Frequently Asked Questions
What is Publish on Demand or POD? POD has been around for years, but until recently it was limited to black and white printing—computer manuals were a primary product. POD means that books are printed one-at-a-time (or a few-at-a-time), as needed, rather than printed in bulk and inventoried. New developments in pre-press and digital printing have made it affordable to print a singe copy of a beautiful, case-bound, full-color book.
What is the minimum print quantity? Many POD companies have a minimum quantity of ONE, and offer discounts for 10 or more.
What are the standard book sizes? Each POD company has a unique set of sizes, resulting in dozens of choices. For full-color printing, popular sizes are 7 x 7, 8 x 10, 10 x 8, and 13 x 11.
How are the books bound? For full-color printing, styles include perfect binding (glued along the spine), linen case binding with printed dust jacket, and case binding with a printed and laminated wrap (pictured below top to bottom).
Photograph courtesy of Blurb.com
How many pages can the book have? This varies by company and by the type of paper used, and generally ranges from 20 to 440 pages.
How much does it cost to print a book? This varies by company, page count, binding style, and book size. Prices start as low as $13 for a 40-page, perfect bound, 7 x 7 book. Once the book size, binding, and approximate page count are established, Tome Town will provide a price range estimate for printing each book. When the exact page count is known, Tome Town will provide a firm price.
How long does the printing take? The printing takes five to eight business days. Shipping adds one to 10 days.
What does Tome Town charge for design and pre-press work? And, how long does it take? Generally, we prefer to quote a fixed price for each project, which includes minor alterations and additions. The pre-press work can take a few hours to several weeks.
In what format should I send the manuscript for the book? The manuscript should be typed into a word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word. It should be proofread by someone other than you—someone trained in proofreading. You may want to consider the services of an editor, if the manuscript is lengthy. The manuscript should be re-proofread until all corrections and edits are made. Once finalized, the manuscript is ready to deliver to Tome Town as a Word document or text file, on CD or emailed as an attachment.
What is the best resolution for images? Images should be 300 ppi (pixels per inch) when cropped and sized for the book. If you are providing images to Tome Town, we often prefer that you provide the largest image files you have, and allow us to crop and size for the final design. After reviewing your image files and discussing how you would like them to appear in the book, Tome Town will be able to recommend the best book size for your project.
What color profile should be used for images? This varies by POD Company. If you are providing images to Tome Town, we prefer that you leave the images in their native format and allow us to convert them to RGB or CMYK, as needed.
What file format is best for images? JPG files are required by most POD companies.
Can you edit my images? Yes. The images below demonstrate work done in Photoshop. The work was done so that the image would pair well with another photo featuring the flower girl. The two-page spread from the wedding book is shown below.
Photographs by Meyer Photography
What about copyrights? Each book should have a copyright page containing a brief statement such as the following:
Copyright 2009 by the author of this book, [author's name]. The book author retains sole copyright to [his or her] contributions to this book.
To print photographs copyrighted by others in your book, permissions must be obtained from the copyright owners. In your book, for each borrowed photo, include a statement such as:
[photo description] courtesy of [copyright owner’s name].
If you derive significant content from books or other sources, then you should reference each source. If you use actual quotes from any copyrighted sources, then you should cite the page numbers from that source. The example below shows a suggested format.
Tansey, Richard G., and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996, page 36.
What is an ISBN and do I need one? An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique number that identifies books published internationally. Bowker is the exclusive U.S. ISBN agency. Numbers can be applied for individually or in lots of 10, 100, and 1000. Some POD companies buy and resell ISBN numbers to their clients. In this instance, the POD service provider, not you, would be coded as the publisher of your book.
Your book does not need an ISBN unless you plan to market it through bookstores and book distributors. You do not need an ISBN to sell your book through Blurb, Lulu, and other online publishing facilitators’ bookstores.
What is the best way to deliver materials to Tome Town? If you live in the Austin, Texas, area, we can arrange a meeting to deliver materials. If you prefer, or if you live outside of Austin, materials can be mailed (see our contact page for the address), or you may use our free FTP (file transfer protocol) service to send digital files to Tome Town.