Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BOOK 2: From Screen to Print!

So first off, before anything else -- thank you so much for your purchases and your positive reaction to Ghost Fall! You have genuinely exceeded our expectations, and thanks to your enthusiasm and support we are on our way to bringing you more Owl's Flower just as we've been hoping to. Keep on spreading the word!

Now, on the subject of doing more. We've had a few people say they're waiting for the print edition. It's true that the first book has a print edition -- but, as you may have seen, Ginger literally assembled them herself in her living room. It makes for a great blog piece, but it's not really the sort of thing she can do every time we want to do a book.

So we've been looking into ways to bring you print books that are the quality we want to bring our readers without actually destroying ourselves in the process. This is actually a multi-step job. But since it is kind of crazy, and since you are kind of supporting a brand new franchise from the ground up, we thought it would be fair to bring you in on what we're doing.

Owl's Flower is a light novel, yes, but unlike most light novels on store shelves, its drawings are full-color illustrations. Color and lighting are important when it comes to the tone and impact of Owl's Flower's drawings, and to truly get that out there, we absolutely needed our drawings to remain in color.

If you've ever researched print-your-own books or similar projects, you will know that there are typically two, and only two, options for your color choices: all black and white, or all color. This mainly has to do with how most printers have their machines and presses set up and ultimately, what is cost effective for that printer. But for us, it made no sense to bite the bullet and just print our book in all color -- financially, it made no sense, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There had to be another way.

After months of research and sending out quote requests, we finally landed on our printer: someone who would do black and white printing, with color inserts, for a fair price and reasonable minimum quantities.

Just because we found our printer that didn't mean we were home free. This stage of the game mainly involves researching different interior paper, cover stocks, and asking as many questions as possible to be sure all bases are covered. Our printer was so kind as to send a sample book so that Ginger could see, feel, and scrutinize the different papers and the actual print quality.

If you (like Kara) don't know that difference is between 50# and 70# or what “C2S” stands for, this may have little interest to you, but it's an extremely important step to be sure that Owl's Flower is going to be printed with the same amount of quality – or more – as the kind you see on store shelves. Everything is researched to be sure the book looks good while still remaining well priced. 

Once the quote for the books is set, it comes down to getting everything put together in a print-ready file and triple-checking everything that has been triple-checked to make super-duper-uber sure that the book will print properly. Making sure the illustrations are in the layout properly, that page numbers are correct, that the proper phrases are italicized, things like that.

That might seem like extra work when we already have an ebook version, but the formatting between ebook and print is very different. When Kara assembles the ebooks, she runs the PDF file straight out of Word (after tweaking and making sure no words have magically disappeared under images). Then she has to go back to the Word file, reformat it, and run it through an ebook program to make sure the text shows up properly across a variety of ereaders.

All in all, getting a book formatted for PDF, Mobi, ePub, and print involves two people altering five or six different iterations of one file!

Once everything is set, it's off to the printers and out of our hands so that professionals can take care of it. Isn't it great to know people who know what they're doing?

Meanwhile, we're ticking away at book 3, so that eventually you'll have more fantastic stories to read.

So what happens then? Well, we have books! They're sent to Ginger, and she ships them out to you. Then you can read them, put them on your bookshelf next to your Tokyopop manga, take photos of them with your cat and a cup of coffee, or whatever the heck you kids do with print books these days.

Basically, this is all our very long-winded way of telling you that book 2 preorders are now open, and if you want yours you should head over to our Storenvy shop. We'll be doing a bigger post about this later, but the sooner you get in, the sooner you get yours!

Again, thanks for all your support!

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