

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Common Printing Definitions

A challenge for new publishers is learning the lingo of the printing industry. A while back we did a post that defined some common terms used by printers and publishers.

This post expands on that one but gives definitions of terms heard so often that it can be easy to forget their true meaning. If you are getting a book printed for the first time, chances are you will hear some of these terms.

Offset Printing: Even though this is a common term, people often have a vague idea of what it actually means. It refers to a very common lithographic printing process that relies on fundamental properties of oil and water and also how ink is applied to paper using an aluminum printing plate.

In printing, the lipophilic or “oil-friendly” image and text areas on a plate absorb the oil-based ink. The blank hydrophilic areas of the plate repel the ink. During the offset process, images are pressed onto a blanket which in turn presses the image and text onto paper. Both sheetfed and web offset presses operate in this way.

Digital Printing: Yet another term used commonly in our industry that is often misunderstood is digital printing. In the most general sense of the term, this refers to a printing process where text and images are transferred from the computer directly onto paper without using film or printing plates.

There are many different forms of digital printing technology and in years prior this method was considered inferior to that of traditional offset printing. Today however, even a well trained eye can have difficulty telling the difference between a book printed on a digital printing press and one made using traditional methods.

Digital printing is far better suited for tasks like print-on-demand and highly customized jobs.

P.O.D., Books on Demand or Print on Demand: This is another aspect of book manufacturing that is often misunderstood. Books printed on demand are not printed in a production run with a fixed length. Instead, they are produced and shipped individually on the basis of orders.

This method is made possible by digital printing and is growing in popularity because of its inventory control and cost saving possibilities for both small and large publishers. P.O.D. should not be confused with short run printing or digital printing in general.

RIP: This stands for Raster Image Processor which is a machine designated to prepare data from the pre-press stage of the book manufacturing process.

Images from files submitted to a printer must be specially processed in order to create printing plates. Some printers use separate machines where others use RIP software to prepare printing plates.

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Do Your Files Need To Be Tested?

In the early days of electronic prepress it was common practice for publishers to send a “test file” to the printer for the purpose of making sure the publisher was creating PostScript files the printer could work with.

The printer would evaluate the “test file” and provide the publisher with feedback that would be used to develop the “final files” to be submitted to the printer for the print-run.

That practice made sense fifteen years ago when we were all learning to work with electronic files; today it is no longer required.

It is not necessary to have your files tested every time you submit a title to Edwards Brothers Malloy, particularly if you have successfully submitted problem free “print ready” PDF files to us before.

However, there are occasions when running a test may be a good idea, so here is some information to consider when deciding whether or not to send a “test file” to Edwards Brothers Malloy:

Who should have their files tested at Edwards Brothers Malloy prior to final submission?

  • Customers new to Edwards Brothers Malloy.
  • Customers with special projects that are different from the books you normally print at Edwards Brothers Malloy.
  • Anyone that has concerns about their files being ready for printing.

Why have your files tested?

  • We can make sure the file is constructed properly and all the elements are in place for a problem free final output.

When in the file preparation process should you have your files tested at Edwards Brothers Malloy?

  • Well in advance of completing the final “print ready” PDF files.  This is the wisest course of action so that you don’t waste time and resources preparing files that will not work at Edwards Brothers Malloy.

    We encourage you to send us a portion (approximately 8 pages or so) of your book.  If you do this a few weeks prior to the time you plan to send final files to Edwards Brothers Malloy, we will have enough time to test the files and provide you with input that might be important in preparing the PDF files.

    If we receive the test file on the eve of when the job is supposed to go into production, the time required to test the files and make corrections may negatively impact the printing schedule.

If you have any questions about test files or file preparation in general, please contact your sales or customer service representative.

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Did You Know You Can View Your Proofs Online?

As part of the suite of online tools we provide to customers, the Kodak Insite portal is available to view soft proofs of your book.  If you are already a former Edwards Brothers customer, you can still login to the InSite portal here.  Former Malloy customers can access this useful tool from within MyMalloy.  The Kodak InSite Portal is a web interface that allows users to view their print jobs from any web connected computer.  The proofing tool also has many other features.

Through InSite customers are able to:

  • Submit jobs, track progress, collaborate on changes, and proof and approve work.
  • Provide multiple users with access and specific roles in the process.
  • Submit components of jobs as they are completed.
  • Run automatic preflight check on each file and load corrected pages quickly to keep your jobs on track.
  • Use Smart Review and/or Preview to view page proofs using high-resolution post RIP processing and a variety of convenient tools that allow you to pan, zoom, measure sizes, check color and annotate changes.
  • Track all activity, including change requests, approvals and rejections with automated email notices sent to anyone you designate.
  • Reduce errors, speed up cycle time and reduce costs on your printing jobs.

This short video tutorial gives a general overview of how to use Smart Review and Preview.

 

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