The 10 key steps to self-publishing your work, and making it look great in print:
1. Get a Free Quote for Self-Publishing Your Book
First Choice Books offers competitive prices for printing, and as we print and bind in-house, your books will be produced swiftly and efficiently. Step 1 of the 10 key steps to Self-Publishing at First Choice Books: fill out our quote form for pricing for your project. The form lists almost all of our options for printing and binding, and you can ask any questions you may have about what’s best for your project. Or email [email protected]
Deposit and payment: First Choice Books requires a deposit of 50% of the quoted costs before starting work. The balance is due when the books are ready for shipping. We send a detailed sales order before work begins, and updates when any changes are made to the book’s production details (e.g. revisions or a change in paper stock or page count).
Payment can be made by credit card over the phone: 250 383 6353 or toll-free 1 800 957 0561.
Hours: Mon-Fri 8-4:30pm, PST. We also accept payment by PayPal or e-Transfer.
2. Prepare Your Files for Print
Books need design work before being printed, especially for the cover. There are two routes to designing the cover and insides of your book: First Choice Books Design, or Do It Yourself DIY – Print Ready PDFs
A. First Choice Books Design – Get Graphic Design that Attracts Readers
Looks matter! The cover will sell your book, and the insides should invite your readers into your story. Have First Choice Books do the layout and design of your book insides and the cover. First Choice Books has a graphic design team ready to work with you and make your book look great and ready to sell.
Design costs: We charge $80/hr for design time. Cover design takes about 2 hours, and a novel with around 200 pages and 10 chapters takes about 6 hours to lay out and prepare for print. BOOK DESIGN
Send us your edited manuscript as a Word document, along with any photos and notes on how you would like the book to look. We will send you an assessment of how long layout will take and what the costs will be. The design process includes PDF proofs, design consultation, and time for basic revisions.
B. Do It Yourself DIY – Print Ready PDFs
Many of our authors do their own design work, have a friend or relative help them, or hire their own designer. Download the First Choice Books Free Self-Publishing Guide. The Guide provides tips on how to do book and cover layout, and send PDFs that are ready to print.
3. Double-Check and Send Your Book Files
Before you send your book and cover files, make sure to double check them! It will save you time and money to get the details in order first. Use our handy checklists:
Once we receive files, the Graphics Team will be in touch by email within 1 business day about the details of the technical specifications and any estimates for design work.
4. Make It Official: Copyright, ISBN and Barcode
First Choice books will place a copyright notice in your book, which identifies you as the copyright holder. All rights to the book remain yours. The copyright usually goes on the back of the title page, page 2 of your book. It lists the copyright holder, along with any credits for editing, design, photographs or illustrations, etc.
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and barcode are free with print orders for authors publishing in Canada. We can assign an ISBN, or use yours if you have one already, and create a barcode from that ISBN. Read more about ISBNs and Copyright.
The Printed Proof: After the book and cover have been designed, the next step is to proof the book, and see what the covers and book insides look like in print. No matter how many times you’ve seen it on screen, it will look different in print, and you may want to tweak the colours, the layout, or find a few last typos. Plan for a week or two of time for proofing and revisions.
Proofs are printed on the same paper stocks as your final product, and trimmed to size, but not bound or laminated. Your first proof is included in the print costs. Additional proofs are available for $50 each. Bound soft-cover proofs are $100 each. For hard cover bound proofs, please contact us for more details.
6. Revisions to Your Book or Cover
A. First Choice Books Design If your book and/or cover have been designed by First Choice Books, email [email protected] with a list of the needed revisions. Your Graphics team designer will do the requested revisions and send you a PDF proof to confirm the new version of the book. Revisions are billable at $80/hour, minimum half hour.
B. DIY – Print Ready PDFs For any revisions to a book you have sent as Print Ready PDFs, please send a new PDF of the entire book and/or cover to the Graphics Team. There is a $50 charge for new file preparation and a new printed proof (applicable taxes and shipping are extra).
7. Proof Approval
Proof Approval: You must see a proof of the final version of the book before going to print, and sign the proof approval form that accompanies your proof. The final printed proof can only be waived if the author accepts all responsibility for any errors in printing. Ask [email protected] for a Proof Waiver Form.
8. The Press Run — Printing and Binding
Once you approve the proof of your book, we schedule the printing and binding of your book’s press run. Printing and binding usually takes about 2-4 weeks, depending on the binding type and the time of year. If you have a specific date that you need the books for, please let us know, and we’ll work to meet that deadline.
Shipping: Shipping costs are determined by the final weight of the books, number of boxes, destination, and method of shipping. For shipping quotes, please contact the Quotes team [email protected].
9. eBook Edition
While your book is being printed and bound, we can create the eBook edition and set it up for sale on Amazon.ca. More info on our eBook program.
10. Get the Word Out! Marketing Materials and Showcase Website
Get the word out! There are many channels to do this, but the strongest ones are word of mouth and the internet. Consider starting a blog about your book even as you begin writing it, and in the run-up to having the books printed. First Choice Books can help with marketing materials, including creating bookmarks, posters, and business cards.
Website: We can create 5-page websites to showcase your book, with excerpts of your story, and links for readers to contact you and purchase the book. If you wish, we can add a blog feature, ready for you to jump in and start writing about your book and become the expert in your area of interest.
Questions? Talk with Us Toll-Free 1 800 957 0561
Personalized service and experienced staff: reach us by email or phone directly any time during the week and get answers right away. We’re a small company and do everything in house, so we answer our phones ourselves.
We can give you some great tips on how to make everything run smoothly, and sort out the best options for producing your book beautifully and affordably.