Words and Design, Lower Hutt for services to self-publishing authors

Books (of all kinds)

From design to print

Words &Design also trades as Briar's Books, www.briarsbooks.nz

Samples below

Simple books to complex academic books with diagrams, bibliographies, footnotes, tables of contents, indices. Text and photo editing, cover design, layout, all technical prepress work and finding a good printer. Proofs and delivery to your door. Briar will do everything in collaboration with you. You can be as hands-on or hands-off as you want to be. Print runs from 50 to 1000s. Print in New Zealand or anywhere in the world. These books can be converted into e-books.

children's book publishing, editing layout and design services

A medium-format children's book, appealing to all ages. 800 copies, 84 pages with colour illustrations and a glossy laminated cover. This book was entertainingly written and the stories well structured but needing detailed editing to get them to read well. The illustrations, done by the author herself, were attractive and brightly coloured and the concern was to get the best colour we could out of a value-for-money process. Glossy paper was too costly so we chose a standard coated paper and decided to wait for the printed proofs. The proofs were pleasing enough but the colours softer than we really wanted. We went ahead anyway, but a later test run by another printing company using the same files produced brighter colour, better definition and sharper text for an even sharper price, so the author will use them for her next children's book.

DIY publishing of A5 books

A5 book of 142 pages. 100 copies and a 2nd print run within several months. 40 stories from a pastor's wife about the ups and downs of life and her continual discovery that God could always be trusted to keep his promises. The author tells her stories as small "gems" - hence the title. The challenge of this book was the editing. Preserving the author's style while eliminating jargon and poor sentence structure is always a challenge. The nature of the book invited wide margins. The cover was designed by one of the author's friends who had a great designer's eye but was using older (incompatible) versions of software and a free font that promised problems at the print end. The author decided to start with a small print run and reprint on demand.

Book publication services for DIY authors

A5 book of 118 pages with 30 graphite illustrations. 400 copies. Travellers tales by a woman who visits many countries having supernatural Christian adventures. The cover and illustrations were done by a local artist and it was a balancing act protecting the soft texture of the illustrations while removing inevitable smudges; scanning and printing processes pick up the slightest smudges. Unfortunately the cover illustration had not been done with the ratio of an A5 book in mind so part of it had to be sacrificed to the process.The book needed editing to minimise jargon. This active author has already ordered another print run and files have been sent overseas to be used in a European edition.

Book production services for self-publishing authors, Lower Hutt

2000 copies, 68 pages with colour and b/w illustrations. A surfie and drug user turned believer, reflecting on life. The writer was a busy man who didn't realise that the illustrations he wanted to use were copyright-protected, and alternatives had to be found. He was also keen to find a traditional publisher but wanted to get the book out quickly so finally decided to print and distribute himself. The cover he provided didn't come up to par though he was clear about his title so I designed one to suit. He had about a dozen illustrations but not many were in colour so we went with uncoated paper

book design and layout services for academics

An academic book: 290 pages for a Japanese Professor of Physics - in English. The Professor's spoken English was good but his written English was odd. Because this book was intended for an international readership it needed a complete rewrite and almost all its many diagrams and photos had to be redone or edited. I needed continual help from my husband - a scientist - who came to the rescue when the science baffled me. The book took 10 months to complete and the publishers based in Singapore say it is one of their most popular titles. The professor believed he could account scientifically for many of the unusual phenomena reported before large earthquakes. The cover design combined a photo taken after the Kobe earthquake and a postcard of the legendary earthquake-causing catfish said to reside under Japan. Bringing legend and science together on the cover seemed a propos.

Local book design and layout services for large genealogy publications

This book was a challenge that ultimately took me 4 years. A 328-page genealogy, with 160 photos, genealogical charts & maps, appendices, bibliography and index. 400 copies. The author was fastidious in her research and checking and was always turning up new material to be added. Every chart was provided hand-drawn and had to be recreated digitally. All photos needed editing and tonal adjustments. The cover was a combination of a black and white photo of the old family home and a local Scottish landscape that did not really belong together but worked. The chimneys and a section of the roof had to be added from a different photo and the entire scene coloured digitally. The clan tartan was placed along the cover, front and back. This book hit technical problems half way through when the Windows Operating System was not interfacing well with Indesign, the book layout software. Problems were fixed with an operating system upgrade. There were so many additions and corrections to this book it was difficult to keep track of them all. It was an expensive book to print, but demand was strong within the clan internationally and interest was shown from libraries. There will soon be a third reprint.

help with DIY publishing

A popular local wildlife park - Staglands - commemorated its 40 years with a 60-page book documenting the full story of the park from its beginnings as rough farmland through to its current status as a sanctuary for breeding and protection of endangered species. It gives families and children closeup encounters with NZ native birds and animals and domesticated creatures of all kinds in a beautiful environment. The cover design was provided and the text arrived needing little in the way of editing. A lot of the early photos however, needed rescuing.

help to self-publish books

A book of 312 pages with some diagrams but mainly text. Something of a classic among those who want out of homosexuality and those who want to understand what homosexuality actually is. Straightforward to do. It was also turned into a kindle e-book and an .epub and .pdf for download from the author's website. The book has also been translated into Korean and distributed internationally. This was a third edition and was given a change of cover for the occasion.

design and layout services for theological books

A5, 144 pages for international distribution: God has a mother's heart. Theology and reflection. The author of this book provided her own cover image. Care was needed with choice of font and decorative motifs to keep the look feminine, in keeping with the subject matter. This book is regularly reprinted. Cover Design by JordanCreative.

services to self-publishing authors

A son's account of his communist father's life - adapted from a National Radio documentary. Jack Perkins, an award-winning producer with National Radio talked about his father on air and listeners found the account so memorable that he decided to turn the documentary into a small book of 28 pages. The old photos needed a lot of editing.

book production services to DIY authors

An A5 book of 114 pages with photos: The life of a drug addict and violent offender, who had a life-changing encounter with God in prison. This book had a central section of colour photos most of which were badly under or over-exposed, or distorted and needed a lot of photo editing. Cost issues meant the colour photos could only be printed on uncoated paper (which is cheaper than coated but doesn't give as good a finish) but the end result more than satisfied the author who is raising funding for each print run and giving the books to prisoners.

Words & Design, Lower Hutt for design and layout of complex academic books

This academic book of almost 300 pages has a complex index and long chapter references. It has had multiple print runs and also been converted to an e-book for sale on Amazon. Amazon's obscure and contradictory guide to working with images for kindle ebooks didn't make the job easy but 40 images eventually made it through the process. This book has also been converted to pdf and is steadily downloaded worldwide from the author's website. It has been translated into 5 languages - the latest, Mandarin.

book design and printing services for DIY authors

An autobiography of 176 pages about an adventurous South Island kiwi couple who invested everything they had into a former TB Sanitorium in Central Otago and have spent years restoring it and turning it into a Christian rehabilitation, retreat and conference centre. The book needed heavy editing to remove jargon. Photos were also in a bad way so I put filters over them to stylise away the difficulties. The cover shows the superintendent's house in the 1920s compared with the house after they had restored it. It was meant to convey the heart of their project- the rehabilitation of people. A couple of thousand copies of this book have been printed and sold or given away to the hundreds of people who visit the sanitorium each year privately or in busloads.

book of short stories designed and produced for DIY author

This academic book of almost 300 pages has a complex index and long chapter references. It has had multiple print runs and also been converted to an e-book for sale on Amazon. Amazon's obscure and contradictory guide to working with images for kindle ebooks didn't make the job easy but 40 images eventually made it through the process. This book has also been converted to pdf and is steadily downloaded worldwide from the author's website. It has been translated into 5 languages - the latest, Mandarin.

author self-publishes using Lower Hutt design company

An A5 book of 174 pages. A South Island pastor shares his experiences and adventures with the Holy Spirit in growing a church from about 8 people to 300 over many years. We anchored the account in New Zealand by using a photo of the front of the church rather than stock art and adding circles of fire intended to represent the Holy Spirit. The little chapter symbol was created after copyright permissions were refused for another preferred symbol. Straightforward - no indices or references or footnotes required. About 500 copies of the book were printed and another book is waiting in the wings.

Lower Hutt design and layout services used for national poetry anthology

A5. 132 pages: Poetry anthology (NZ Poetry Society). The title of the book, Take Back Our Sky was based on the theme of one of the prize-winning poems about the eviction of state housing tenants into unwanted "superior" accommodation in an urban environment. So the cover design sought to convey the loss of wide NZ sky and landscape to unwanted cityscapes. The layout of a poetry anthology can get tricky. Often poets have a detailed physical shape to their poem that they want retained, e.g., one of them was in the form of a question-mark, so more artistic effort goes into it than into layout of regular text.

Lower Hutt company nominated for award for design of national haiku anthology book

A 126-page national anthology of haiku poetry on textured cream paper. Haiku are fastidiously crafted 3-line poems using extreme economy with words that capture a universal "Ahah!" moment that works for any reader in any culture. The clients were so pleased with the finished book that they nominated it for a design award. I was able to get calligraphers in Japan to create the kanji characters used on the cover. The characters read "Haiku Collection". As Japanese unfamiliar with haiku written by western poets the calligraphers spent an entire week looking for the most appropriate kanji to use decoratively inside the book, rejecting "masters of the haiku" for a phrase meaning "a group of haiku poets who are friends."The book was an exercise in balancing shapes against each other in pleasing and different ways on each double-page. I felt like an artist rather than a layout operator getting a book to print. Because we were using paper and card stock a bit outside the usual range special care had to be taken to make sure the cover colours remained true and that it all worked well together.

Words & Design Lower Hutt, boutique book publisher, poetry book design

76 pages of poems and prose poems from the pen of one of NZ's most prolific writers of haiku and haibun poetry, Nola Borrell. Nola wanted this book illustrated with 12 full-page photographs. Fortunately one in my own collection suited the cover nicely and complemented her own in other parts of the book. We chose a lightly textured paper for this book and a satin finish to the cover. The usual detailed attention went into choosing and finely balancing the verses to best visual effect

children's books, all design and prepress services

Tales from the Farm Publications create illustrated books of about 40 pages for children, based on the childhood adventures of two sisters - the author and illustrator - on a New Zealand dairy farm in the sixties. The company was in its inception when I took these two books on and the illustrations for the first book were done before the format of the book was decided so I needed to do a lot of image-editing to get them into the right shape. The sisters decided to print in Asia where total costs - at the time - for print runs of several thousand books and freight to NZ were cheaper than getting the book printed locally. They preferred the glossy look - which I initially advised against because of its annoying way of reflecting light off the page so the print is not always easy to read. Old Truck was the story of the renovation of an old truck, the kids' favourite, that was left forgotten in a shed, till a brother decided to restore her to "brand-new". The story has a message for everyone who feels forgotten and the book is doing well.

children's book design

Another illustrated children's book - the first - from the Tales from the Farm stable (see above). Another member of the family - a designer - has now taken over production of these books

services to DIY authors

The first book I ever did - a thick recipe book that was provided in the form of a single long Microsoft Word file. Unfortunately the client had laid the entire book out using tables and her recipes were copied from all sorts of digital sources so that they contained loads of hidden characters that jammed the book software's normal importing processes. It turned into quite a marathon. When I finally presented my client with the bill it really only represented my time at about $5 an hour. I learned at that point to tell my clients not to waste time trying to format their own books - because all their formatting had to be stripped out and the book completely restyled in Indesign so that it would convert successfully to print-ready PDFs and ebooks.