Building a house or building a book

Building a house or building a book

Often a book publishing project compares to a building project.
Let’s See …
Without a building plan you have no idea where you are going to start or finish with your house. You’ve had hundreds of ideas over the years and many individuals have contributed to your house project. Similarly, with a book the first thing we do is clean the clutter from your manuscript (formatting). It has gathered too many idiosyncrasies (extra spacing or gremlins). This generally is a result of different people and their computers having worked on it. We add styles and we get it ready for the designer. If you leave it as is, it will either:
a) increase the time to layout your book, at your expense;
b) issues not picked up and the designer will layout your book thinking this is what you wanted (which creates a poor layout).
Secondly, now we have a plan and the book formatted, it’s time to choose some house styles. Are you wanting modern and contemporary or rural and rustic? In book publishing we have a two-step process. We stylise in word first as mentioned in formatting and then transfer into a professional book design software (INDESIGN). This creates the books plan (style). Based on your ideas, we then provide you with two styles so you have a sneak peak of the layout of your book … like example house designs. Thirdly, like your house, there are many add-ons. Are you wanting LED lighting or automatic block out curtains? These are decisions to make early in the house building. Similarly, with a book this is e items such as book ornaments (chapter header art /font). Dropcaps or stylised bullet points etc. All these decisions are made early, because they take up different spacing or leading on a page. One change can mean hours of designers time to adjust the whole book. Same with an electrician, they will need to rewire or recreate new paths for the new items you’ve added, early in the process.

Your Choice

Of course it is your prerogative to request changes, conversely additional time and expenses are the result. For instance, what if during the building phase you suddenly decide that you desperately need to make changes to a bedroom walls location. This sounds easy in principle as it is just moving the wall a metre. Whereas, the reality is it requires a lot more effort than you think. The builder tells you that one of those walls is a vital load bearing wall and changes will require additional load supports to be factored in. Similarly, making changes to font or chapter styles will change the whole layout of your book. Books are about consistency and changing a style, font, trim size etc. will affect the whole chapter and subsequently the full layout of the book. On many occasions it is akin to starting a new book (new design).

A Misconception

Whether building a house or building a book, a misconception exists … you should be able to  make alterations at NO additional cost. What if you want to change the light fittings to antique leadlights instead of modern LED lighting. “It’s my house and I have to live with it.” What if as an author you want to change words to reflect with accuracy ‘she said’ rather than ‘he said’. This is important to individuals and we agree. You should always consider those alterations in publishing that are integral to the accuracy of your book or even that it just looks better with ‘red rose’ than a ‘pink rose’. The consequence of these changes  – they add time to the project and the designer (or builder) will need to be paid for their design time and to reissue and share he files once more.

Our quote system is not ‘fattened’ out with a just in case mentality. i.e. adding 5 or 10 hours of changes, as it significantly raises the costs for the author. The quotes incorporate one round of twenty (20) author alterations only, which is roughly 15-30 minutes design time.

A Publishing Truth

By now you’re probably thinking ‘these Pickawoowoo people really aren’t that flexible’. But we are advising you of this upfront and for a significant reason.

In the publishing industry, many providers make more money out of the little things in publishing … and one of those are CHANGES.

The ‘pay to publish’ industry will usually accept any file you provide to them, knowing that they can charge for all the changes or add-ons along the way (read the fine print). You agree to this once you start working with them. Changes have critical consequences … cash out.

Why Are We Telling You This

‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’ We prefer to provide you with information UPFRONT so you can be mindful of avoiding add-on costs. Unfortunately, ignorance is no excuse and diligence is important during the publishing process:

  1. You should provide a print ready file before you start (we assess this before we start working and will make suggestions, sometimes it can be editing, formatting, disclaimer info etc that you need to work on).
  2. You should select your book styles carefully (we provide checklists to help you).
  3. Requesting changes. We are more than happy to make ANY changes or Author Alterations that you request. You now understand that additional design fees apply and why. (Note: Only 15-30 mins of alteration time is factored into our quotes – we do not over estimate in this area as you agree your book is print ready).

Authenticity and integrity during the publishing process is important to us and that is why we have shared this comparison with you.

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