Frequently Asked Questions
Creative Continuum creates some of the most affordable short-run book publishing solutions in the industry. Here are the answers to the questions we most commonly receive.
We’ve listed our top FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to help you make an informed decision regarding our short-run book publishing services.
- What is short-run book publishing and why should I consider becoming a self-published author?
- Who would benefit from short-run book publishing?
- How does short-run book publishing work?
- What makes Creative Continuum different?
- Another publisher offered me a print on demand contract allowing me to print one book at a time. What should I do?
- What about pricing? Who sets the retail price of my book?
- Short-run book publishing sounds to good to be true. What am I missing?
- Why can’t all publishers offer short-run book publishing?
- Are short-run published book prices competitive?
- Why should I pay for design when I can do it myself?
- I am concerned about quantities to print. Will short-run publishing help?
- What quality of book can I expect?
- Does the cost per book go up on smaller print runs?
- If short-run publishing cost more per book, why should I print a smaller run?
- May I alter or rewrite portions of my book after it is printed?
- What do we do if I sell my books quickly and need more books quickly?
- What happens if I want to take my short-run book publishing success and print a large run?
Self-publishing is one of the book publishing industry’s fastest growing segments. Authors find it attractive for many reasons. Unlike using traditional publishing companies, self-publishing with a short-run book publisher like Creative Continuum keeps the author in control of the entire creative and selling process.
Short-run book publishing means we produce a small number of books quickly and affordably, while maintain our high-quality standards. If you only need 100 books, Creative Continuum can publish them for you in as little as 6 weeks, depending on the services you need. If you need additional copies several months later, we can print them even quicker. Short-run book publishing minimizes your book storage requirements and keeps your financial investment much lower than a traditional run.
As a self-published author, you pay the full cost of producing your work and are responsible for marketing and distribution. The copyright, all finished copies and all money received from book sales are yours.
Traditional publishing houses are usually reluctant to accept first-time authors because of the unpredictablility of new book. Self-publishing with a short-run publisher allow you to test your book’s sales potential with a small quantity of books. Our full spectrum of services produces an attractive, professional book. The best salesperson for your book is always you, the author.
Almost anyone can benefit from short-run book publishing.
- Chiropractors, doctors and dentists could produce a book for their clients to explain their services in greater depth and detail.
- A book of your own poetry makes a great gift from the heart.
- Today’s how-to book market is expanding. If you know a better way to do something, share your expertise in your own book.
- College and University professors often dream about teaching from their own book. Short-run book publishing makes this an affordable reality.
- Professional speakers can bring greater legitimacy to their talks and presentations with books they’ve authored.
- Museums and historical sites often need a limited number of books for special events or exhibits.
- Associations, organizations and country clubs all have needs of anniversary books or annuals.
- Business and industry could publish a book to expand the market on a product or service.
- Corporate histories are also a great way to document where a business has been and where it’s headed.
- Family histories are a perfect way to preserve the past for future generations.
From start to finish or anywhere in between, Creative Continuum can handle the entire publishing process for you:
- To begin, we typeset your manuscript, design the cover, and assign the ISBN and Library of Congress number and produce the barcode that includes your retail price.
- To enhance distribution opportunities, we register your book with the Library of Congress and Books In Print.
- Once you approve the layout and cover, the files are sent to our state-of-the-art digital printing presses.
- We apply high-gloss, layflat lamination to your cover and then bind it to the text pages, creating the same softcover-style book you see in stores.
- We trim your book to the right size, package them in cartons, and ship your order to your door.
- We can prepare copyright forms for submission to the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, DC, to ensure your hard work is protected.
We’re more than just a printing company. Our experience in the graphic design and publishing world—combined with our high-resolution printers and understanding of production and bookmaking—set us apart.
Creative Continuum specializes in high-quality, short-run book publishing. Our full-service production facility offers services often found only at the larger publishing houses. These services include
- Transcribing, typing, editing
- Ghost writing
- Layout, typography, typesetting and text design
- Scanning and digital photo restoration
- Copyright registration
- Library of Congress numbers
- Cataloging in Publication
- Captivating cover design
- Custom paperback or hard cover binding
- Limited editions
- Multilingual publishing
Another publisher offer me a print on demand contract allowing me to print one book at a time. Should I do that?
Check the contract’s fine print and then do the math for yourself. you’ll probably end up paying more for a longer run you might not need.
Most print-on-demand publishers require you buy an initial design package that cost from several hundred up to several thousand dollars and then purchase 25 to 100 books at inflated prices, often 10% off the retail price of your book. Once they have your book in their system, you may wind up paying the single-book rate, even if you want to purchase large quantities.
Many of those companies set the retail price, which could negatively affect your sales. Creative Continuum’s short-run book publishing programs give you complete control of your book and are the best value in the industry.
Please see our page for more information regarding Print on Demand publishing.
Pricing is a delicate issue. If the retail price is too high, it could have a negative affect on your sales. If it’s too low, your per-book profit will be less than you deserve. Creative Continuum helps you to determine the retail price of your book, but the decision is ultimately yours to control.
Short-run book publishing really is as good as it sounds. As today’s technology continues to advance short-run book publishing technology has never been easier or more cost-effective!
Publishers want to maximize their profits and most companies make their real money by overselling you on quantity.
A typical publishing contract to print 2,500 books of 150 pages in length can total almost $9,000. In contrast, our short-run publishing services that include typesetting of 150 pages, cover design, and the first 100 books can total less than $2,000. Future reprints can cost even less!
You also need to keep in mind your hidden costs associated with a larger print run. Warehousing can eat up your garage or spare room. If you want to make changes to your book after the first run, you will have a lot of wasted books... and money! Short-run book publishing addresses all these issues and is often the most economical method to publish your book.
There’s more to the cost of a book than the unit price you pay and Creative Continuum’s short-run book publishing will often save you money. Analyze the costs and be sure to factor in shipping, warehousing and printing books that may never sell.
Let’s assume you print 2,500 copies of your 150 page book at a base cost of $3.56 per book ($8,900 total, excluding shipping and warehousing).
- If you only sell 100 copies, your per book cost is really $89.00 per book and your total out of pocket cost is $8,900!
- At 250 copies sold, your actual per book cost is $35.60 per book and your total out of pocket cost is $8,900.
- Selling 500 copies gives you a per book cost of $17.80 per book and your total out of pocket cost is $8,900.
Compare these costs with Creative Continuum’s short-run book publishing prices for a 150 page, 5.5x8.5 softbound book with a laminated cover.
- If you order and sell 100 copies, your per book cost is $19.62 per book and your total out of pocket cost is $1,962.
- At 250 copies sold, your per book cost is $12.54 per book and your total out of pocket cost is $3,135.
- Selling 500 copies gives you a per book cost of $9.92 per book and your total out of pocket cost is $4,960.
The number of new books published each year continues to increase. Publishing industry statistics tell us that most books never sell more than 500 copies. Creative Continuum’s short-run book publishing system gives you the option to print smaller quantities and affordably test your market.
Visit the small press or short-run book publisher section of any book show and you’ll see too many covers designed by the author or someone who has never done a book cover. Open up any of these books and you’ll discover a book that was produced in a word processor. Creative Continuum believes you can (and do!) judge a book by its cover.
Companies that produce products invest heavily into the packaging. They shoot custom photography. The copy is professionally written and edited. An experienced designer produces the final artwork.
Let’s examine a few comparable scenarios
- You’re buying a new car for $45,000 but try to save $2,000 by selecting the plastic hub caps instead of the chrome wheels.
- You’re building your dream home. To save money, you request cheap carpet.
- You’re taking your first cruise. To get the ‘best’ fare you book a small, windowless cabin and travel during the stormy season.
- You decide to save a few dollars by tuning-up your new car. Not only do you need to buy some new tools to do the job, but you cross-tread a spark plug in the process.
You get the picture! With each example above, the cost-savings is often not worth the loss of value and the same holds true for book design.
Don’t trust your book design to someone who just finished a basic PhotoShop or InDesign course at their local community college. Our experienced designers produce books that visually compete with the best produced by the major publishing houses.
We want you to be happy with your book. After all, when you’re presenting your book to wholesalers, distributors, retailers and purchasers, how many times do you get to make a good first impression?
Creative Continuum’s short-run book publishing system gives you the ability to print runs as small as 100 books. You can determine the market demand for your title before you invest in printing 1,000 or more books. See the example above for comparisons of per-book pricing and total production costs.
Your book will be of the same high quality found in the finest store/indexs. Our design packages include professional design and typography, and high-quality, full-color laminated covers.
While smaller book runs usually do cost more per book than larger print runs, your total investment is often much less.
A smaller book run can build confidence because you don’t have to risk an initial large investment. Shorter runs also allow you to fine-tune your message before committing to a larger and more expensive book run. See our example on competitive pricing for a full description.
Most authors have difficulty determining whether their book will sell 100 copies or 250,000. Short-run book publishing gives you the ability to test your market with a smaller investment.
It’s a system trusted by large corporations, such as Taco Bell or Subway Sandwiches. All major corporations test market each new product they develop. Once the company has determined the success of their new product, they decide the most profitable path to take.
Absolutely! When you contract with Creative Continuum for short-run publishing, we specificy our charges for corrections and changes so you know what to expect. The flexibility to tailor and revise your book’s content with a shorter publishing run is yet one more advantage of Creative Continuum’s short-run publishing system.
This is the beauty of short-run publishing: We can produce your books quickly. The exact turnaround time depends on the number of revisions you want to make and the print quantity.
No problem. All of our publishing files are in state-of-the-art computer software files that translate easily to most press environments. In most cases, there are no additional setup fees or alterations necessary. In addition to providing you with a PDF you can send to another printer, let us know how many books you want and we’ll also provide a quote for the quantities you need. In many cases, our production environment is cost-effective with many other printing companies’ pricing.
California Libraries 2004 Calendar is a 28-page, 11"x8.5" book with spiral bound calendar binding published in 2003.
An Extraordinary Gentleman is a 344-page, 13"x11.75" book with library edition hardback binding published in 2010.
A Place for My Soul Filled With Flowers is a 100-page, 7.25"x8" book with paperback binding published in 2003.
The Life of One Nisei is a 145-page, 6"x9" book with library edition hardback binding published in 2014.
The Adventures of James: A Trip to the Cemetery is a 36-page, 5.5"x4.75" book with paperback binding published in 2005.