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Archive for the ‘Writing Tips & Advice’ Category

June 3rd, 2014

What Is That Old Book Smell? It’s Science!


by David Rogers

The new book smell and old book smell explained

Nearly everybody (we assume) loves the smell of books. Why else would there be candles, colognes, sprays and more made to smell like books (the spray in the linked article comes in two forms: “New Book Smell” and “Classic Musty”)?

But if you’ve ever wondered what exactly the old book smell is, this infographic from Compound Interest has you covered. The simple answer: SCIENCE! The smell of new and old books can be explained by the materials they are made from and the chemical interactions that occur between these materials, as well as between these materials and the environment around them.

If you are interested in even more about the science of smell, see the (great) article that accompanies the infographic over at the afore-linked Compound Interest site.

Find the full infographic below!


May 27th, 2014

How to Change the Paper Size in your Word Document

by David Rogers

The default layout in Microsoft Word is probably familiar to most of us by now: 8.5″ x 11″ inches in the U.S. and A4 in most other places around the globe. The margins around the pages preset at a seemingly familiar 1 inch on each side.

However, our book customers know well that as good as those dimensions are for legal documents, letters and more, they are not always ideal for book printing projects. Here at Colorwise we do print some books that are 8.5″ x 11″, but we also have many other common print sizes (5.5″ x 8.5″ and 6″ x 9″, to name just two). And if the book you’re writing is any size other than the standard default Word size, you’ll want to adjust your pages to represent that size.

Not only will this give you a better representation of what your book will look like as you are working on it, it will also give you an accurate page count to use for your book printing quote.

In addition to changing your paper size, you’ll likely also need to adjust the margins. We’ve written an article with instructions on how (and why) to do just that.

Changing the paper size of your Word Document


May 21st, 2014

How to Convert .doc to PDF for Book Printing

by David Rogers


There was a time not so long ago that the prospect of creating a PDF file from a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) struck fear into the hearts of Windows users around the globe. The program – the most widely used word processor – just didn’t include this useful function.

We saw it too often. Many book printing customers we work with write in Word, but we need a PDF file to start the prepress process if you’re not working with Adobe InDesign or Photoshop files (more on why this is in just a bit).

Fortunately the process is easier today, as Windows versions of Word now have PDF functionality built in (Mac versions have had the option for quite some time).

Here’s how to convert your .doc files to PDFs to make them print ready, no matter which version of Word you have. We’ve divided the instructions up by the different operating systems and different versions of Word.


May 12th, 2014

Kickstart Your Kickstarter Book Project

As I write this, there are 17,481 projects on Kickstarter that fall under the “Publishing” label. Of that impressive amount, many are – at least in part – raising money to cover book printing costs.

We’re pretty big fans of Kickstarter here at Colorwise, and have served as the book printer for quite a few projects from the crowdfunding site. Working with these authors, we’ve learned how important keeping book printing quality up and prices down is to running a successful campaign.

But we also know finding the right print method and the right printer can be a little tricky, particularly if you’re new to the printing game. We’ve put together a series of articles on the best ways to successfully fund your self-published book on Kickstarter.

Check out the articles below, and let us know if there are any other questions you have about self-publishing with Kickstarter – we’re glad to help.

Self-Publish With Kickstarter: How it Works

What Type of Printing Should You Use for a Kickstarter Book Project?

How to Choose a Book Printer for Your Kickstarter Book

April 8th, 2014

Kickstarter Users Pledge $1.24 Million Every Day

by David Rogers

Kickstarter Logo

How much is pledged to Kickstarter every day? $1.24 million is how much.


Kickstarter just released its financials for the first quarter of 2014, and the numbers show that a total of more than $112 million has been pledged to the various campaigns live on the site from January to March. During that time, 4,497 projects have been successfully funded. As far as backers go, 887,848 people donated to projects during that time period, and 679,413 of those were new backers.

These figures come about a month after the company revealed that a total of $1 billion has been pledged to projects throughout the history of the site.

And in the midst of all the projects and the millions of dollars is the publishing category, where authors of all manner and ilk raise money to turn their dreams into books.


March 27th, 2014

The 3 REAL Reasons Writers Need a Google Plus Account

by David Rogers

Google Plus Logo

If you’ve been a writer for any amount of time you already know the importance of social media to your career. If you don’t know yet, you soon will.

Facebook and Twitter seem to be the platforms the majority of authors are most comfortable with, and depending on what you write (and the type of person you are) you may also find usefulness in other places like LinkedIn and Pinterest.

But why should you also have a Google Plus account as a writer?


March 26th, 2014

Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer & More: A TED Talk on the Importance of Crowdfunding to the Arts

by David Rogers

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms continue to gain popularity and become more and more familiar to internet users around the world. Of course, this is inherently great for the sites since they rely on those very users to fund the myriad of projects being created every day.

Because of the growing popularity, it’s great when creators – particularly those with successful crowdfunding experiences – speak in-depth about the platforms. And that’s exactly what happens in this video, a collaboration between Skype and the consistently great TED.

Author Neil Gaiman, musician Amanda Palmer and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler sat down with TED Ideas Editor Helen Walters to discuss creative crowdfunding at an intricate level. Other panelists including Ivan Askwith (“Veronica Mars”) and Tim Schafer (Double Fine Productions) joined the conversation via Skype.

As Walters put it, the conversation is primarily about “what is working and what’s not working” in crowdfunding – but the panelists dive deep into the questions rather than keep tops at the generic level. Musician Frank Bell is the only panelist that hasn’t previously had big success on Kickstarter, and uses the opportunity to ask many of the questions many creatives new to crowdfunding have. It’s nice to see answers coming from those that have already done it.

Definitely worth a watch if you’re thinking of using Kickstarter or any of the other crowdfunding sites to fund your self-published book. You also can check out our own article on how the different platforms work for writers.

March 19th, 2014

What Goes Here: The Copyright Page

by David Rogers

A Copyright Page Example

Throughout our years of printing books, we’ve gotten quite a few questions about what to include on the copyright page. Though you can find the ubiquitous page in just about every book you pick up, we don’t often stop to consider exactly what information the page contains.

The information listed on the copyright page — also called the Edition Notice page — varies from book to book depending on a number of factors. While there is some information that should be included, some is either optional or dependent on those other factors.

Copyright Notice


March 14th, 2014

How to Register the Copyright For Your Book

by David Rogers

The Copyright Symbol

There is often a bit of confusion when it comes to copyright protection and registration, but registering your book is actually a pretty simple process.

First of all, much of the confusion comes from the fact that copyright protection and copyright registration are two separate things. Copyright protection comes automatically as soon as a work is created. No further action (including publication, printing or registration) is required for a work to be protected.

Here’s how the Copyright Office puts it:


March 11th, 2014

Writing Tips: To Each His Own

by David Rogers

When it comes to writing, the only rules are the rules you impose on yourself, those that work for you. If you search out writing advice from other writers — famous and lesser knowns alike — you will get varying and even contradictory information. Case in point:

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Laugh at your own jokes.”
- Neil Gaiman

Surely each piece of advice worked well for its respective author. We wanted to bring together a wide variety of writing tips here to illustrate how different advice is from every author, and maybe offer some ideas you can use.

Writing Tips from Elmore Leonard