Q: Does my book have to be in a digital (computer) file? What if have only a hard copy?
A: Yes, we need the manuscript in an electronic file. If you have only a hard copy, we can perhaps help you find someone to re-type or scan it into a digital file for you. The cost for that is usually $1 a page, but we need to see the hard copy to give you a firm price.

Q: How does BooksByBookends prefer to receive files? Many of our authors email their files to us as attachments. You can also send them to us or drop them off at the store on disks, either floppies or CDs. We prefer to receive text files as Word documents or PDFs.

Q: Does the cover need to be in an electronic file, too?
A: We prefer it, but we can scan in an image that you really want on the cover, usually for a modest additional fee. If you have an image for the cover, give us a .jpg or a .gif and we can work with you on how to use it. Remember, a .jpg or .gif is easiest for us to work with.

Q: Does BooksByBookends do hardcovers?
A: Nope, sorry. Paperbacks only.

Q: What sizes?
A: We print our standard books at 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches — half the size of a letter page — and then trim them to 5.25 x 8.25 inches. We can also make books in the standard letter-page size, 8.5 x 11 inches, which trims to 8.25 x 10.5 inches. We may eventually be able to do other sizes, too, but the costs will be higher.

Q: What kind of paper and covers do you use?
A: We can use lots of different varieties, but our standard is 20-pound bright white (recycled, of course) for the text and 110-pound matte stock for the covers. If you want something different, such as higher quality paper for the text or cover, including glossy covers, let’s talk about it.

Q: Covers can be glossy? Our normal covers, for the basic price, are a matte finish. We can offer linen-finish matte covers (white, gray and ivory) for a little more money, and we’ve recently started offering glossy covers on some books. They cost more (usually $1-$2 more per book printed), but for many cover designs the glossy stock looks great.

Q: Is it worth it to me to do my own formatting on the text?
A: Maybe, maybe not. We can do it pretty quickly; the minimum charge is $50. By the time you install or download formatting software and figure out how to use it, you may wish you had told us to do it in the first place. But you can follow the instructions under How to Submit Your Book on this site.

Q: Can I see a proof? Sure, for a modest additional shipping and handling charge (USPS, UPS or FedEx), which you make when you pay for your order, we’ll make one copy and send it to you. If you ask for only a few minor changes, we’ll make them for no additional charge. But if you want a lot of changes in what you originally submitted or we need to re-format, especially in editing the text, we’ll have to charge more. So it’s best to catch all those typos before you have us make a proof for you.

Q: What if I find something I want to change after my book has been printed?
A: We can make the changes in the next printing, but there may be another formatting charge if we have to go back in and edit your text for you. Again, it’s best to make all your corrections before you submit the book.

Q: How do customers pay?
A: Credit cards or checks made out to “BooksByBookends.” We need the full amount, in advance, for at least one printing. This is because most of our work goes into the setup. If you pay by credit card, we have to ship to the person named on the credit card, to the address on file with the credit company. If you need to send to a different address, you can pay by check. This is because of our return — actually our no-return — policy. See below.

Q: Does BooksByBookends charge extra for helping to design a cover?
A: Sometimes. Most of the time we’ll simply put together a basic cover for you at no extra charge, following your general directions and using whatever you want us to put on the front and back covers. But if it’s more complicated — graphics, a lot of color or colors, fancy fonts — we may charge you. The minimum charge will probably be $50, but we’ll let you know if it’s more.

Q: What about photos and graphics in the text?
A: There are sometimes extra charges, but it can be done.

Q: What about color?
A: No problem with color on most covers (though some colors do not work as well on glossy covers; best to order a proof for glossy covers). Full-bleed covers — ink covering the entire cover — usually require a modest additional charge. Color in the text can be problematic, and expensive. But we can work with you to try to make it happen.

Q: How’s the quality of the books made by BooksByBookends? So far the overwhelming majority of our customers have been very pleased. Unless you’re in the printing/publishing business, you’re probably not going to notice much difference between our books and anyone else’s. That said, we do make our books one at a time, and we cannot expect to match the consistency of a big commercial publisher (Random House, iUniverse, etc.) that uses giant mass-production printing/binding systems. All we can promise is that we’ll do our best.

Q: What if I hate the books you’ve made? What’s your return policy? BooksByBooks’ return policy is actually a no-returns policy. We won’t take the books back. We won’t refund your money or issue a credit to your card. We’re a labor-intensive, personal-service business that hand-makes books one at a time, so if you’re concerned about quality, we’d suggest a small first printing, maybe just 10 books. And order a proof.

Q: What if you need to mail something back to the author?
A: We charge additional for postage and handling if we need to send books back to you. It’s usually the postage charges plus a few dollars for packing and our time.

Q: Does BooksByBookends help authors sell their books?
A: Our primary business is making the books. As with all self-publishing, it’s up to authors to market their books. That said, we do offer some help. We sell their books on our Web site, and from the shelves at Bookends. We also work with a distribution consultant who can get books listed on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and with the national distributors who wholesale books to other bookstores throughout the country. And we’re starting to experiment with helping authors do publicity.

Q: What if I have more questions?
A : First and foremost, check out the rest of our site, www.booksbybookends.com. Most of your questions can be answered on these pages. If you still have questions, just send an email to James at admin@booksbybookends.com. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.