Gloss or Matte: Which Cover Laminate is Best For You?

Laminate is a a thin, transparent plastic coating applied to paper stock that provides protection against liquid, or heavy use. Lamination can be glossy or matte, and the right option can add that perfect final touch to your design. A gloss laminate can add more contrast and improve the sharpness of your design, while a matte laminate can be more luxurious and understated. While the technology to create a sturdy matte laminate has come a long way in just a few short years, gloss laminate is still recommended for covers that have wide spread areas of dark or highly saturated colors, as matte still scuffs more easily and can be prone to scratching and fingerprints. The right print finish can have as strong an impact on your finished design as the design itself, and though a matte laminate is currently more ‘in vogue’, the decision on gloss or matte is entirely a personal aesthetic preference.

   GLOSS LAMINATE COVER (Example)

  MATTE LAMINATE COVER (Example)

Lamination can be used on all types of binding we offer – perfect (soft cover), saddle stitch, wire coil, plastic coil, and even hard cover lithowrap. As with perfect bound covers, litho-wrapped covers can have a gloss or matte laminate. The laminated paper is pulled tight around a thick board, and attached to the back of the board using an adhesive, just as with standard case binds and the cloth or buckram finishes.

Whatever the pros and cons, at the end of the day, you are the author, and you decide what is best for your book.


Top Ten Common Grammar Mistakes

The famous American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne once said that “Easy reading is damn hard writing”.
There are always some common spelling and grammatical errors that pop up to disturb the flow and comprehension of any story. Identifying and fixing these usual suspects will put you ten steps ahead of the writing game.

They’re, their and there

  • They’re is short for they are. “They’re English.” (“They are English.”)
  • Their is the possessive of they. “I like their English accents.”
  • There indicates a place. “They live there.”

You’re and your

  • You’re is short for you are. “You’re right.” (“You are right.”)
  • Your sits before a noun (word) to show that it belongs to it. “That is your opinion.”

It’s and its

  • It’s is short for it is. “It’s raining.” (“It is raining.”)
  • Its denotes ownership. “A leopard can’t change its spots.”

To and too

  • To denotes distance or movement. “I went to the movies.”
  • Too denotes something in addition to. “I too want to go to the movies.”

Then and than

  • Then denotes time. “We went to dinner, then we went home.”
  • Than compares. “Nike is better than Adidas.”

Who’s and whose

  • Who’s is short for who is. “Who’s that?” (“Who is that?”)
  • Whose denotes ownership. “Whose jacket is that?”

Let’s and lets

  • Let’s is short for let us. “Let’s go to the park.” (“Let us go to the park.”)
  • Lets is a verb. “He lets me use his computer.”

Loose and lose

  • Loose is a noun, as in “loose cannon” or “my belt is loose”.
  • Lose is a verb, as in “don’t lose the race” or “don’t lose your phone”.

Affect and effect

  • Affect is a verb, while effect is when you’re talking about the noun (word) itself. An experience can affect you deeply, while the experience had a great effect on you.

Alot and alright

  • A lot is always two words. Always.
  • Alright as a word for ‘satisfactory’ has grown in popular usage, as opposed to all right, which means ‘everything is fine’. To be on the safe side always use all right.

Does your book need a proofread before going to print? Blitzprint can help. Contact us today for more information.


Formatting 101 in Microsoft Word 2016

A few years back, we posted on formatting guidelines in Microsoft Word 2010. The latest version is Microsoft Word 2016. Not much has changed, but those few changes are worth noting. Here is a Formatting 101 guide for Microsoft Word 2016, complete with picture snapshots to guide you through each step.

STEP 1: MARGINS

We always suggest a minimum of 0.5” for margins, and using a mirror margin to set a gutter edge of 0.25”. A margin is the blank space on the top, bottom, left and right side of the page. If you want an image to go right to the edge of the page, you will need to set a bleed, which is not something you can do in Word. The gutter is an additional bit of space that is added in so that the small amount of space that is lost to the bind is not noticeable. Setting up mirror margins sets the gutter so that it always falls at the centre of the page.

Set your margins by following these steps:

STEP 2: HEADERS

Though sometimes confused with titles, headers are actually the type that is at the very top of the page, often justified to the left or right, depending on which side the page falls on. You can easily set headers in Microsoft Word 2016, and you can even have different odd and even headers.

Set your headers by following these steps:

STEP 3: PAGE NUMBERS

You can easily set page numbers in Microsoft Word 2016, and you can have a different first page, and odd and even pages with page numbers as well. You can choose to have your numbers start at different points and you can choose to have Roman Numerals for your preface (pages before the first page of your story).

Set your page numbers by following these steps:

STEP 4: INSERT PICTURES

The saying goes that a picture paints a thousand words. Pictures and images can add a lot of aesthetic value to your book.

Insert pictures by following these steps:

STEP 5: SAVE TO PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. It captures all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat , or similar products. The benefits of using PDF are that everything your print provider (that’s us) needs is there and embedded fonts mean fewer issues. Save to PDF when you’re finished in Word. If you need to make changes, do so in Word, then save to PDF again.

Save to PDF by following these steps:

And that’s that. Here endeth the (formatting) lesson. We hope it helped. Proper formatting can seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be formatting like a pro in no time.


The ISBN: What, Why, How?

The ISBN. What is it? Why do you need it? And how do you get it?

INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN)

An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) identifies a title and its publisher. ISBNs are issued by individual agencies in every country that adheres to the standard. In the United States, you can acquire your number through www.isbn.org. In Canada, ISBNs can be acquired through Library and Archives Canada.

The 13-digit ISBN number helps:

  • Identify the specific title
  • Identify the author
  • Identify the type of book they are buying
  • Identify the physical properties of that particular book
  • Identify the geographical location of the publisher

You are under no obligation to get an ISBN; however, marketing your book will be difficult without one, as industry sales and distribution systems depend on them.

It’s simple and free to sign up. Register through ISBN Canada, or if you don’t have internet access, you can use the Library and Archives Canada mailing address. It takes about 2 weeks from time of registration to receive your ISBN(s).

CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION (CIP)

Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) is a voluntary program of cooperation between publishers and libraries, and a free service in Canada. Unfortunately, CIP service has been discontinued for self-published materials. Library and Archives Canada recommends that authors of self-published books consider approaching their local libraries or bookstores about opportunities to promote their works.

LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA

After your first print run is complete, and if you registered for an ISBN, it is important at this point that you send in a copy of your book to Library and Archives Canada. This is called a legal deposit and confirms the information that you provided for your book and completes the registration process. Legal deposit applies to publications produced in Canada regardless of medium or format, including, for example: books (monographs); serials (journals, periodicals, magazines); sound, video and spoken-word recordings; multimedia or instructional kits; CD- and DVD-ROMs; microforms; cartographic materials; and online or digital publications.

At Blitzprint, we always recommend our clients register for an ISBN. Better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it. For each client, we will create, free of charge, a barcode from the ISBN to insert on the back cover of the book.

For more information about ISBN, CIP and copyright protection, visit ISBN Canada.


Delay On This Week’s Normal Post

I apologize for the delay on this week’s post. We are experiencing some technical difficulties with it, and may not be able to get it up this week, as it literally won’t post! As soon as we can get it to post, we will.

To tide everyone over, check out this great article by Wise Ink, for the 4 most important words in self-publishing.

Thanks for your patience!


How do I know how many books I should print?

How-do-I-know-how-many-books-I-should-printFor your first run of books, I wouldn’t recommend printing a large run. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, everyone has mistakes in their first editions. Even the people who got it professionally edited and were published. Go grab any first edition and give it a read, you’ll see what I mean! For some it is a simple scenario where they just ask for a couple of changes to be made on their file for the next run. For others it becomes a situation where they have to replace paragraphs, pages, chapters, illustrations, diagrams etc. You don’t want 10,000 dust collectors in your garage that you can go and look at when you feel like shedding a tear!

The other large reason is that you need to figure out your market. You can make predictions, and do a ton of research, but until you are actually out there, in the selling game, it is really hard to determine how many books you are really going to sell. Also, like all things, when you start to sell, typically your momentum will start out a little slow, as you get into the groove of things, get your contacts set up, etc. If you have a large number of books, chances are, you are going to have to store them in your garage, basement etc. You don’t want to keep books for an extended amount of time in an area with large fluctuations in temperature, humidity, or barometric pressure. That is just a good way to ruin a good book.

A large run would be anything over 1000, typically. I would recommend between 50 and 250 for a first run.

 

For more information on self publishing, please visit our website.

 


Building Blogs

We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our team. These will be the main contributors for most blogs you will see here.

Kevin Lanuke, President and CEO

Kevin Lanuke is the President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and founder of Blitzprint Inc. His experience in business operations, administration and technology management, combined with his strong vision and enterprising attitude, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the print and publishing industries.

His experiences with the innovation of traditional business processes and the implementation of new technologies within existing business models provide other business-minded people with invaluable insight into the world of business, print on demand and electronic publishing.

Continually striving for a competitive edge, Kevin places his printing operations at the forefront of printing technology.  Blitzprint has taken the process one step further, becoming one of the first Canadian companies to offer digital book manufacturing and publishing services.

Kevin de Groot, VP – Plant Manager

Kevin de Groot is responsible for the development of the company’s digital business, as well as overseeing the daily operations of the digital production process and offset operations.

Kevin has developed over 35 years of experience in the printing business, with 20 years focused in the digital arena.  In the past, Kevin’s technical and business abilities have helped him develop a large and loyal clientele base.

Trish Romanchuk, Manager – Book Division

Trish Romanchuk helps writers become authors and authors become publishers.

Her 4 years with Blitzprint’s book division has enabled her to become one of the most experienced self-publishing consultants in Canada. 1000’s of authors have entrusted her to help them with all aspects of the publishing cycle from book layout, print and marketing/advertising consultation.