Author Topic: Full series paperbacks?  (Read 1927 times)

TimothyEllis

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Full series paperbacks?
« on: March 29, 2021, 01:48:41 PM »
What's the best way to do long series paperbacks, in as few books as possible?

I have 39 novels at the moment, 40 is weeks away, and I tried a 2 book bundle originally and it didn't sell.

I'm thinking more along the lines of series books now, just for people who want to see them on the shelves, if not actually read them that way. And I'd like a set myself.

My first series had 1 million words, in 15 books.

How do you fit that into the minimum number of paperbacks?

Side issue, not using Ingram Spark, since they enforce needing an ABN, and I don't have one or want one.

Looking for the best size of the book to get the most pages, while still fitting on a standard book shelf.

I notice the biggest page size on Amazon is 828 pages. I'm thinking that isn't enough.

So what are the alternatives? If possible, I'd prefer to get the first series into no more than 3 paperbacks. Is that even possible?

At 39 novels, and a few shorts, and 3 million words total, in 5 series, what's the best way of doing series paperbacks?

All comments welcome.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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notthatamanda

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 08:59:11 PM »
I only know about Ingram, but we had to go with a larger book for the large print because it can only do so many pages. I think 575 ish, but I'm not sure. So that may be your limitation with whatever printer you use, how many pages can you get in the standard book size.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 09:00:15 PM »
I have a number of books with 2 inch spines. They are heavy to read, but back in the 90's when they came out, I was still glad to read them. Not so much now.

My first series wasn't really done in trilogies. I'd really prefer to do the first 5, second 5, and remaining 4 and companion book. But I think that's pushing the 828 limit for KDP.

I just remembered I need to check what D2D does.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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LilyBLily

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2021, 12:22:38 AM »
Paperback really can't sustain huge page counts; the glue isn't strong enough and the spine is likely to crack. You might want to consider hardcover, which will allow you to use a larger page size and more pages and can comfortably support them, especially if you can find a sewn binding instead of glue. More expense per volume but a better manufactured piece.

As far as selling them to customers, paperback compendia of the size you want are not attractive. The pricing to make a profit doesn't work for customers. And even assuming your readers have huge hands, once the spine is larger than about an inch and a half, holding such a book becomes difficult. The weight becomes an issue, too. I've seen the occasional wider mass market paperback--I think the mass market edition of M.M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions was one--but those typically were published on cheap paper, not the #55 stock or better used for a hardcover book and often for a trade paperback.     
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2021, 12:25:47 AM »
Who does Hardcovers? I've never looked at them.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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notthatamanda

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2021, 12:54:55 AM »
I did, again, Ingram. I thought having a hardcover and a paperback would offer some additional credibility. I've sold hardcovers at $26 and hardcovers large print at $38. I was hoping the hardcover large print would be picked up by libraries but you can't tell who bought them. If I hadn't had such a crappy year and was able to do my own formatting and covers I would be offering all the options via Ingram.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2021, 01:45:21 AM »
What's the best way to do long series paperbacks, in as few books as possible?

I have 39 novels at the moment, 40 is weeks away, and I tried a 2 book bundle originally and it didn't sell.

I'm thinking more along the lines of series books now, just for people who want to see them on the shelves, if not actually read them that way. And I'd like a set myself.

My first series had 1 million words, in 15 books.

How do you fit that into the minimum number of paperbacks?

For whatever it's worth, if I enjoyed an eBook series enough that I want to have a physical versions on my bookshelf, I would want the individual books as paperbacks, not a handful of eBooks crammed into one book.  That is, if there are fifteen eBooks in a series and I want them in physical form, I want fifteen books sitting on my bookshelf, not three.  If they are crammed down into three paperbacks, I would not buy them.  What's the point?  For reading, they'd be either bulky in size or tiny in print.  Possibly both.  And if my purpose is as a collector, I would not be getting what I would want which is individual books to put on my shelf.  If cost is a factor, well, I wouldn't buy all fifteen at once.  I'd buy them one at a time, maybe a trilogy at a time, whatever made sense for me financially.
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Hopscotch

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2021, 01:56:56 AM »
For whatever it's worth, if I enjoyed an eBook series enough that I want to have a physical versions on my bookshelf, I would want the individual books as paperbacks, not a handful of eBooks crammed into one book. 

Agree.  I made an e-compendium of a 7-book thriller series and wanted to do it again in ppbk just to have it fat on my bookshelf (1,300 pgs in one pkg).  But I doubted something that size would sell.  And Zon's page limit for ppbks killed the idea, anyway.  When I've the time, I'll ppbk the individual books in the series and do it in pulp style and pulp size.  BTW, I don't buy books I haven't read - isn't everybody like that?
 

notthatamanda

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2021, 02:23:39 AM »
If you do your own covers another option is individual paperbacks with the corresponding ebook covers for each book and special limited edition collection covers for compilations of more than one book.
 

RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2021, 04:52:52 AM »
I wouldn't recommend doing a print version of a bundle.

Instead, I'd recommend doing print versions, using the same cover as your ebooks on the front and then creating a flat image for the spine, so when the books are lined up on a shelf, they reveal the image.

POD is really not set up to handle books over 150K and even then, it's a lot. The binding can handle up to 90k pretty well, but once you get over 100K words, the book's shelf life isn't the best and over 150K, it probably won't sustain even a single reading before the binding breaks.

Plus, the longer the book, the smaller the insider margin becomes because of the binding, so you need to push your outside margins out. But that causes additional problems, so you end up adding more pages which adds to the spine width and decreases the inside margin... You get the picture.
 

RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2021, 04:55:27 AM »
Who does Hardcovers? I've never looked at them.

Ingram actually does beautiful hardcovers. Plus, they do a full wrap for a dust cover and now they have a case as well. You can have a box the book slides into! I'm hoping at one point they transition this into allowing multiple paperbacks into one case, but this will probably be a ways off and likely only for one size trim.
 

Vijaya

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2021, 07:16:21 AM »
Tim, the fatter books don't have the best binding. And if you go hardcover, they'll be expensive. But it is a nice thing to have for yourself--those physical copies. If you already have paperbacks of all your books, I wouldn't bother with series bundled as one book. Imagine how heavy it'd be to hold them. A row of your books on your shelf would be sweet.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2021, 11:59:38 AM »
If you already have paperbacks of all your books

No, no paperbacks, except for the first 2 books I tried originally as a bundle.

So doing 40 odd is very daunting. Not to mention time consuming.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2021, 01:19:24 PM »
I only know about Ingram, but we had to go with a larger book for the large print because it can only do so many pages. I think 575 ish, but I'm not sure. So that may be your limitation with whatever printer you use, how many pages can you get in the standard book size.
Do you have any idea where to check the page limit with Ingram??? I planned to use them for 700pgs. Ugh!

I'm new at this whole omnibus thing, but my plan in the next month is to release a 700 page omnibus 6by9 for a trilogy. This will include 240k words total. If I were to be looking at a million, Tim, this would take four such paperbacks. I set the margin at 1inch which I'm hoping is sufficient. But looking through this thread, I've got some concerns that this paperback proof might feel a bit too monstrous. :tap
 

LilyBLily

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2021, 01:49:59 PM »
Since we're throwing out opinions, I'd go with single books and three or four to a slipcase. Classy.

Tim, I seem to recall you do your own covers. It's very easy to create a spine and back cover (even I have done it in KDP), so it's not money you'd be out, but time. Set a goal of a few a month and you'll be done in a year--and have lots of announcements to tell your fans.

I do like the idea of a special spine illustration that would match up with the others in a slipcase, but there you're getting into manufacturing costs and having to sell that as one unit. 
 

RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2021, 01:59:35 PM »
https://www.ingramspark.com/hubfs/downloads/file-creation-guide.pdf?hsCtaTracking=7b27a427-3786-400b-a43c-af1171e3d2be%7C71457958-f682-4e6c-8c59-57b6045812f0

Page 40 has the matrix, but creme paper is going to be 1050 and white is 1200.

If you are seriously considering an ombibus that will be over 200K words, I would recommend using a typeface designed to conserve space. One that has shorter ascenders and descenders. There are a few out there, but none of them will be free. You'd almost need a typeface designed for dictionaries.

I can see the attraction for authors, but honestly, I doubt many readers will purchase one. First the cost to print will jack up the list price and second, they'll probably rather have each book as their own. To get an idea of what 700 pages will feel like in a readers' hands, head to the library and pull down the thickest trades you can find. You'll also see how much wear they get and those books will usually have some kind of reinforced binding.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2021, 02:13:31 PM »
To get an idea of what 700 pages will feel like in a readers' hands, head to the library and pull down the thickest trades you can find. You'll also see how much wear they get and those books will usually have some kind of reinforced binding.

The Night's Dawn trilogy.

Book 1 was a 2 inch spine mass paperback. 1200 pages.
Book 2 was a 2 inch 6x9 with 1000 pages.
Book 3 was a 1.75 inch 6x9 with 1100 pages.

They were readable, and I bought the 6x9s because I wasn't able to wait for the paperback versions. (Typical year apart release.)

Book 3 shows the most wear.

Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor is 1.5 inch, and all the first pages are now falling out.

So I know what they're like. The only reason I don't read the books now is pretty much all paperbacks are too heavy for me now.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2021, 03:29:16 PM »
Page 40 has the matrix, but creme paper is going to be 1050 and white is 1200.
Thanks for that! I spent an hour searching the web and even glanced at the table. I didn't realize the answer was there in gray.

I can see the attraction for authors, but honestly, I doubt many readers will purchase one.
I know. My primary reason for assembling the set was to sell it as an ebook collection. The paperback is gravy. I just figured I'd assemble one and see. My proof comes to me in the mail in a few days from KDP. If it's awful and too cumbersome, I won't sell it.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2021, 03:31:59 PM »
I just figured I'd assemble one and see. My proof comes to me in the mail in a few days from KDP. If it's awful and too cumbersome, I won't sell it.

Let us know.

In fact, some pics would be good.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2021, 05:05:58 PM »
Will do :Tup2:
 

notthatamanda

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2021, 08:46:11 PM »
I only know about Ingram, but we had to go with a larger book for the large print because it can only do so many pages. I think 575 ish, but I'm not sure. So that may be your limitation with whatever printer you use, how many pages can you get in the standard book size.
Do you have any idea where to check the page limit with Ingram??? I planned to use them for 700pgs. Ugh!

I'm new at this whole omnibus thing, but my plan in the next month is to release a 700 page omnibus 6by9 for a trilogy. This will include 240k words total. If I were to be looking at a million, Tim, this would take four such paperbacks. I set the margin at 1inch which I'm hoping is sufficient. But looking through this thread, I've got some concerns that this paperback proof might feel a bit too monstrous. :tap
My bad, you should be okay. Scroll down on this one:

https://help.ingramspark.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036220452-Print-Books-Trim-Sizes-Cover-Bindings-Interior-Papers

My original point was that Tim should check that with his printer rather then decide how big they would be. Sorry.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2021, 09:24:31 PM »
https://help.ingramspark.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036220452-Print-Books-Trim-Sizes-Cover-Bindings-Interior-Papers

Interesting. Ingram go up to 1200 pages, where Amazon are 828, and D2D are I think 744.

I might have to rethink Ingram somehow.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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notthatamanda

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2021, 11:15:49 PM »
There is some weirdness where the more pages the book has your internal margin needs to get bigger, cause you can't open the book enough to see the words close to the spine of the book. I can't help you with those specifications, I just know they exist.

If you decide to do super special edition I know a book binder and he's bound custom books in snake skin, frog skin, lots of weird stuff. He's up here in the US though.
 

DmGuay

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2021, 11:33:33 PM »
If you already have paperbacks of all your books

No, no paperbacks, except for the first 2 books I tried originally as a bundle.

So doing 40 odd is very daunting. Not to mention time consuming.

Help us understand: What is the barrier to doing each book as its own paperback? Formatting? Cover wrap arounds?
What program do you use to create your ebooks? And how do you (plan to) format your paperbacks?

I only ask because you don't say in your original post, and from the other posts, it's become clear that multiple volumes in one paper book aren't viable.

Maybe we can help guide you if we have more information. 40 books all at once sounds daunting, but you can do a few at a time, or hire out the formatting, or use Vellum or a friend with Vellum to generate paperbacks quickly.

IMHO paperbacks of individual books are worth it.
Some people prefer to read on paper. Some people like your book enough to want to own it in paperback after they read the ebook. Some give books as gifts and in that case, prefer to gift a paperback. Either way, you want to meet readers where they are by offering your story in whatever format they prefer.

Plus, you've already done the work of writing it, marketing it, covering it. Might was well get it in paperback and get those extra sales. I'm always surprised by the number of paperbacks I sell, given a lot of indie focuses on selling ebook or audio. This month, paperbacks accounted for 35 to 40 % of sales --way more than usual--for no reason I can tell. Paperback sales go up in December, as well, as people are holiday shopping. I'd have missed out if I didn't have a paperback option.



« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 11:40:47 PM by DmGuay »
 
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Vijaya

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2021, 11:38:06 PM »
If you already have paperbacks of all your books

No, no paperbacks, except for the first 2 books I tried originally as a bundle.

So doing 40 odd is very daunting. Not to mention time consuming.

It is a lot but as Lily says, since you do your own covers, you simply have to make a template where you can add flap copy or blurb, the ISBN. You can probably do one series each month or every couple of months. Any time I've bought a book-set it's for the kindle, not physical copies because they'd be enormous and i have small hands. But of my favorites, I have each book as a paperback and they've held up even though they've gone through a couple of kids as well. Let your own reading experience guide you in this matter.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2021, 11:48:55 PM »
Help us understand: What is the barrier to doing each book as its own paperback? Formatting? Cover wrap arounds?
What program do you use to create your ebooks? And how do you (plan to) format your paperbacks?

I don't use a program. I have a fixed setup in Word, and I use the same template for every book, and upload the docx.

The covers are definitely the main problem.

I had the only paperback I did formatted by someone on fiver, but it wasn't worth the cost. Since then I know D2D does it for free. So the formatting is not an issue, except past their page maximum.

The covers though, that's an issue. The D2D beta is supposed to solve that, but while I think I remember applying for it, I've never heard back from them, so I can't use it.

There is also the matter of proofs, which last I heard Amazon won't send to Australia.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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Hopscotch

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2021, 12:57:25 AM »
Maybe worth considering for those of you w/fab sales:  I know a Brit ebook thriller writer who is very successful and discovered that a villain was publishing his ebooks as ppbks and capturing the sales.  The Brit hastily put all his ebooks into paper and worked w/the Zon to remove the pirate editions and fill the no-ppbk hole in his offerings w/his own ppbks.
 

DmGuay

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2021, 12:58:24 AM »

The covers though, that's an issue. The D2D beta is supposed to solve that, but while I think I remember applying for it, I've never heard back from them, so I can't use it.

There is also the matter of proofs, which last I heard Amazon won't send to Australia.

Okay.
First: You don't need a print proof copy from Amazon. You can proof the book digitally once your files are submitted and processed. It isn't perfect, but the online proof and previewer is fairly accurate and pretty good.

Next,
So what is the benefit of D2D beta for paperback covers? There must be something I'm missing. On D2D's info page, I see that they are only offering a "print ready version of your ebook cover." But frankly, the file you got from your cover designer should already be print ready if the file size is big enough. And everything else they are offering is already available through Amazon or other places. I.e. cover templates, etc.

You do need a full print wraparound (which includes the spine and the back cover) for each paperback. If you are using KDP, once you have your interior print file uploaded, it will give you a print page count. You can download a print cover template based on your page count. Use that to design your paperback wrap around. (Your cover artist can probably do this, if you don't have the software, time or skills.)

It's also easy to do in Photoshop and Indesign. (Maybe someone here can suggest other free software?) Back covers don't have to be complicated. I usually download a second stock image and add a few lines of text. Amazon puts the barcode on for me. As long as you stay inside the lines on the template, you're good to go.

And yes. You can typeset a paperback interior file in Word, (just convert to PDF before you upload) and the templates are available through your Amazon dash. That's how I did my first few, but that method does take time. 

Now, I use Vellum to make my paperbacks and it's done in under a minute. Maybe someone here can suggest software or another method other than formatting manually for the non-vellum folks.


« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 01:01:44 AM by DmGuay »
 
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alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2021, 01:01:31 AM »
I know a book binder and he's bound custom books in snake skin, frog skin, lots of weird stuff.
I want to do snake skin! Crazy! You know, my original plan was to make a box set, like a real box set in a cardboard container, but POD puts quite a damper on all that. Of course, something like an old-fashioned collection in a box would probably solve Tim's problem of 1mill K words. {edit for clarity
« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 01:04:50 AM by alhawke »
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2021, 01:05:23 AM »
First: You don't need a print proof copy from Amazon. You can proof the book digitally once your files are submitted and processed. It isn't perfect, but the online proof and previewer is fairly accurate and pretty good.

Yes, but I do want a copy, without paying full price for it.

Quote
So what is the benefit of D2D beta for paperback covers? There must be something I'm missing. On D2D's info page, I see that they are only offering a "print ready version of your ebook cover." But frankly, the file you got from your cover designer should already be print ready if the file size is big enough. And everything else they are offering is already available through Amazon or other places. I.e. cover templates, etc.

You do need a full print wraparound (which includes the spine and the back cover) for each paperback. If you are using KDP, once you have your interior print file uploaded, it will give you a print page count. You can download a print cover template based on your page count. Use that to design your paperback wrap around. (Your cover artist can probably do this, if you don't have the software, time or skills.)

It's also easy to do in Photoshop and Indesign. (Maybe someone here can suggest other free software?) Back covers don't have to be complicated. I usually download a second stock image and add a few lines of text. Amazon puts the barcode on for me. As long as you stay inside the lines on the template, you're good to go.

I haven't used a cover artist in several years now, and most of mine are done by me. Even the artist ones are just eBook ones.

D2D is supposed to take the eBook cover and create a full cover from it, based on your uploaded and converted file.

I tried a template once. Back then I didn't have the Photoshop skills to do the spine properly. Not at all sure I do now either.

That was the attraction of what I gathered D2D was doing.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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Hopscotch

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2021, 01:13:03 AM »
As long as you stay inside the lines on the template, you're good to go.

Even that is too high-tech for me.  So I take this easy and inexpensive approach:  a Joel Friedlander format template w/a multibook license doesn't cost much, espec on one of his frequent sales, and the final product is very appealing.  James at GoOnWrite makes excellent wraparound covers at a very reasonable price, which gets more reasonable if you use the same cover image on a bunch of books, as for a series.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2021, 02:02:11 AM »
Canva is free and I believe you can use it for print books that require the wrap around, but I'm not 100% sure and I can't offer any advice on doing it.

I'm curious about D2D's option for print covers now. I haven't really made enough to justify Vellum and Mac in a Cloud, but it's not so much I could do it just to learn something new if I am so inclined. If anyone has any experience with D2D taking an ebook cover and turning it into a print one for you, I'd like to hear about it.
 

DmGuay

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2021, 02:12:28 AM »
Canva is free and I believe you can use it for print books that require the wrap around, but I'm not 100% sure and I can't offer any advice on doing it.

I'm curious about D2D's option for print covers now. I haven't really made enough to justify Vellum and Mac in a Cloud, but it's not so much I could do it just to learn something new if I am so inclined. If anyone has any experience with D2D taking an ebook cover and turning it into a print one for you, I'd like to hear about it.

For some reason, I interpreted the D2D beta description as just a template for a wrap around. But maybe I am mistaken. I do not see how they could create a wrap around from only the ebook cover. But, looks like I'm wrong. If they can help you generate a wraparound cover, with ease, it could be a game changer.

Here's some of the info I found. https://www.shawnpbrobinson.com/draft2digitals-print-option/

So, for the OP, if he doesn't have the tech or software to do individual books right now, it might be best to wait and get in on this D2D thing and try it out.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 02:16:31 AM by DmGuay »
 
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RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2021, 03:19:56 AM »
Bookow https://www.bookow.com/resources.php generates Amazon cover templates, (I use the same template for Ingram without any problems, basically I grab all the files, copy them, then paste them on the Ingram template). The hardest part is going to be the spine.

Grab the PNG, open it up in Canva (I think you can do it) and build your wrap from that template. Or, you can grab a copy of Scribus and create the wrap in Scribus (plus, I think Scribus actually has exporting to epub now, so you could even build a quick print template, use it for both print and epub (with your own CSS file).

Here's the easy peasy way of doing a full-wrap cover:

Find an image for the background, if the image you used for your ebook cover isn't big enough, just pick a solid color that coordinates with your front cover.

From edge to edge (cover that pink bit on the outside of the template) with the base image. Stick your ebook cover on the front. Possibly make adjustments so no text goes into the bleed and is safe inside the trim line. It depends how close to the edge your text is.

Add a box on the back cover that either a coordinating color or white. Use black text for the description. (If you use colored text and something like Photoshop, the text might be a little blurry, especially at anything under 18 pts. Whereas using InDesign or Scribus will embed the font and not treat the file like an image, but a font - it's weird - and you can pretty much do whatever you want with the text copy as long as its in the safe zone.) Add some other fun stuff, like press name, author photo, or anything else to the back bit.

This is the wrap cover I did for Formatting for Print https://www.amazon.com/Formatting-Print-format-printers-Self-Publishers/dp/1948603160 I don't think it can get any more basic than that, but it works fairly well.

Once you have that base set up, the hardest part is the spine and making sure your text fits within the safe zone and it will line up across all series. The thicker the book, the less you have to worry about fitting the spine.

However, I want to remind anyone considering doing a book with more than 500 print pages, the more pages you have, the more inside margin you will need and there is a hard limit on your outside margin. As you increase that inside margin, the size of the text box decreases and the words have to go somewhere. Where do they go? New pages, so you add more pages and your spine width increases and your inside margins increase. POD will always push through tighter bindings, it's just the nature of the beast, so you already want to have an generous inside margin.

Remember too that traditionally published books have the benefit of an off-set printer and a professional typesetter. They are also using InDesign (or maybe Pagemaker) and have access to a library of fonts. While indies can have access to most of these things, use of an off-set printer is usually cost prohibitive unless they know they will sell several hundred during a year at signings. And it's the off-set printer that makes all the difference because the bindings aren't quite as tight and the inside margins have a lot more wiggle room.
 

Writer

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2021, 05:10:40 AM »
Back in the days of Createspace, I bundled 3 short books in a series together, for a combined 500+ paperback pages. It actually came out looking pretty nice and decently sturdy. I could've fit a 4th book in, if I'd gone with a 6 x 9 size and used a smaller font, but it wouldn't have made sense with my pricing structure. I did this in addition to publishing individual paperbacks, figuring some readers might like to save money. But it was never as popular as the individual books, just an extra for the odd fan. In general, most people probably prefer to own the individual copies so they can line all the covers up on their bookshelf. Paperback readers love collecting all the cover art.

 

LilyBLily

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2021, 06:04:45 AM »
I don't understand the problem. I have zero Photoshop skills and I don't do my own formatting or cover design but after I paid for a new ebook cover of one of my books I was able use it for the front and create the spine and back cover of the paperback in KDP. If I can do it, anyone can. It doesn't require any other programs at all.

If you want it a bit fancy, you could pay someone on Fiverr to pretty it up for far less than any regular cover designer would charge. Remember that most people will buy your paperback based only on the front cover, which you already have. The back cover can be very simple and plain and no one will care.

It's a different story if your paperbacks are going to be purchased by readers who see them physically, either at a conference or trade show or on a bookstore shelf. Then I believe you should pay for a full professional design, a cost that will eventually amortize. There are designers on Fiverr who can do that cheap, too. You provide the front cover and the downloaded template, and the text, and they finish the job. Just make sure the typefaces (fonts) are ones you have the right to use.   
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2021, 06:32:04 AM »
The covers though, that's an issue. The D2D beta is supposed to solve that, but while I think I remember applying for it, I've never heard back from them, so I can't use it.

I'm not sure how that would work.  The sizes typically used for the Kindle are not the same proportions as a 6x9 cover.  So, to fit without distortion, something is going to get cropped out.  Similarly, eBook covers don't allow for bleed that print covers will need.  An easy fix if the background is a solid color and no images run off the edge.  Otherwise, it's a problem.

I have a couple covers that I need to recreate if I ever do paperbacks because I stupidly did not plan ahead.  I think all but one have bleeds but only one (the last one) was designed with a wraparound in mind.  And, you never know when Amazon is going to start wanting covers to be like 28,000 pixels by 45,000 pixels, so anymore I try to use vector art as much as possible and, for non-vector images, go as ridiculously large as possible to try to plan for future art requirements.
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alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2021, 11:50:58 AM »
Just got my three book collection paperback in the mail. It's big. But I was looking through my bookshelf and it isn't all that much bigger than Ken Folliet's Pillars of the Earth. Here's a pic of it beside my other 1st book in the series. You can see the difference in size. This a 700 page paperback, 6by9 (my first book is 5.5by8.5).
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 11:55:22 AM by alhawke »
 

alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2021, 12:29:22 PM »
Let us know.
In fact, some pics would be good.
Never give up.

So I sent you all some pics above of my 1st attempt (deleting the font above in an effort to not hog the thread). Here is my second attempt with a smaller font.

I'm much happier with this. It's just a drop in 50 pages but I found 650 pgs in my hand was much more comfortable than 700. Note the one I'm going with is the slightly smaller one in the pic (the back of the paperback book on the right is the one I like). But the font is smaller. I think it's okay but I'd love your guys thoughts on the font from my pic. Again, for anyone considering a full series trilogy paperback, I fit my entire trilogy as 6by9, 650 pgs (now), around 240k words, slightly smaller font, margins with 1inch in center. The cover is altered for 6by9.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 12:32:27 PM by alhawke »
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2021, 12:37:24 PM »
slightly smaller font

What font is it, and what size?
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alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2021, 02:37:09 AM »
Font style: Athelas; margins inside 1in, outside 0.6in
As far as font size... ugh. It's one size smaller than standard on Vellum's size scale. Tim, I can't quantify that. Vellum doesn't state size, only a size gradient. I'm guessing their midpoint is approx standard average.

But the prior book was too big. It felt like a textbook. I think this one is sellable and fits nicely in your hands. And all it took was fifty pages less--weird.
 

RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2021, 04:14:04 AM »

But the prior book was too big. It felt like a textbook. I think this one is sellable and fits nicely in your hands. And all it took was fifty pages less--weird.

The second best advice I was ever given by a typesetter was to drop the font down by half a point to lower page counts and never touch margins.

Tim, if you're looking for a good typeface, Allegreya is a good option and open source (it's pay what you want, so I throw them $5 every time I use it), but started out as a professional typeface. They had both an open source and a pro version then got rid of the free and made the pro version open source. Can't remember what specs I would use to set the page with, but I can run a few tests if you end up going that way.

I would definitely take note of the line spacing. White space is a good thing with print books, and keeping a generous spacing between lines will keep the page from appearing crowded in longer books.
 

alhawke

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2021, 01:22:21 PM »
I would definitely take note of the line spacing.
I didn't mess with the line spacing. I could have, but I felt like line spaces and margins, as you said, are super important to maintain for reading comfort.

What do you think of my font in my pic? Can you tell? I like it. I didn't find it too small being a smidgen off from industry average. Again, the feel of the book smaller outweighs a slightly smaller font, imo.
 

RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2021, 03:06:50 PM »

I didn't mess with the line spacing. I could have, but I felt like line spaces and margins, as you said, are super important to maintain for reading comfort.

What do you think of my font in my pic? Can you tell? I like it. I didn't find it too small being a smidgen off from industry average. Again, the feel of the book smaller outweighs a slightly smaller font, imo.

From what I can see, I don't mind the font size. Athelas can handle smaller font sizes because of the character spacing. I prefer Athelas Book over Athelas Regular because of the color on the page (Athelas Book gives more of a gray page than Athelas Regular when you squint your eyes until the words blur together), but I don't think it sizes down as well as Reuglar (the character strokes really help at smaller font sizes).

I can't tell which typeface (book or regular) from the image, but Athelas is a good steady typeface. I don't think I'd use it for straight Romance, but for Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Thriller/Suspense, it's a solid choice and versatile enough to handle tweakings to get your page count down without worrying too much that you'll sacrifice readability.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 03:15:59 PM by RPatton »
 
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RPatton

Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2021, 03:21:24 PM »
So, I popped Athelas Regula and Athelas Book into InDesign and did it at 10pts with 12.5 pts of leading (smaller leading makes for a tighter page, but the shorter descender and ascenders at a smaller font size don't fare as well. The top paragraph is regular, the bottom is book. You can see the slight different in character strokes and how it can change the feel of the page.

 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Full series paperbacks?
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2021, 03:33:19 PM »
 :tup3b
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.


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