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View Full Version : Manuscript file questions for self-publishers



compuwhiz
08-17-2009, 03:12 AM
Hello all, new person here. Just thought I'd ask a question for those that do self-publishing. I made sure to read the newbie guides as well as searching the forums prior to posting, so I apologize in advance if this topic has been discussed before (and mods, please feel free to delete and let me know if it's in bad taste or belongs in a different forum). With that being said, thanks in advance for your time! :-)

My questions are: Have you ever had problems with the printing quality of books printed on demand, and do you know if these problems were caused by corrupt or erroneous PDF or source files from your manuscript?

If there was an online tool that sort of checked each aspect of your manuscript (embedded fonts, transparencies, image quality, etc) to help prevent these sort of "printing problems caused by files" would you use it? If so, would you pay a nominal fee for that sort of "piece of mind?"

Please keep in mind that I'm not referring to formatting in the traditional sense (like margins, font type, or pre-press editing), more like the file integrity prior to printing.

Thank you very much in advance!

valeriec80
08-17-2009, 03:56 AM
My answer is no. I've been quite happy with the quality of the books I've published.

Frankly, no offense, this idea sounds like an attempt to squeeze even more money out of self-pubbers, who, in my opinion, already are convinced far too often to pay for services they don't need.

MickRooney
08-17-2009, 05:21 AM
If there was an online tool that sort of checked each aspect of your manuscript (embedded fonts, transparencies, image quality, etc) to help prevent these sort of "printing problems caused by files" would you use it? If so, would you pay a nominal fee for that sort of "piece of mind?"


Why do I get the impression there is a 'I've something to sell' about this posting.

No. I can't see authors buying such a service. POD has improved greatly over the past ten years and the quality produced, on the whole, is as good as any offset print.

compuwhiz
08-17-2009, 05:46 AM
Thank you both for answering. To be honest, I don't have anything to sell except an idea, in the hopes that this type of service can be of value to those self-publishers that go from writing to publishing to promotion all by themselves and don't want to deal with the technical aspects of file creation.

The reason I bring it up is that I am involved in the file creation side of POD and have seen many times individuals receive defective materials, not due to the printing quality of the actual toner or paper, but due to problems in the files. In my experience, many times self-publishers think their files are fine until a printer without the right file cache screws up a print job.

Of course self-publishers can do their research and create perfect files for print on their own. I was just wondering if it would be better if there was a service that did this for you instead. To me this does seem like a good idea, but because I am not a self-publisher, it's pointless for me to think so.

Thank you Mick and Valerie for your comments and feedback!

veinglory
08-17-2009, 05:59 AM
I think the service would be useful only if it did also include standard formating as well (font, margins etc).

compuwhiz
08-19-2009, 07:56 AM
Thank you for your feedback, veinglory. I'm pretty sure this would be a online software solution, where you would upload your manuscript file to see if it met general requirements for press. Formatting such as margins, making sure each page is the same size (yes some pdfs sent to print do not have the same size pages), and templating would be much more difficult to accomplish via software. However, it would add to the value of the service.

Again, with enough research you could probably do all these things on your own. However, I would imagine the solution would do all this for you quickly and easily online.

veinglory
08-19-2009, 06:20 PM
However it would require users to 100% trust the service, from an unknown? Would you offer a money back guarantee if their proof arrived with errors?

compuwhiz
08-20-2009, 03:16 AM
veinglory, instilling and keeping trust is a huge concern. I'm not quite sure how I'd handle it, as I'm really just gathering feedback at this point, but I do see some of the customer service problems self-publishing houses face and it would be one of the top things I'd focus on. A great software service coupled with customer service that eases your mind.