The First Steps

Once you have a fairly clear idea of how you want your book to look and what you want from it, you should be able to let us have the information we need to give you a good estimate of the costs of producing it for you. We’ve put together a really straightforward form – no jargon, we promise! – which includes some nuggets of helpful guidance to make filling it in easy. The process of filling it in can be a good way to make decisions about what you want, so even if you’re not quite sure exactly what you want it’s worth having a look. Also have a peek at our jargon buster, which does exactly what it says on the tin!

If you feel you need advice from us before you make your choices, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, by email or phone. We are always honest and non-technical, and can discuss all the options with you.

Our initial advice and evaluation, as well as any estimate we supply, are all completely free of charge, of course. Once you have a price you are happy with and have decided that you want to work with Scotforth Books, we will produce a standard self-publishing contract for your book and send a copy to you for you to read carefully – we also encourage all our authors to show it to their legal representative or anyone else for their comments, just so that you are happy with everything. At any point, you are very welcome to come to our offices to see how we work and meet the people who will be making your book a reality.

One very important thing: we DO NOT ask for money upfront, and would warn you to be wary of companies who do. We feel that is extremely unfair to ask you to pay anything before we have provided any service, so you will only be asked to make any payment once you have page proofs, designed and laid out, with pictures (if included) in place.

What We Can Do For You

We have a great deal of book publishing and production expertise to offer. Our hardworking team can take your book from manuscript right through to a finished book, including editing/proofreading, picture scanning, page layout, cover/jacket design, page proofs, ISBNs (if required), and printing and binding. They are all highly skilled, caring and used to supporting authors through the publishing process, and you will work closely with the person concerned. You may not need all our services, of course, and you will be able to choose what you do and don’t want us to do.

Once the books are ready, if you would like help with the sales and marketing of them we can provide plenty of advice and support. You can benefit from our many years of experience in the publishing industry in respect of press releases, shops sales, niche markets, distribution etc. Our advice is provided free of charge for anyone whose book we are producing, but you may also decide to ask us to produce posters, leaflets or other promotional material to suit your budget.

Everyone at Scotforth is friendly, open, and straightforward to deal with, and it is very important to all of us that we do the best job we can for authors. We can advise you at each stage but you will always remain in the driving seat and have the final say about every aspect of your book.

You, the author, will own every copy of the published books and are completely free to sell, market or give away any copies as you see fit.

Have a look at our What We Need From You and our really helpful guidance sections, and feel free to give us a call on 01524 840555 for an initial chat too if that would help. Or you can go straight to our user-friendly contact form to give us the information we need to provide you with an estimate.

What We Need From You

After thinking about your publishing aims, you may want to start thinking about the practical side of things, such as the kind of book you’d like to produce. Each choice you make about the book’s production influences the cost of the book, and we will need to know (in some cases, only very roughly) what you want to do for each of the attributes on the list below.

We need to know (to the nearest 500) how many words the manuscript (text) has. If you have typed the work into your computer it will be able to show this figure. If the work is handwritten or typed on a manual typewriter you need to estimate the number of words. Although we can type manuscripts in it will almost certainly be cheaper for you to arrange this yourself and supply us with a disk.

You will need to tell us roughly how many pictures etc, if any, you wish to include in the book, how you will supply them (originals – the best way to ensure good quality – scans, photographs etc), whether you want any of them in colour, and whether you want them where you mention them in the text or in a picture section all together.

Generally, unless the budget is very tight indeed, we advise that you opt for a full colour cover because the finished books look so much better. You can choose whether to have a gloss or matt lamination on your cover and we can advise you if need be.

There is a bewildering array of papers to choose from but basically all you need to do is to decide whether you want a white or cream paper and we will select the best and most economical paper to meet your requirements. If you have strong feelings about a particular kind of paper, however, that’s no problem, we’ll make sure you get the one you want.

Books are printed in a variety of sizes and you may have a clear of what you want or you may be totally unsure. Either way, we will discuss page size with you and advise as to the most appropriate and economical size for your book prior to you making your final choice.

You need to decide whether or not you want to have your book in hardback or paperback. Everyone knows that paperbacks are cheaper to produce but many people think that hardback is double the price, when in fact hardback is about 50% extra. The sorts things you need to bear in mind when you are deciding are: your budget; that you can charge a lot more for a hardback if you will be selling it (though you will need to consider how much buyers are likely to want to spend on your book); whether you will be paying to send copies of the book by post, as hardbacks do weigh rather more than paperbacks.

We will arrange the printing for you but in order to give you a meaningful price we need to know how many copies you want (i.e. the print run). You can have anything from 10 copies to 1000s, although of course the price per copy will be high if you only have a few. It is sensible to be realistic about how many copies you actually need so that you don’t end up with too many unwanted books, or too few – it is more expensive to have a reprint than to print extra first time. If you are only having 300 or fewer printed we will probably use what is called the digital print method, designed for small quantities of books. This is slightly lower quality than conventional (offset litho) printing but still very good, and you can have extra copies printed as and when you want them for a cost per copy that will be shown on your estimate.

Free Estimates

Our estimates are provided free of charge but we do need certain details before we can give you a reliable figure. To help you to give us this information we have compiled a checklist which should explain everything clearly. Because each project is so different in size, scope, nature and purpose, we evaluate each one individually, which means that we can’t give you a figure immediately. After careful discussions with you, we tailor everything to fit your particular requirements and we then need a short time to prepare a set of proposals which will include an estimate of all the costs involved. We do everything in house except for the printing and binding, which we shop around for to get the best deal we can for you.

The total costs can vary enormously, with some books costing a few hundred pounds, while others may cost thousands. We can offer you a range of choices to suit your budget and it will take approximately two weeks to provide you with a summary of your requirements, together with the costs of the production of your book.

Additional Costs

Part of the reason we ask you for quite a bit of detail, and give you so much advice about how to supply material to us, before we give you an estimate is so that we can avoid additional costs if at all possible. However these do sometimes occur and if they do we will only do work that incurs charges not included in your estimate with your prior written agreement. It is not usual for us to charge more than the original estimate and we do try very hard to stick to the prices given to you in it.

You can now go straight to our user-friendly contact form, or you can get in touch with us to ask advice first, either by email or by phone on 01524 840555.