January 2006, V5#1: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Basic Paper Primer

Paper  weight is based on the basic size of a given paper as determined by a given mill.  For this reason, many weight notations one finds has at least 2 separate numbers.  This does not necessarily mean the weight fluctuates between the two.  Generally with printers and suppliers is not a range, but a definition from more than one source and may include more than one grade of paper (bond, text, etc.).  A 50/60# paper is ordered as 50# and as 60#.  However, when put through standardized testing, it is found that each sheet carries the same weight. All specifics supplied If in doubt, check with the business presenting the number information for formal explanation.  Gregath paper suppliers do recognize the standard variation in basis weight of + or – 5% as acceptable by industry standards.

Paper brightness affects the legibility and contrast of printing.  The brightness test measures the reluctance of paper under strict optimal conditions and related it to a white standard (Magnesium Oxide).  The test is mainly applicable to white paper grades.  Basic offset grades are usually in the 80% brightness range.  Aesthetic importance may also be given to the brighter papers.  However, if archival quality is a focus, one must be certain that it is not traded for the brightness.  White papers with 90+ brightness sometimes actually have a blue or colored cast due to additives. 


November 2002: V1#3: Marketing Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

When deciding on what the total cost (retail) for you book is to be you need to consider not only production cost but any additional postage during manufacturing or other hidden costs as well as delivery postage to your customers (if you plan to sell “postage included”).  In a genealogy or family history, it is not usually smart to try to recoup research, manuscript preparation or travel time and expense through your retail price.  However, one may wish, once they have established the “break even point” and what profit margin they wish to have they might want to add in “standard wholesale”.  In the book industry genre (topic, subject) wide, book stores and book dealers expect to be able to buy books at 40% off the retail sales price.  If you add 40% to what you feel you need from a book, then you will be getting a basic price for wholesale sales and that basic price+40% on retail sales.  This also gives you room to run special pricing if you desire such as a lower pre-publication price (discussed next month) or a sale at a family reunion, etc.