FAQs

How long will it take to produce my book?

The short answer is that it all depends on you - if everything is in place at the start of the project and everything goes according to plan it could take as little as 4 weeks from word doc to seeing your book on a bookshelf. On the other hand - being realistic most projects take 2-3 months.

Manuscript

The manuscript must be in electronic format (Word Doc or similar) and available on a memory stick, CD/DVD, or Cloud service.

For handwritten manuscripts, typesetting fees will be discussed before commencing.

For copies of books already in print, proof must be shown that copyright is owned by the author – if no electronic copy is available then scanning or re-typesetting fees will be discussed.

Here’s a simple way to calculate your book’s approximate page count using the word count of your manuscript.

Find your word count In Word, click anywhere in your document and your word count will show in the status bar at the bottom left, between the number of pages and the dictionary language.

Choose a trim size You’ll need to choose a size for your book just as a starting point, so choose the one below that’s the most appropriate for your book:

For fiction: 5.5” x 8.5”

For nonfiction: 6” x 9”

Large format books with illustrations are more difficult to predict the final page count, but usually large pages will have a similar amount of text as small pages, as part of the large page will be devoted to illustrations, sidebars, captions, and so on. Choose one of the above sizes, even for your large format book, just as a starting point.

Calculate the number of pages Using your current word count and the appropriate formula below, calculate the number of pages you can expect in your finished book:

Page count for a 5.5” x 8.5” book = Your word count divided by 390 For example: 50,000 divided by 390 = 128.20 pages

Page count for a 6” x 9” book = Your word count divided by 475 For example: 50,000 divided by 475 = 105.26 pages

As you can see, a smaller trim size will produce more pages for the same word count, and a larger trim size will produce less. These formulas are based on using:

A standard typeface for book publishing (Garamond / Helvetica) A standard type size (11 pt)

Standard margins Standard spacing (the first line of each paragraph is indented, and there are no blank lines between paragraphs).

Calculate the number of pages for front and back matter - Don’t forget to add to your page count a title page, copyright page, table of contents, appendix, index, and any other pages that are not included in your manuscript but will form part of your published book.

Add an extra half page for each chapter, because each chapter opens slightly down from the top margin, and seldom ends at the bottom of the last page.

Calculate the number of pages your images will require Will you be adding images to your pages? If so, the number and size of your images will affect your page count. Here’s an easy way to calculate how many extra pages your images will require:

count your images and divide them into rough sizes: full page, half page and quarter page

calculate the number of pages based on these figures. For example:

5 images @ 1 page = 5 pages

20 images @ 0.5 page = 10 pages

20 images @ 0.25 page = 5 pages

And finally, calculate the approximate number of pages in your upcoming book!

Add together the number of pages from your:

Word count

Front and back matter

Images

Knowing your approximate page count can be helpful in a number of situations. You can start obtaining quotes for printing, calculating costs of shipping, and choosing a price for your book, well in advance of having your book designed.

Controlling your page count You may be surprised by your page count, and realise that your book is going to be thinner or thicker than you anticipated. Moving to even a slightly larger page size can lower your page count and save printing costs. Or, if your book is slimmer than you’d hoped, you can choose a smaller page size, a larger font size, and a paragraph style which adds more generous spacing (and more pages) to your book.

This type of information is very helpful to your book designer. If your book needs to be thicker to improve perceived value, your book designer can help in many ways. Similarly, if your book is lengthy and you want to keep printing and shipping costs down, your book designer can minimize your page count by creating a design with this in mind.

Production

The book size, paper, colour, etc. must be decided at the start of the project. Print quantities can be decided later. Cover design and details can be decided during the project. At the start of production, a sample of the layout will be sent to the author for approval. Once approved the layout cannot be changed, although small ‘tweaks’ to word spacing, leading, font size can be made. Once the initial production stage is finished, an A4 print-out will be made available for the author to proof prior going to print. The author must accept responsibility for the manuscript at this point and only sign off approval once everything is checked and double-checked. Once this is checked, it must be signed off before it will be output to print. A hard proof copy can be obtained for the author to make a final visual check before multiple quantities are produced if required.
During production, communication is encouraged, and the designer is happy for the author to arrange ‘hands on’ sessions to sit with him at the computer to advise layout of images if required.

Artwork

Images are preferred in electronic format however a limited number of hard copies will be acceptable to be scanned and converted. Basic ‘clean up’ and adjustments of the images are included in the production costs quoted, but excessive manipulation requirements (e.g., restoring ‘or photoshopping’ of old images) will be evaluated before commencement.
A photography service is available and we also have some excellent multi-genre illustrators we can call on if required.

Proofing

By the time you are ready to give us your manuscript for book production we expect you to have thoroughly proofed and edited the work. Any minor, infrequent errors spotted during the book production process will be corrected at no extra charge. A proofing service is available at a per page cost if required. This would include proofing for spelling mistakes, typos, punctuation problems, capitalisation errors and awkward grammar.
Once the initial production stage is finished, an A4 print-out will be made available for the author to proof prior going to print. The author must accept responsibility for the manuscript at this point and only sign off approval once everything is checked and double-checked. Once this is checked, it must be signed off before it will be output to print.
A hard proof copy can be obtained for the author to make a final visual check before multiple quantities are produced if required. Depending on the printer there are options for hard proof copies. Some make a nominal charge for this service.

Print

Traditional Printing

We are more than happy to output the book to a printer of your choosing – it may be someone you’ve worked with before or who comes recommended. We also have a list of recommended printers.

Print on demand The Print on Demand process is the ideal way to get your book in distribution channels. We recommend Ingram Spark for this. The file is uploaded to their ‘easy to use’ online portal, and they will supply ‘on demand’ whether that be physical prints of the book to yourself or a designated outlet, or via online retailers such as Amazon. Online orders will be fulfilled automatically, and money earned from these sales will be deposited on a monthly basis. If you don’t want the ‘Dropshipping’ part of the service i.e. online fulfilment, then just the print on demand for physical book aspect can be arranged.

When the Print on Demand is set up with Ingram, along with the option to order a quantity of books there is an option to supply outlets directly. This is called dropshipping

From this point - whenever an order is made on-line, Ingram will fulfill that order via Betrams, a book wholesaler, on behalf of the client, hence the term printing 'on demand'.

As an example - when a customer orders a book from Amazon the book order is made to Betrams and they request the book from Ingrams who fulfill that order.

Each party takes their own handling fee so a book that retails for £10 may yield an actual return for the author of £4 (after print costs and Amazon and Betrams fees are deducted). The profit from a £10 book bought directly from the printers maybe £6 or less.

Buying a stock of books in bulk direct from the printers then self distributing (via a book launch & signings, direct to shops, from an author’s website or through local media) yields by far the better return on investment but the Amazon route is a good way of getting your book out into the wider world.

If the author decides that they would rather not use the print on demand service, it can be cancelled at any time however it may take some weeks to get out of the system.

From this point Ingram will cease supplying (dropshipping) or fulfilling orders to Amazon, Waterstones or wherever. They are like the milkman - they will only deliver until asked to stop!

The original ‘placeholder’ listing that was put in place when the ISBN was registered remains. This is the listing that was made when the ISBN was registered with Nielsen. If the author want to sell on Amazon himself he may find that the original listing takes prime place.

Pixel Tweaks Publications offer an ebook conversion service. For this, we will convert the finished book into Kindle format and provide the appropriate file for you to upload (.mobi). We recommend you create an account with Kindle Direct Publishing then royalties will be paid directly to yourself (we can help you set it up if you like). For Kindle books, an ISBN isn’t vital as Amazon will assign an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). You can also use Smashwords – which will distribute your ebook to the other ebook reader companies (iBooks, Kobo, Sony, etc.to send).

ISBN

In order to sell a book at retail level you need an ISBN.

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier. e.g 978-3-16-148410-0.

An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. For example, an ebook, a paperback, and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007 (10 digits long if assigned before 2007). The method of assigning an ISBN is country based.

If a publisher is selling their books on their own and are not trying to place them in stores or libraries or with wholesalers, an ISBN isn’t required.

Your book will need an ISBN from Nielsen to be sold via retail outlets. These can be purchased individually or in blocks of 10. If you have an ISBN already, we will register it with the book once completed. If you don’t have an ISBN, we can let you use one of Pixel Tweaks Publication’s ISBNs.

Because the ISBNs were issued to Pixel Tweaks Publications in large blocks, Nielsen will list Pixel Tweaks Publications as the publisher in the Nielsen record. This does not make Pixel Tweaks Publications your publisher, nor does this designation in the Nielsen record limit your rights, ownership and control over the book. It simply means that Pixel Tweaks Publications provided you with the ISBN, and Pixel Tweaks Publications helped you produce, publish and distribute your book.

Pixel Tweaks holds no claims to any royalties earned future or present.

When a book is ready for publication an ISBN number is allocated from a list of ISBNs purchased from Nielsen Book Scan. The purchaser of those ISBNs is the registered publisher.

When the ISBN is registered to Nielsen as being linked to a new publication it immediately goes in the 'system'. (although you can specify the date you'd like it to be available for sale).

Outlets such as Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmiths etc show the book as available to order on their system. The book setup file may not even have left the designer’s computer, but as long as it has been registered with Nielsen it shows up automatically on the system as available to buy.

At this point the listing will appear on Amazon. It is like an empty placeholder.

Legal Deposit

By law, a copy of every UK print publication must be given to the British Library by its publishers, and to five other major libraries that request it. This system is called legal deposit and has been a part of English law since 1662. The Legal Deposit Libraries are: • the British Library, • the National Library of Scotland, • the National Library of Wales, • the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, • the University Library, Cambridge, and • the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.