Book Manufacturing

    book manufacturing

    Today my guest is Coral Gates, Sales Rep for one of the best book manufacturers in North America, Friesens.   Coral is going to explain to us a bit about how books are made and what her particular firm does for big publishers, smal presses, and individual authors.

    Right now there is a new cover technology out called 4D that’s pretty exciting.   To see if it’s right for your book, visit


    Q.  What is Friesens?

    A.  We are a book printer or manufacturer.  We make only books and slip cases for books in soft or hard cover with all types of binding styles.  We do all of this in house.  Friesens is over 100 years old, debt-free, and employee-owned, which says “Friesens cares every step of the way for you”.  We replace our presses at five years of age with the latest technology for digital, web and sheetfed presses.  Friesens is known throughout the industry for high quality, ethics and integrity when it comes to printing.  We win Benny awards annually for our quality, color, correctness, and design.  (A Benny is like an Emmy in our industry.)

    Q.   At what stage of the publication process should an author approach you?

    A.  An author should approach us when a project is about 1 ½ to 2 months out from being printed.

    Q.  Tell us about your role with Friesens.  Do you consider yourself an author advocate?

    A.  All of us at Friesens are author and publisher advocates.  As a Sales Consultant for Friesens, I cover five states.

    Q.  What’s the difference between a publisher, a printer, and a book manufacturer?

    A.  A publisher helps an author market, edit, possibly ghost write and put together illustrations, graphic design for covers and set up the printing with a printer.  A book printer and manufacturer are one and the same.

    Q.  Who are some Friesens clients?

    A.  U.S.Army, Harry Potter, Random House, The Smithsonian, National Geographic, Perseus, Chef John Folse, LifeWay, 2010 Olympic Books, Celine Dion, Pearson Higher Education, Wiley Higher Education, Orion Publishing, large ministries, and university presses.

    Q.  How is Friesens different from its competitors?

    A.  We are not a cookie cutter printer.  We can do all trim sizes and our quality sets us apart, from trade to high end books.

    Q.  What is the one thing that authors typically screw up when going to press?

    A.  Not having their files with a high enough dot per inch (minimum 300 DPI).  Along with not having all the files ready to go to press when they said they would be ready.

    Q.  What is the best way for an author to be certain that his manuscript is going to look right in print, i.e. who puts it in Pagemaker?

    A.  The editor or publisher does this for the author, never the printer.

    Q.  Is there a best way to determine how many units an author should authorize for a first printing?

    A.  I like to speak with the client to discover who their audience will be before determining this.

    Q.  How may we contact you?

    A. or 918-407-0732

    Q.  What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

    A.  Truthfully, I love working with creative publishers and authors and have very little time outside of work.  When I do take time out, I garden.

    Thanks, Coral for enlightening us about how books are produced.

     Tomorrow’s blogoversary guest is the

    Editor of Historical Novels Review Online, who will reveal how she selects indie historicals for review.

    Click that FeedBurner button now so you don’t miss Andrea Connell’s exclusive remarks and giveaway on Wednesday.

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    1. I recently spoke with Coral about my book. It was such a pleasant experience. She was exceptionally knowledgeable and professional. She made it a priority to keep her prices fair and low. Working with Coral is the reason I will choose to work with Friesens. Thanks Stephanie for suggesting her to me!

    2. Thank you for the information. I hadn’t ever given a thought to the mechanics of this so it is an eye-opener.

    3. Stephanie, this is a fabulous interview and a wonderful contact. I’m sharing it with others.

    4. I just checked out the link to the 4-d site. What wonderfully different effects those are! One would tend to play with the cover/illustrations and forget about reading the book.

    5. I once took an aptitude test that indicated publishing would be a good field for me. Now what that meant exactly is anyone’s guess–writing, editing, proofreading, setting print or type (it was a long time ago). So, in a way, Coral Gates is actually doing what I might have found to do if I’d been inclined to look beyond the test. I think publishing would be fascinating, especially now, with so much technology at hand. I wonder if Friesens published my thesis? Interesting interview!

    6. Very interesting about how your house works, Coral. The look of a book can make all the difference for those who are scanning the shelves looking for something interesting. It also makes a big difference when we shop for specialty books that will be given as gifts or displayed. The list of Friesens clients is impressive. Thank you for an interesting and informative post.

    7. Thanks for the blog about Coral Gates and Friesens. I have worked professionally as a book designer with Friesens for many years and have only good things to say about their quality. I got to meet Coral at the Texas Book Festival in 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed sharing stories with her.

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