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