Book Production

To enable us to give a good estimation of the finished product we need a few pieces of information from you.

 

  • A brief description of the book

  • The word count

  • The size of book that you’d like

  • If there are photos / illustrations

  • What format (paperback / hardback / ebook)

  • What timescale/launch date do you need us to work to

The Manuscript

The book is produced using the manuscript and any images supplied by the Author. The manuscript must be supplied in electronic format (Word doc or similar) on a memory stick, CD/DVD, or via email or cloud service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox. 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, or that it is out of copyright. If no electronic copy is available then scanning or re-typesetting fees will be discussed. Please submit the manuscript in as finished a state as you would like it produced into your book. 

Production

(Important section, please read carefully)

The book size, paper, colour, etc., must be decided at the start of the project. Print quantities can be determined later. Cover design and details can be agreed upon during the project.

At the start of production, a layout sample will be sent to the author for approval. Once approved, the layout cannot be changed, although minor ‘tweaks’ to word spacing, leading, font size can be made. Please refrain from proofreading the sample layout at this point to avoid version confusion.

During production, communication is encouraged. The designer is happy for the author to arrange ‘hands on’ sessions (in person or via a Zoom type call) at the computer to advise the layout of images if required.

Once the initial production stage is finished, a link to an online version of the book will be available for the author to proof before going to print. One complete proofing revision is included in the price quoted. Further modifications will be charged at an hourly rate of £20p/h. Once this is checked, it must be signed off before it will be output to print.

Images

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. We also have illustrators we can call on if required.

Please note, captions for photographs must be supplied in electronic form in a Word Document or similar – referenced to the photo they apply to.

Copyright

The responsibility to ensure images submitted for inclusion in the book rests solely on the self-publisher. A waiver of copyright form must be signed to release Pixel Tweaks from all liability relating to copyright and intellectual property infringement or defamation accusations in relation to the book.

ISBN

Your book will need an ISBN to be sold via retail outlets. These can be purchased from Nielsens.  If you already have an ISBN, it can be registered with the book. If you don’t have an ISBN, we can assist with setting one up and offer other suggestions.

British Library

By law, a copy of your book must be sent to The British Library for their collection (within four weeks of publication). Plus when requested to the other National Libraries – so five copies of the book need to be reserved.

Proofing

The author must take responsibility for proofing & editing before the commencement of work. Any minor, infrequent errors spotted during the book production process will be corrected at no extra charge. 

A proofing service is available by us if required. This would include checking for spelling mistakes, typos, punctuation problems, capitalisation errors and awkward grammar.

If you need a thorough editing and proofing service we can recommend Claire Cronshaw at CherryEdits

Once the initial production stage is finished an online proof will be sent for checking. One revision will be done to the proof version included in the price quoted. Further revisions will be charged at our hourly fee. Once this is checked, it must be signed off before being output 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 (including the cover).

If using Ingram Spark, the printers will send an online eproof for final visual checks, it is possible to update the file and re-upload at this stage if glaring errors are found but this is time-consuming so we recommend thorough final checks are done at the printed proof stage.

On request (for a fee) the printer can send a hard proof copy for the author to make a final visual check before multiple quantities are produced. Once the book has been submitted to the printers, they will charge an update fee each time the PDF is re-submitted.

Print options

Print on Demand

Print on demand (POD) is the recommended method of ordering your supplies and print distribution services if you are on a tight budget.

Ingram Spark (www.ingramspark.com) is an internationally renowned POD company with established distribution channels both in the UK and globally. An account with Ingram Spark is free to set up, and we recommend that self-publishers use their services.

To open an account, simply fill in your details and when ready, upload the PDF of your book. They will create a physical book and provide distribution options. If you don’t want the ‘Dropshipping’ part of the service i.e. online fulfilment (for example on Amazon), just a physical book supply can be arranged. You have to provide a bank account and card details for payment for future orders and for them to deposit money from book sales into your account. Book sales made online are then deposited directly to you (minus print & distribution fees) – we are happy to assist in the setting up of this account for you.

The downside to print on demand is that you are restricted to just three paper weights, you don’t have a personal service and the cost per unit is generally higher than when buying in bulk.

Amazon KDP

Formally named Createspace is Amazon’s own print on-demand service. Working very similar to the Ingram Spark model although the distribution is more biased towards Amazon whereas Ingram’s distribution encompasses all online retailers. Here’s a good article to read about the differences by Self-Publishing guru Robin Cutler: Ingram Spark vs Amazon KDP

Traditional Printing

The benefit of using a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ printer is a personal service backed by years of experience. You’ll have a wider choice of paper stock available will be able to check proof copies hot off the press. The larger runs on offer will also mean a lower per-unit cost per book. If your budget allows it is the ideal way to get a higher quality book than print on demand.

The downside to someone on a budget is that there is generally a minimum run requirement (500-1000) and they don’t usually offer distribution or dropshipping service.

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 can also give you a couple of contacts too.

Ebook

Pixel Tweaks Publications offer an ebook conversion service for £85. For this, we will convert the finished PDF into Kindle format and provide the appropriate file for you to upload (.epub). 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.).

FAQS

How long will it take to produce my book?

How long is a piece of string?

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 four weeks from word doc to seeing your book on a bookshelf. On the other hand – being realistic most projects take 2-3 months.

What do you require at the start of the project?

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 it 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.

Can I see the project during production?

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 the layout of images if required.

Social distancing is of course practised in the office and Government COVID guidelines are adhered to.

How should my manuscript be presented for conversion?

Please submit the manuscript 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.

How can I calculate page count?

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 pagesPage count for a 6” x 9” book = Your word count divided by 475
For example: 50,000 divided by 475 = 105.26 pagesAs 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 pagecalculate the number of pages based on these figures. For example:5 images @ 1 page = 5 pages20 images @ 0.5 page = 10 pages20 images @ 0.25 page = 5 pagesAnd finally, calculate the approximate number of pages in your upcoming book!Add together the number of pages from your:Word countFront and back matterImagesKnowing 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.

How should illustrations, photographs & other artwork be delivered?

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.

Artwork

If supplying Artwork from an illustrator please ensure the following:

  • Images to be supplied either on memory stick, via on-line transfer service or as an attachment
  • The images must be supplied at a minimum of 300dpi
  • Files are preferred in PSD, TIFF, PDF, EPS or AI format. JPEG is acceptable but be aware it is a ‘lossy’ format so quality can deteriorate when the file has been opened and re-saved.  We can’t accept PNG or GIF files for print work.Unfortunately we can’t accept Corel files (CDR) as we work on Apple Macs.
  • Do not include any text in an illustrated file – this will be added later (let us know if this will be an issue and we can see if there is a way to work around it).
  • Images will be converted to CMYK at output stage by default.
  • Unless otherwise advised the images will be used on white paper stock, hence it is up to the artwork supplier to ensure the work is fit for printing – this means the removal of any smudges, fingerprints, dust marks or other artefacts. These things are often highlighted more following scanning so please check your artwork carefully on screen before sending it to us.
  • if the artwork is intended to place on the page without a border and has been produced on off-white art paper then the backround must be cut out or ‘whitened’ to blend in with the page.
  • If the artwork need extensive cleaning to prepare for print this will be discussed at the time.
  • Line drawings can be supplied as greyscale, bitmap, vector.

Photographs

  • Images to be supplied either on a memory stick, via on-line transfer service or as an attachment
  • The images must be supplied at a minimum of 300dpi
  • Most formats are acceptable
  • Please don’t put captions on the image – these can be added during production stage.
    Please note, captions for photographs must be supplied in electronic form in a Word Document or similar – referenced to the photo they apply to.
Does my work need proofing & editing?

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.

Will I be able to proof a copy before it goes to print?

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.

How does Print on Demand work?

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 fulfil that order via 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 the wholesaler 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 wholesaler 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 wants to sell on Amazon himself he may find that the original listing takes prime place.

From Our Clients
Daniel Wilson
Daniel Wilson
25/08/2021
Ronald Pritchard
Ronald Pritchard
13/08/2021
Russell at Pixel Tweaks hit it off right from our first meeting, after that he has done far more than I ever expected to help my book move forward in the right direction,. In this instance I would not know where to start , so thank you Russel.
Anne Hood
Anne Hood
11/05/2021
I am thrilled with the excellent service I have received from Pixel Tweaks. Nothing was too much trouble and Russell walked me through all the necessary processes. I would definitely recommend this company for self publishing and graphic design. I will certainly use them again
Judith Bell
Judith Bell
15/04/2021
On behalf of Peter Bell: I can recommend Pixel Tweaks unreservedly. Russell steered what I consider a very complicated three-volume book through the whole process with skill and ease and was more than helpful at every stage. I am extremely satisfied with the end product and it is extraordinary to see my book out in the world after so long an incubation. Many thanks Russell.
Martin King
Martin King
22/03/2021
Pixel Tweaks provided me a great service. They really listened to my requirements, and held my hand all the way through the process from beginning to end! Very happy with the results!
John Fox
John Fox
17/03/2021
I enjoyed working with Russell Holden at Pixel Teaks. He is calm, knowledgable, and efficient,. He steered a small book of my poetry through design to print. I am very pleased with the result and delighted he achieved such an excellent outcome in a very short time. A number of readers have commented on the high quality of design and print. I would certainly work again with Pixel Tweaks. Recommended.
Info Mystic-moon
Info Mystic-moon
16/03/2021
Russ has done all my books and provided an awesome service. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to get their book published.
Fiona Pervez
Fiona Pervez
16/03/2021
Approachable and helpful
Kirsty Brooksbank
Kirsty Brooksbank
12/11/2020
Nothing was too much trouble and Russ shared is knowledge and experience to help me on this journey of publishing. He talked me through all the basic and gave me some great tips. The quality of work was excellent, they have translated beautifully into print and I so pleased with the final product. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Stan Henderson
Stan Henderson
20/09/2020
I have been associated with Pixel Tweaks for almost 4 years. During this time they have designed and formatted five books for me. CEO Russ Holden combines efficiency, experience and professionalism with an astute attention to detail. Anyone seriously thinking about self publishing could not do better than to align themselves with Pixel Tweaks.

Putting all my worries aside Russell walked me through the process of publishing my first book in 2009. Since then I have self-published four books all produced to a high standard. In 2014 one of which was shortlisted for the Lakeland book of the year. I strongly recommend Pixel Tweaks as the first port of call to all those who wish to publish but who like myself might need a guiding hand.

John Nixon

Author, WWII Airfield History Books

Can't praise Russell's help at Pixel Tweaks too highly. Knowledgable and skilled but most of all patient! For the hours he put in helping me with the new website he charged me a very reasonable fee, and I'm delighted with the outcome.

Ruth Sutton

Author, Hoad Press

Pixel Tweaks have designed the layout and book covers for Handstand Press publications for the past few years. Russ Holden is always a pleasure to work with - quickly understanding the brief and producing work of the highest quality. His contribution to the success of Handstand publications has been invaluable.

Liz Nuttall

Publisher, HANDSTAND PRESS

Russ is the consummate professional, who always goes the extra mile for his authors. He is there to offer support and advice without pressure. Helping rather than leading. He also has a remarkable ability to restore and enhance old photographs.
I would not hesitate to recommend his services to any author who requires the best presentation for any book of any genre that they hope to publish.

Dave Lodge

Author, Celebrity Biographies