Not under water…yet

October 16, 2011

We don’t forecast the weather from this blog, but it sure looks like more rain this week.  Little if any flood risk troubles us where my big old house is still standing.

The owner of Griffith Marketing is now a member of the Caldwell (Idaho) Chamber of Commerce. That must be progress. I have a new publishing division for books I will accept at any stage of production and for about half of them my services will be free. That’s at Forthright Publishing.com. My idea is to offer links to the author, to congratulate good work, to answer technical questions about publishing, and to keep up on what’s going on with books these days.

I’m also trying to get the hang of how to produce an e-book. I’ll probably work with the Amazon crowd but haven’t take the time to catch on how to do it.


Whatever Lulu wants…

June 21, 2010

I’m not the only fish in the pond, and sometimes I get curious about others who are offering services to self-publishing authors. Especially Lulu. I’ve always wondered about a company that would choose such a silly name for their corporate entity. I remember hearing, “That was a Lulu,” and “that” was a major goof-up.

So I looked around, and this is what I found out from people who have worked with Lulu to get their books produced…

“Lulu’s main issues are with quality. I had problems with alignment of the text inside (slanting), missing chapters at the end, and more. Other people have reported far worse problems, like having their book sell with someone else’s text inside. You really have to check your proof VERY carefully to make sure they did what they were supposed to do.”—Problems and Issues with Lulu, by www.LisaShea.com.

Another author was more than just a little upset. Here’s what came from this person’s experience with Lulu.  One disappointment after another. You’ll find pages and pages of unhappy stories from other authors if you visit this site.

But wait a minute! These are complaints from 2007 and before. Maybe it’s not that bad any more.

Or maybe it’s worse. A book printer warned me today that Lulu is a “do-it-all” company with one specialty being publishing books. They sell clothing and all sorts of other items, too. But is it the same Lulu? The name is NOT copyrighted and is used as the name for dozens of businesses including restaurants, retailers for children’s clothing, a surf club, and the Scottish pop singer and songwriter most famous for her movie and song, “To Sir, With Love.”  

Moving closer to the present (March 2010), a customer of Lulu writes that most of the work was fine, but “One order of 100 copies was not fine: the pictures are splotchy, the ink is pale, and the cover is not aligned properly. If you ordered from Lulu.com, and you received a defective copy, let me know. I am trying to address the problem. I am really sorry.” Go here for the source.

That’s hard to believe. I have never been delivered a defective book by any printer I’ve used in the past twenty-two years I’ve been involved with the production of books.

Then I noticed a report dated March 16, 2010, that Lulu was in the process of going public in Canada, not the U.S.  Preliminary reports submitted as required to Canadian authorities indicated that the company had been losing money steadily, but experienced a profit fourth quarter of last year and apparently believes that since it’s cheaper to do business in Canada that Lulu is on its way up and up and up.

Lulu has also bought MRX & Associates, a Canada-based company that produces Web sites for sports entities. The price was $2.2 million in notes. Read more here.

And it goes on and on. I’ve never worked with or for Lulu, so I have nothing original to contribute.

My humble service is to sit down with a manuscript and the author available by email and phone and do all I have learned to do over the past 30 years to make the book better—cleaner, more grammatically correct where grammar is important, clearer, easier to follow, and more interesting. We also provide top-of-the-line custom book cover design. If we believe the book has full market potential, we’ll even help you write a comprehensive marketing plan and sell your book.

It’s old-fashioned but still true that “Quality comes first.” The way I look at it, your words and the cover and page design are the most important element of your book. Let Lulu and iUniverse and AuthorHouse and Xlibris, and all the others focus on doing everything for you from giving you “their” ISBN to paying you a “nice” royalty on your book. I want to make your book as good as it can be. If we’re both thrilled with it, we go to marketing. You take the royalty. All of it. It’s your book.

Brought to you by Griffith Publishing


Help for authors

June 15, 2010

Griffith Publishing was established in 1988 to help authors enjoy a higher degree of satisfaction with the work they do.

We can put your entire book together or provide needed assistance for just one or more elements. Today our services cover a wide range of the special needs of authors and writers. We can help you as a writer with any or all of the following—

Your book’s appearance

  1. Book title. How do you catch the attention of prospective readers and stay true to the topic of your book? Catchy book titles don’t come easy.
  2. Front cover. Do you want something more than a template that looks good but doesn’t match the content of your book?
  3. Book cover. The rest of the cover, after the front cover has been designed, should include great info about what your book does. Testimonials by people who know your area of expertise, quotes from great thinkers, or short excerpts from your book are examples of back-cover content that will help you sell your book.
  4. Foreword. Does your book need an authoritative statement by a well-known expert in the topic of your book? We’ll help you recruit talent and shape this piece of your book if you need one.
  5. Chapter title. You already have titles for all your chapters. Would you like someone to review them and perhaps suggest snappier titles? Or make them shorter? Or fit them more closely to the style of all the chapters?

The content of your book

  1. Editing. Do you need someone to go through your book page by page to make sure that spelling, grammar, and punctuation glitches are removed and that the text moves smoothly throughout the book? That’s our specialty!
  2. Developmental editing. Does your book need heavy editing, with rewriting of some paragraphs or even chapters? This type of editing is called developmental editing, and it’s something we like to do for our authors.
  3. Ethical ghostwriting. You need to have a burden for your book and plenty of information, but we can put the words together that will make your book represent your thoughts, your observations, your style.
  4. Page design. For children’s books, textbooks, or technical and how-to books, you probably need someone to put your book together carefully. We can handle flow charts, tables, original art, chemical formulas and math equations. We can even provide original art in color for your children’s book. All these can be carefully designed to add interest and readability to your book.
  5. Content development. Family stories and memories make great material for a book to present at Christmas to family and friends. Tell stories and keep your family intrigued for years.

Production options

  1. Binding. Choose any form of binding you wish, from two staples to Smythe sewn hard cover binding. In between are spiral-bound books, paperback, and hard cover binding. We know the printing industry and use companies with the best prices and the highest quality.
  2. Paper. Most of our books are printed on 60 pound text paper. You want a book that’s a little thinner? Go for 50 pound or even 40 pound. Want to display artwork or technical drawings on large sheets? We’ll find the paper you need and follow through for you.
  3. Printing. Whether you want 100 copies or 100,000, we will match your book with the best book printing service we can find.
  4. POD. We offer a full range of print-on-demand (POD) services for your book.
  5. Replication. If you have a book you’d like to reprint but don’t have the printing files, we can scan the book and produce as many copies as you wish, including the cover, at surprisingly low rates.  

Distribution

  1. Drop shipping. We can deliver your books one at a time or in bulk directly from the book printer to your customer or trade outlet.
  2. Shipping to you. We offer the least expensive way to carry your books from the printer to your business site and give you tips to avoid overcharges for special serices.
  3. Warehousing. We can store up to 1,000 copies of your book and ship them according to your instructions.

Marketing

  1. Tips. We’ll give you dozens of tips for marketing your book.
  2. Marketing plan. With your support, we’ll prepare a full-scale marketing plan for a book you’ve developed for monetary gain.
  3. Marketing materials. We will fulfill your marketing requests for postcards, brochures, or other ways to let people know about your book.

Making money

  1. Pricing. We’ll help you set pricing for your book.
  2. Budget. We can work with you to establish a budget for the costs of selling your book.
  3. Promotion.  We can advise on the most useful ways to promote your book for maximum visibility and sales.

And more.

If you need a specific service relating to the writing and production of books, call us at 800 359-9503 and we’ll work something out for you.

Brought to you by–
Griffith Publishing

800 359-9503
208 454-9553


Still kicking fonts

May 23, 2010

Too many mundane but urgent things going on to keep track of Griffith Publishing and its adventures.

Did some preliminary research about the potential of building a book of checklists for RV owners. Then I discovered there are dozens and dozens of such books already written. And pages and pages of checklists available on the Web.

I think a humorous book with the following title might work:

A
Woman’s
Guide
to avoiding disasters
the next time your man
takes you on an
RV Trip 

I’m also thinking about reviving my tobacco book that exposes or at least points to the greed and deception of cigarette manufacturers. The battle’s pretty much over in the U.S., but watch out, world. Poverty-stricken countries are next. They’re going to die young any way. Why not let them die from lung cancer? I’m getting sick thinking about it.

But my three dreams for publishing are these:

1. Reproducing “old” books. This can be done so nicely with expert printers and up-to-date scanning software. From music books to history books to old textbooks, and for not very much money.

2. Putting life into family books. The elegantly bound books of pictures are nice, but telling the stories behind the picture or stories about the people in the pictures would be even nicer. Says me.

3. Short-run books. Everybody wants to produce an e-book or just 100 copies. If it doesn’t matter how it looks or what errors it contains, anybody can do that. There must be a few people who want a quality book: easy to read, well-illustrated, and interesting.

I’d really love to pick up a small newsletter, produced on paper as well as on the Web. But who needs one? I’m thinking…

Brought to you by…

Griffith Publishing (consultants)
Joyce Griffith
208 454-9553
www.hodi.com


How’s Phil, Morris?

March 9, 2010

The  Phil &  Morris book is slowly making progress.  It’s much smoother than it was, but I need to inject more humor and more information into it. And double its current size. One thing at a time!

I’ve decided to offer our book publishing services to the top businesses in Idaho! Crazy idea, but who knows? My take is that every  business is a publisher. Let Griffith Publishing help you with your publishing needs.

—contributed by Griffith Publishing 


Renewed books at low prices

November 8, 2009

Renewed books may be just what you’re looking for if–

  • You want to reprint a book but it’s been so long since the first run that nobody has the original files any more.
  • You’ve come across an heirloom in your family museum and would like to publish it to share with all the relatives.
  • The book you’ve got in mind is out of print, and the copyright is no longer in effect.

We haven’t been able to help people with such needs except by painstaking methodology that needed hours and hours of fine-tuning.

The printer I use says his company has leading-edge scanning equipment. I send him a copy of the book, which is scanned and made up into a book, printed and shipped. Changes can be made to the text, and a new cover can be supplied. The results are fantastic. I cannot tell the difference between the original and final book without a high-powered magnifying glass.

Total cost is a lot less than starting from scratch. Try it next time you need an exact reprint of a book. Of course, you can substitute new pages for minimal cost if you want to update or correct the first version.

Of course you must own all publishing rights for the book or you could run into legal problems. Another point to remember is that just because the copyright has expired doesn’t give you open access to the book. Check to be sure the owner of the original copyright didn’t renew all rights. Don’t get trapped by the embarrassment and financial penalties for breaking copyright law.

We offer book replicating services at Griffith Publishing, editors of this blog.


Short-run full-color books

November 5, 2009

Finally, full-color books in quantities from 50 to 2,000 are available from Griffith Publishing and other book designers. We’ve always been able to provide full-color books for our authors, but it involved sending artwork and proofs back and forth across thousands of miles of ocean. Beautiful books, and for coffee table presentation books, still the best route to go. But not everybody has $12,000 or more to produce a small book.

Now we can actually print 100 to 500 full-color books 6×9 inches with 48 to 60 pages for under $4 each right here in the USA. There’s more involved than the printing, of course, and for that you’d better hire an expert–someone who will work one-on-one with you to give you a thorough edit job, not just a spell check, and a design on the cover and throughout the book that will zero in on what your book offers and set it apart from all others in its class.

This is a big step for people who have loved the hard-cover photo books offered by ShutterFly. We can’t match the look of those books, but since they cost about $29 per book or more, we think there are quite a few people who would rather give up some of the glamor and style of a ShutterFly book for 100 or so well-produced full-color books.

If you’re curious about how this works and are watching the holidays creep closer every hour and wondering what’s in store, call us at 1 800 359-9503. Or send us email at hodi@mindspring.com.

Joyce Griffith


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