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Costs and Payment Terms

The two phases of producing perfect bound books are billed separately:

  1. Wordrunner Press bills for design and layout at an hourly rate. The final cost depends on how ready, how long and/or complex the manuscript is.

  2. Printing is piece rate. Costs can be estimated even when the page count is approximate. The traditional print shops or printer brokers used by WP are paid half the amount in advance of printing and the balance upon receipt of books. Print-on-demand printers ask for the entire payment up front.

Cost for Design and Layout
The fee for design and layout of perfect-bound books varies from book to book and is billed at $35 to $50 per hour ($35 is the "discount-to-the muse" and struggling writers' rate; $40-$45 is the rate for nonprofit organizations; $50 is the professional or business rate for authors who know they have a niche market and will have no problem retailing books). Costs for design and layout have varied between $165 and $1800, depending on the complexity of the book. Generally, design and layout costs average between $250 and $350, more if books require editing and proofing or extensive revisions, or there are multiple photographs or an index. This includes final preparation and shipment of camera-ready files and, when need be, hard copy, to the printer — or uploading of files to a print-on-demand house.

There is an additional fee of $25 for a Wordrunner Press ISBN (barcode included), if desired. A Library of Congress number is free if the book is eligible. Note that CreateSpace supplies a free ISBN (but no LOC number). See FAQs for more information.

Wordrunner Press (WP) bills only after the books have been approved for printing. Payment is due in full once the books are received, by check or paypal. The ISBN will not be registered until final payment is received.

Cost for Printing
The printers listed below do high quality work at reasonable costs; however, WP will work with any printer authors designate.

Costs for printing and binding books are on Gorham Printing's price charts for "ready-to-print" books. There you select the size of book and estimated number of pages to determine prices for so many copies. You can also figure out approximate shipping costs or WP will do it for you.

If over 500 books are ordered, it becomes more cost effective to offset print them. Perfect bound (glued) covers are digital color laser prints, unless more than 1300 books are ordered.

Once book production is underway and the number of pages is ascertained, you'll get an estimate from Gorham by email, which eventually you must sign and return to them with a check for half the total amount due. At the same time, WP ships camera ready files and hard copy.

After you review the galleys, if anything needs to be changed, WP will do it for you (Gorham charges $80 an hour for revisions).

Final payment to Gorham is due when the books are received.

Second printings: You can order additional books yourself directly from Gorham. First, contact WP to add "Second Printing" and date to the publications credits page, at no additional cost. There is no discount for ordering additional books. The more you order, the less it costs to print.

Smythe sewn books: The printer broker (Lorna Johnson of Petaluma) is also paid separately, half up front and final payment on receipt of books. Each job is custom priced. Ms. Johnson offers extremely competitive rates and high quality printing.

Print-on-demand payment arrangements with print on demand (POD) companies such as CreateSpace are different. Authors can open an account and upload the final files created by WP, thereby maintaining complete control over ordering and marketing. Otherwise, WP can handle some or all details, but, in either case, payment for printing must be made in advance to the POD company or WP. Easy-to-use calculators on the CreateSpace site estimate cost of books at different sizes. Note: If even one color page is added to the book, the entire book is priced for color, which substantially increases the cost. Authors can always order books at cost plus shipping, from one copy to hundreds. Books printed by POD companies can be sold on those sites at a retail markup. Any profits from sales (royalties) are deposited in the author's bank account.

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