More is sometimes less in printers terms

I have learned something today. The manuscript I am close to sending to the printers has come to a total of 218 pages. I have decided to go for litho printing (minimum 300 copies) rather than Print On Demand, because this reduces the cost per copy. This in turn increases the chances of at least breaking even after subtracting postage and/or discounts.

So far so good. I get an estimate from the printers quoting for 216 pages. When I point out that I have 218 I am told it is either 216 or 224. It has to be evenly divisible by 8. I spend the day killing a few more darlings and re-setting the text. I am on the last few pages when I get a further estimate from the printers for both 216 and 224 pages.  The estimate for 224 pages is shown as a good £100 less than the 216. I thank them, say I want to go ahead with 216, but they have got their figures the wrong way round, and I finish resetting the text to 216 pages.

I get a further email explaining that:

 It would work out cheaper to produce the 224pp as this would consist of 7 x 32pp sections, whereas 216pp would have 6 x 32pp sections, 1 x 16pp section and 1 x 8pp section. The extra plates and folding in production would therefore make this more expensive.

Got it? I can’t face re-setting the text yet again, but I have added pages front and back with some lovely spaces to create an MS 224 pages long. I am a wiser self-publisher than I was this morning.

A sunny interloper in the vegetable plot.DSCN6281

A lovely cosmos Chocolate given to me in memory of a friend.

cosmos Chocolate

cosmos Chocolate




15 thoughts on “More is sometimes less in printers terms

  1. I would have been tearing my hair out! I find even formatting a blog post the way I want takes so much time… It’s interesting to hear the “behind the scenes” stuff to your writing.

    • I have to admit to some hair-tearing-out in the course of the last few weeks. I agree formatting a blog post the way you want it is sometimes maddening, but most software on a Mac is a doddle compared to that and I like playing with words or I wouldn’t be in the game at all.

  2. LOVE the cosmos, Hilary – they are simply gorgeous !!!
    As to the printing … words just about fail. I can add only that I’m glad I never had ANY money to consider that; for I don’t have even 5% of your patience and practicality. :-/

  3. That was really smart to include lovely spaces. I haven’t seen your book but being in your shoes I would have scrambled to add pages, such as opening quotations, ending quotations, middle quotations (just joking!)…
    I read from one of your comments that you are giving Border Line another go. That’s great. It’s a terrific story.
    I’ve just starting reading Unseen Unsung. What a powerful beginning. In reading it I was reminded of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Since your novel was published in 2008, then I assume that Donna Tartt copied you! 🙂
    Lovely photos of your garden.

    • Yes, it was like Christmas suddenly having all these extra pages. As suicide is a theme in Border Line, I have been able to include mention of The Samaritans on a spare page, and so on.
      I’m thrilled you are reading Unseen Unsung. I MUST read the Goldfinch. A friend who read chapters for me when I was writing Unseen Unsung (2004/5?) sent me a copy months ago, and others have noticed the resemblance, but something keeps stopping me from opening the book (possibly its length!). I’m sure it’s a case of curious minds thinking alike. I often find stories in newspapers, as I’m sure you do, that seem to be based on something I have written – very unsettling.

  4. I love sunflowers so cheerful, my friend Danielle just had them in her wedding bouquet, I’d not seen them used in bridal bouquets before, they looked fabulous, I wonder if they dry well and hold their colour?

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