It’s been awhile since we’ve written a post as all our energy has gone into getting Sinxay ready to print. Several months ago we chose to work with Hillcrest Media group to get Sinxay published. It was rather a momentous decision. I don’t know if many of you out there have ever self published a book, but crucial decisions have to constantly be made, and it’s all on the author’s shoulders. Much of Sinxay’s success hinges on the right decisions being made. There are no black and white answers to the many questions that come up when making decisions that will prove instrumental in whether a book may, or may not, be successful. For example, printing. The options are endless, from a variety of print on demand services (Create Space and Ingram Sparks being the most popular) to having one’s book offset printed. Our book has about 160 illustrations and it would never make commercial sense to get Sinxay digitally printed. There is no comparison between the quality of offset printing vs. digital printing. It’s the difference between night and day. But when one gets their book offset printed, the trade off is that one has to commit to having a large number printed, usually the minimum is 500. The more one prints, the less the cost of an individual book. If one chooses to print , let’s say, 1500 copies, the cost per book will be half if only 500 copies were printed. That’s huge. Yes, huge, like in huge commitment of funds and having boxes of new books cluttering one’s home/garage as a reminder of whether or not one’s book is “successful.” Ha, that’s a another post that can be written, the odds of having a self-published book becoming successful. Even the printer told us not to get our hopes up!
We decided to, of course, go with getting Sinxay offset printed, and part of that process is getting proofs of the cover and interior. You don’t want to commit to having a large number of copies of a book being printed without making sure it looks, more or less, just the way you want it to. We’re currently waiting on getting our second proof of the cover sent to us. The first proof I felt was slightly too dark, and they say the when it’s printed on the laminated satin finish cover, it will look even darker. One can get an electronic proof, which is fast and easy, but everyone’s monitor can show colors differently, and although it’s slower and costlier to get a hard copy proof, I think it will be to our advantage to know the cover will look just like (hopefully) we want it to look.
Regarding the interior we had a hard proof sent to us and after looking through it and the pdf we submitted I found a number of minor textual mistakes, such as two words that weren’t separated by spaces, That happened a number of times with the word “Jataka” which is interesting. Regarding the illustrations, the interior proof is printed digitally, primarily stop see if all the page formatting looks fine, and it did. The illustrations themselves looked pretty good, but darker than when they would be printed offset. To accurately judge the illustrations printers will send you a number of color-matched prints and we had ten sent. They sent three with the cover and interior by overnight mail, but I think forgot to send the other seven and I had to wait an additional week. I was worrying about how the illustrations would print, but after getting the seven additional color-matched prints, my fears were all for naught, as they looked great.
So I worked with my interior designer to lighten the cover (I did the photoshop work) and she also made the textual corrections in the interior. I also had to move a title for our graphic map of the world of Sinxay (a fantasy map design) which was at the top right in the center, and since it’s a double spread map, the title could not be read. Luckily it was easy to move to the lower right so now it should look fine.
What I’ve explained here is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to decisions we’ve had to make in getting Sinxay to print, but hopefully, for those who are interested, it gives you a little peak into our thoughts and decisions in preparing Sinxay for print.
You can see in the featured image the hard cope of the cover on the right, the hard copy of the interior proof in the middle, and one of the color calibrated prints on the right.