I want to print in China

So many books, so many print options!

We’ve printed books in China and India with great quality results.

The key to printing off-shore is finding a reliable supplier. I’ve been on the factory floor in India, China and Cambodia and printing in these locations can be rewarding but  are normally complex and fraught with financial danger. 

If you are trying to do it alone: beware!

What might seem to be a great-deal printer is likely just a broker who might be sourcing plastic rubbish bins from Bejing, shoes from Cambodia and printing from Thailand. They may be doing “what-ever turns a buck”.

So many things can go wrong with printing. Printing takes a specialist who has technical knowledge of the print and finishing process.

If you want to get a quote see our Green Asia service.

David Walters – Director

The Big Con

I talk daily with hopeful Australian authors starting their self-publishing project. Every day the same big questions with the same issues stand up like mountains. As authors push toward the finish-line after years of hard work, there are questions about editing, design and print.

But the real ‘Mount Kosciusko’, or better ‘Mount Everest’, is a question that is seldom asked, the question – how will my book come to be read?

Readership is all about visibility and access. This means an author’s book must first be visible or known. Then readers must have an easy way of getting the book.

I can sum up these two factors in one simple salient term – marketing.

Marketing is both art and science. Unfortunately our industry is plagued with gimmick-laden marketing packages that cost too much and deliver too little. This is why Green Hill doesn’t offer marketing packages. They simply don’t work.

Each author and more specifically each book needs a fully customised marketing plan. That’s why expensive cookie-cutter packages that include junk like book-stubs, posters, library email blasts, press releases and the mother of them all: “worldwide distribution” can make my blood boil.

Even worse many authors are misled to think that if the marketing package is expensive it will get their book known and read. Nothing can be further from the truth. Most features in our competitor’s marketing packages take the click of a mouse online and are ineffective.

Green Hill doesn’t offer “marketing packages”. But we can be engaged on an hourly rate to customise a marketing plan that has the very best chance of success.

My advice is to always start with the fundamentals and then build. Don’t commit to a big marketing package with a big price tag. The first things to do are:

  1. Get an ISBN
  2. Get professional book design

Add in good content and there’s your foundation upon which to build readership and sales.

Avoid self-publishing’s #1 pitfall: Quality

Quality starts with you the author. How good is your writing and is what you are writing about wanting to be read? But there are two other key factors.

The cornerstone of the traditional publishing industry is good quality content. Publishers take good quality content and wrap it in good design. The title is then placed within their well-developed marketing system.

Let’s first define “traditional publishing”. Traditional publishing is where a publisher pays you for the right to publish your work. The author needs to present their manuscript to a publisher and then negotiate a fee that the publisher will pay for use of that content. If a contract is reached it’s invariably because the publisher has assessed the quality of the manuscript as high.

A high-quality manuscript increases the chance that the book will sell and the publisher will make a nice profit (and so will you).

Traditional publishing companies – at least the successful ones – can spot a quality book and pre-empt if it will appeal to readers and if it is likely to sell well.

A literary agent works for you to find a publisher to bring your book to market. Things are so competitive that you first need to convince the literary agent to take you on. Then they need to represent your work to publishers (oft times after editing). This is a lengthy process.

Sometimes authors can go directly to publishers with samples of their writing. This is quicker than going through a literary agent. A key is selecting a publisher where your work and the genre they are most successful in publishing have good fit. But know this – many publishing houses will refuse “unagented” manuscripts. Manuscripts that have already gone through an agent are of a higher quality (if the agent is doing their job well). Often agents will require you to have the book edited before they are prepared to present your work to a publisher.

When a manuscript arrives within a traditional publishing house, a process of quality assessment begins. This starts with the decision of the publishing company to read the manuscript. Many manuscripts don’t get read because the genre of the book is not one the publisher is familiar with or has been successful with. Or it can depend on the reputation of the literary agent placing the manuscript.

If all goes well a senior editor in the publishing company may refer the manuscript to a junior editor or editorial assistant. The assistant will make an early recommendation about how well the book will suit publishing.

The process of using an agent and having a publishing company take you on, brings with it its own process of quality control.

As a self-publisher, you can get into print without any quality control whatsoever. And that’s a problem. If you ’re expecting your title to go viral you better have a damn good book!

There are two simple things you can do to improve quality:

  1. Green Hill can refer you to an expert editor to help your work become a better book. Editors can’t work miracles but they are often worth every cent invested.
  2. Green Hill’s standard publishing package  comes with high-end book cover design. So many self-published authors unnecessarily design their own book cover and many of these designs simply kill any potential the book had of succeeding. You often need to put your cover design ideas to the side and get a skilled graphic designer with fresh eyes to design for you.

 

David Walters

DIRECTOR – Green Hill

 

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