November 2005, V4#11: Design Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Quality: To publish or not to publish?
Don’t make the mistake of feeling the need of a perfect book before you get your genealogy in print.  Especially with the “archival quality” push lately, some authors are choosing the budget needed for their own definition of archival quality as a reason for not publishing.  If you don’t feel comfortable publishing in a printed format on your budget, consider offering your information in electronic form – with a printed book to come in the future.

This section is drawn from


August 2005, V4#8: Define Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Bleed: A printed image that extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet of paper.

July 2005, V4#7: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Paper opacity is the lack of transparency that allows a sheet to conceal print on the opposite side.  weight, brightness, type of fiber and filler in testing can all greatly influence opacity.  Reflectance of paper is measured when backed successfully by a white body and a black body.  The ratio of these two measurements determines the opacity reading.  Typical opacity of 50# white offset is 88-90; 20# business paper is 84-88.  A quick and very basic “home” test is to print something large and black (black and white clip art and or various sized of bolded text) on a sheet of paper, place a blank sheet of the paper to be tested over this printed sheet.  Any print that happens to show through, will show a bit more if actually printed on the currently black paper.  For book printing, take your darkest page and try this test.  Many manuscript designers will change their manuscript elements to decrease the opacity needed for a nice book rather than pay the difference for higher opacity.

June 2005, V4#6: Design Wednesday, Jan 28 2009 

Sometimes, the choice of index format is governed by economics of a printed book.  We suggest that an index format is used that the author would like to see in a reference book.  Regardless of one’s ultimate choice of index format, it is sometimes tempting to disregard – even a completed index – to save the cost of printing the extra pages.  With the strong growth of personal computers in the home, a suggestion is placing that 50 pages (not uncommon for a large book) of index on CD to include in all book sales.  Offer a print out upon request for a print out fee – this can be staple bound, 3-hole punched, etc.

This section is drawn from information online at

February 2005, V4#2: Production Wednesday, Jan 28 2009 

Include all your photos in a hybrid “printed” book: For the author that would also love to see every photo available in print – a book with accompanying CD may be the answer.  Select the “cream of the crop” to be printed into the actual book.  The CD – which can be attached to the book via envelope or spindle – can contain a wealth of digital information.  Photos galore and/or original document scans, GEDCOM files, author notes on theories, etc.

January 2004, V3#1: Design Monday, Jan 26 2009 

Book Manufacturing Concepts

Most printer/publishers have the capabilities to print by many methods, we offer quality offset printing from camera ready copy, as it is the most cost-effective approach to a permanent ink printed book. Due to set-up costs, we must limit our smallest run to 100 books. With our 33 years experience, it is just recently that we have found what we feel is a viable alternative.  Always make sure companies you approach to publish define their method of reproduction if you are interested in your work standing the test of time.  It is amazing to us how many copy machines and their out-put are being sold as “printed”.

September 2002, V1#1: Book Production Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

While the world in general accepts that there are several main ways to reproduce books (i.e. print or copy), very few methods to produce printed books are alike.  Each print shop can employ not only a variety of presses and methods, but there are so many steps that are possible that the term “printed” doesn’t really describe much once you start thinking about it. Due to the fact that a copied book production is so automated, once you determine the type of copier and quality of binding, you have a much better idea of what your book will look like.  In future issues, we will discuss our production methods.  We hope by doing this, you may have some idea of what actually goes into the production of a book.  Once you have grasped some of what is involved, you can go to any printer/publisher that wants to work with clients on a personal basis and ask for a tour or explanation of their processes in reference to your book project.

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