48 Hr Books Blog

We hope that the following blog entries will explain and simplify the process of turning your words into actual books. We'd love to hear from you, either with comments, or with suggestions for future blog posts. We're here to help!
 

By Kevin Hoover

The rise in popularity of digital media over the last several years has proven to be both a boon and a burden to the entertainment industry. As digital sales have increased, the number of trips that we as consumers have to make into stores has gone down. CD’s, video games, and movies have all given up their shiny disc ghost almost to the point of having very little footprint in brick-and-mortar shops anymore.

On the one hand, it’s great having a favorite song or movie available right when you want it, not to mention the accessibility of enjoying it on everything from your home TV to the phone in your pocket. But on the other, it’s a telling sign of a huge shift in the way we consume media, and one arena that’s been dealt the harshest of blows is that of print. 

 

Print Isn’t Dead

Print media speaks to our desire to hold something physically. The feeling of walking into a book store and poring over shelf upon shelf in shelf in search of your next great read. It’s leafing through the first few pages while being introduced to new settings and characters, all vying for attention while trying to earn their place in your home library. The experience is an immersive one that’s a sum of all parts involved, equating to something much more memorable than just grabbing a new book.

Physical is also more than an antiquated way for lit lovers to indulge their favorite pastime. It’s an entire industry that has been around ever since the invention of the printing press. Hundreds of thousands of men and women who scribe their ideas onto screens and in notebooks, publishing houses that in turn ink these ideas onto pages and bind them between fantastically decorated covers. It’s bookstores and newsstands that ensure patrons have the latest issues of their favorite magazines or the next entry in a serial thriller.

Print is a livelihood, an art style, and a link to the past, all in one.

 

Print Does What Digital Can’t

Millions of people own e-reader devices or have apps on their phones, tablets, and computers that allow instant access to books. And if you’re one of them, how often have you loaded your device with a few different stories, read through, and then never gave them a second thought after you’ve swiped past the last page?

It’s a common issue with all digital media. Our favorite movies, games, and books, the ones we fall in love with and prefer to spend the most time in the company of, get relegated to just another clickable link in a virtual library, often never to be enjoyed again.

Fill your library with title after virtual title, but once they’re out of site, they’re often out of mind. Besides, a bookcase brimming with tomes of literature really is something to behold, and that simply can’t be replicated with an app.

 

Print and Digital: Not-Such-Strange Bedfellows

There is absolutely nothing wrong with digital media. In fact, many indie publishers and authors only distribute their works this way. But many digital publications also have a physical counterpart, and while they may cost a few bucks more than the download, they’re still usually quite reasonably priced.

Just why exactly should you consider owning a physical version of something you may already own digitally?

·                    Phone screens get busted, e-readers go on the fritz, and laptops aren’t always convenient

·                    Getting a book wet or sandy while lounging on the beach or poolside isn’t a big deal. If it happens to your insanely expensive phone or laptop, a big deal is exactly what it is

·                    Lending a book to a friend is a lot easier when you actually have a book to give them

·                    Books don’t require batteries, so there’s no worry of your favorite stories inadvertently becoming cliffhangers because you forgot to plug ‘em in the night before

 

Support it Now or Lose it Forever

Ask anyone that was fortunate enough to be a kid throughout the 80’s and 90’s just how much they really prefer one-click ordering to actually spending a Friday evening picking out a game or movie from the local video store.  Although we can appreciate the convenience, most of us would gladly trade in the instant gratification for another chance to wander those aisles and hope that whatever disc we wanted was lying in wait for us to pluck it off the shelf. 

The fate that became of those institutions is not something that any of us would ever wish to go through again. Yet every time a physical purchase is eschewed in favor of a digital one, bookstores suffer. And that holds true for major chains and independent retailers, as well as comic book shops and book exchange businesses.

Print’s not dead not yet anyway. And keeping the buzzards at bay is the responsibility of all of us who love it so.

 

 

Kevin first realized how powerful words can be when, back in the 2nd grade, he was able to skip a night’s worth of homework in exchange for writing an essay on the environment. In the 30 years since, he’s written a fitness guide that was successfully funded via Kickstarter, created content for businesses both big and small, and dabbled in the world of fiction. If you’d like to say hi or pick his brain, visit his website, http://kfhwritingservices.com/, or shoot him an email at thewritekevin@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 


When writing a children’s book. It’s important to establish which age group you are targeting. The way you construct your book will be dependent on the age group you select.

Here are some standard age groups:

·      Ages 0-3: Babies and toddlers

·      Ages 4-6: Pre-K through 1st grade

·      Ages 7-9: 2nd grade through 4th grade

·      Ages 10-12: 5th grade through 7th grade

 

Number of Pages:

The industry standard page count for ages 3-8 is 32 pages, while ages 5-10 can range from 32-64 pages.  These numbers are just averages, so if your page count is short or exceeds these standards, then that is fine!

Amount of Text:

If you are trying to target a young age group, such as ages 0-3, you should rely heavily on pictures, rather than text. You may choose to create a picture book with no text. The older the age group, the more text you can include. Think about the average attention span for your age group and what they can handle.  

Font Size:

Rather than the standard 11 or 12pt font for chapter books, a larger font should be used for children's books. When laying out your book, try using font sizes 16-24pt.  For the youngest age groups, a large font is especially important, while older age groups can be smaller.

 

Book Size:

Choosing the size of your children's book is your own personal preference, but a popular industry standard is 8 x 10 or 10 x 8 (landscape).  We can print both of these sizes. When you go to place your order on our website, you would choose the 8.5 x 11 standard size and in the “customer comments” section on the order, you would say your book is 8 x 10 and we'll custom trim your books to that size! 

**When you are creating your files, be sure to set them up for the size you want your book to be. If you want the size of your book to be 8 x 10, your PDF files must be formatted to 8 x 10.

 

Type of Binding:

Perfect Bound (paperback)

Since children's books usually have a smaller page count, so perfect bound books are a great option. We recommend at least 16 pages for perfect bound books.

Hard Bound (hardcover)

Hard bound books are also an option when printing a children's book due to their durability. We recommend at least 40 pages for hard bound books, but we can normally make it work if your page count is fewer than 40 pages. Just let us know!

 

Pictures & Illustrations:

Illustrations are an important aspect of children’s books. They are essential in capturing the essence of what your book is about. Visual aids will help in a child’s understanding in what the text is demonstrating. If you are not an artist, you may need to hire an illustrator.  Think about the look you are going for. Have a color scheme and style in mind. Simply put: do your research.

Type of Paper:

Our standard paper is a 60# White Offset, which is no additional cost.  However, if you have a lot of color photos or images in your book, we recommend our 80# or 100# gloss text paper, which are great for color.

Formatting:

Because children's books usually have a lot of color, formatting can be tricky.  You must think about how the text will be displayed on the page in relation to the images or illustrations. Think about if you want to be playful and display the text within the illustrations, situated it in different ways, or if you want to keep a consistent format with the text above or below the pictures.

 

Getting Started with 48 Hr Books:

 

Book Templates:

We offer Free Book Templates that you can use to format your book. They'll open in Microsoft Word or just about any other word processing program, and they come in four standard sizes:

4.25 x 7     5.5 x 8.5     6 x 9     8.5 x 11

You can type your book directly into the template and set it up any way you choose. Be sure to choose the right page size, and when you're done formatting, simply convert the file to PDF format, and the resulting PDF file will be ready to upload to us. You'll upload your files directly to your order, so you'll need to place an order first on our website. If you get stuck or have any questions, remember, we're just a phone call away: 800-231-0521.

 

Covers:

Covers are extremely important because you want them to catch a child's interest. Therefore, be sure to use a lot of color. 48 Hr Books prints full-color covers for no additional cost!

If you need help constructing your cover, 48 Hour Books has a Create-a-Cover option for $100. With this option, you can choose a general layout, a background color and texture, and any additional instructions and photos you want included. Email all the photos to us, and our prepress technicians take your options and assemble your cover using these elements. The $100 is a one-time fee, so if you receive your cover proof and decide you want to change an element on it such as the background color, this is no problem. If you have InDesign, you can use one of our Cover Templates to design your own cover.