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Here's some common printing terminology:

4/0: full colour on one side
4/1: Full colour one side, b+w on the other
4/4: Full colour both sides
1/1: b+w both sides
1/0: b+w one side
C2S: Coated on both sides
C1S: Coated on one side

If anything is any colour, you have to get full colour.
This goes for book interiors. If you have ONE single drop of red blood in your black and white comic, you must pay for full colour printing. In all printers I've seen, the covers are printed in colour by default.

Paper types:
Coatings
Paper weight conversion
It's kind of tricky, but don't go by the number. It's based on the thickness of the paper.

These are by no means a complete list, but at least you will understand some of the random code that is industry standard.

Edit to add in b+w only terms
Kyousouka
Errol: I asked here because I don't even know of any overseas companies that are used by webcomickers, I just know that there are some. Can't ask for quotes if I don't know who to ask ):

I know what to look into (minimums, papers, shipping, etc), but not where to look into it.

From what I've heard, even with the shipping, it's cheaper than domestic, and it's usually the very long wait that kills people (I'm okay with the wait). So, it's something I want to look into somehow. I do not expect it to be the right option for me (too much trouble, minimums are likely more than what I want), but I'd like to have that kind of information if someone has it. And that is why I posted.

Honestly, I'll be happy with any place that'll print a B&W saddle-stitched 48-pager in better quality than ComicXpress for under $2.50, provided their minimums are also reasonable (getting a run in the low hundreds would be great, smaller is even better). I've been led to believe that this is not an unreasonable expectation. Am I wrong?
I used sidekick since I plan to use them and have already set up calculators for them.

The pod printers I've found (sidekick in particular) have no minimums. Sidekick for instance let's me print as few as 8 pages in the book (which I will do for proofs) and as few as 1 copy.

Local printers may be different. Many have minimums, but if you're printing locally, they tend to give you a break as well.

I threw a mock quote together for you.

This is what you should do with every printer you come across. Find out if the price lowers at certain points. (I think SK told me that every 100 they give a discount, but I don't recall.)

Do you need me to walk you through the calculator or can you read it on you own? The first is based on your request for printing under 2.50 and the difference from 2.50. The second table is based on price points. Say, you were printing at 2.50 and your sales price is 3.00. You can see the difference that comes about in .50 intervals. I also included promotional items. Since printing is less that what you wanted to pay, you can afford to include a promotional poster with each book.

Make a calculator and tweek it to see where you get the most for your money.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Errol: ComiXpress actually lets you have combination B&W and Color pages at a much cheaper rate than all color xP Vicemage has some experience with that. Obviously, there are limits on where the colour pages can be, but don't discount the option. If ComiXpress can do it, I'm sure some other companies can too.

I've been thinking about requesting a quote from Patterson, but I am not sure what they mean by "Halftones Quantity" in the text copy ):

I do make little calculation sheets like that too, no worries. Mine are less... visual though.

Sidekick is the only printer I know for sure does porn, but sadly they do not offer custom sizes, ugh. Stupid USA and its lack of ISO paper sizes xP
THIS IS AMERICA, AND WE REFUSE TO DO THINGS THAT MAKES IT EASY FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN'T FROM HERE OR IN WAYS THAT MAKE SENSE. *shot*

Seriously, I need to bookmark this thread for the future. And I mean like ten years in the future.
Kyousouka
Errol: ComiXpress actually lets you have combination B&W and Color pages at a much cheaper rate than all color xP Vicemage has some experience with that. Obviously, there are limits on where the colour pages can be, but don't discount the option. If ComiXpress can do it, I'm sure some other companies can too.

I've been thinking about requesting a quote from Patterson, but I am not sure what they mean by "Halftones Quantity" in the text copy ):

I do make little calculation sheets like that too, no worries. Mine are less... visual though.

Sidekick is the only printer I know for sure does porn, but sadly they do not offer custom sizes, ugh. Stupid USA and its lack of ISO paper sizes xP
I'm sure fanartist can update the exceptions since they will be few and far between. I wouldn't count on an exception changing the rule. Then again, do they charge you for a black and white book and add the price of the colour pages on top of that? Is it flat rate?

I'm a visual guy. Also, I like it to be set up so I can change 1-2 fields and all my information updates automatically. (Hense, "calculator". I colour code them with expressions too. *is a nerd*

I'd advise calling them. That's what they're there for. I have no idea what that means though. If they meant LPI, they'd say LPI. *brain breaks*

I'll look into the pricing standards and fees of some of these small run guys and let you guys know.
Oh man, there's so much information I want to add from what's been shared! Going through some past posts and figuring out how to organize new subtopics for the Business section....

Also, a printer that doesn't have an User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show. symbol means that I have not heard that that printer prints adult content.

@Errol: >3</ heart heart heart

[EDIT] Adding a promotion/sales section that'll include networking as a subsection. Will prolly just put in a short description and links to relevant sites. Don't wanna bog down the thread...
Yeah, I'm sure we can find a way choose unnecessary information to remove. There are some things that are common sense or that can be found very easily if the person isn't too lazy to look.

That will take some decision making on what that is thought. xD

I edited by post with the printing spec and paper weights to include the codes for b+w only.

Also, I spent a few hours researching on printing with some colour pages in the interior and everyone I've found except some very strange (backyard looking) operation charges for a colour book if you have any colour interior pages.

It may be an issue of calling each printer and asking, which people can do on their own. Personally, I've read too many complaints about ComiXpress to warrant my caring to use them just so I can have a colour page in a black and white book. Besides, they charge a fee per book on top of the page rate (it looks like, I have to check again) so yeah. I'll stick with SK. xD

I like that fact that I can include a poster with each book. xD
Createspace DOES allow erotica, by the way. The adult content rules apply to your storefront, amazon description, and covers. Also, it pertains to video more than books.

Edit: Also, Pro: Your book is searchable and can be bought on amazon.com, allowing random people you didn't know about to happen upon your book. Your profit is less that way though, so you want to send people to your createspace storefront whenever possible. For a extra fee per book, it will be listed on other retailers websites and able to be ordered by bookstores and other shops for their customers.

Edit again: Do you want me to call the places with missing information so we can fill in the blanks?

Front page looks great, by the way.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

I emailed Sidekick and got some info. This is all for perfect bound books, though, I did not ask about saddle-stitching:

Custom trim sizes: Yes. Quoted prices on A5 are the same as the prices for similar-sized perfect-bound books ($0.02/page B&W, $0.10/page color).
Dust jackets: Yes (+$1.00)
Min and max page counts: 2-700
Large order discounts: 10% on orders over $500
Minimum order: Didn't see on the site, but since they call themselves POD, I'd like to think it's very small.
Since they, surprisingly, meet my silly demands (shows how important direct contact is, guys), I may just do a minimum run as a quality test.
Oh, they also tossed in their price for case binding: $8.00. Not sure why, perhaps because I asked about dust jackets. Is it that weird to like dust-jackets on softcovers, haha? (I plan to have a few books with dust jackets and other goodies as a limited edition of sorts, this is of course only for the fatter books.)

One bad thing I've found so far: their File Upload form only works with files under 100MB. Most comics are going to be larger than this, so comic artists have to contact them to get their FTP info and upload that way. Fortunately, their response to me was quick (6 hours), so if they're always like that, it's not a huge problem. Gives you extra time to proof.

Their directions on file prep say to make all images, grayscale included, 300dpi (but monochrome images are 2400dpi, yum). This is pretty standard, but it still makes me sad that no/few printers will maximize the magical potential of my 600dpi and 1200dpi pages, haha.

Edit: I've actually found my dealings with ComiXpress fairly pleasant. It is their turnaround time that annoys me (but it's bearable, they still always got my crap in on time), and their quality that turned me away. But I'll have to see how my stuff looks with SK, for all I know, I'm too picky about paper, and my files are bad or something.
You can send them an 8p proof book to test.

One thing I can say about SK is that they are easy to reach, have answers when you have questions and according to the guy I spoke to, they run the job within 24 hours of the order. (In general.)

Anyone who picks up the damn phone or replies to my email the same day is okay by me.

Vendors that can't humor my paranoia are on my shitlist. Haha. Quality be damned. As long as they're working to standard and the binding isn't coming apart in shipping, we're good.

I'm going to do a local run around to see if I can find anyone that is local though, to minimize shipping costs.

SK's paper options seem pretty okay to me. Like a standard comic you find on the shelves at the shop.

I've heard mixed reviews about ComiXpress's quality. I don't think I've heard complaint about KaBlam's quality, but I hear their service is crap.

I also don't want the anthology I'm printing to be for sale on any website. We have to manually sell and ship our own copies. I don't want to promote competition between team mates.

When I print my own books with only my content, I will most likely spread it around since some online printers double as retailers. Createspace will be my perfect bound pod of choice.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Errol: I'm planning to either print a 8~16 pager with a few pages from my various comics and a few test patterns, or just the first chapter of my comic with some strategically placed bonus pages, as I did with ComiXpress (my bigger CX Senka books are just lineart for the main pages, but the bonus material had tones, greyscale images, and various other test things).
I feel more comfortable if I see every page proofed, but it is pretty expensive ): I'll see how they respond to my second round of questions before I decide exactly what I'll do for my test.

I meant to ask them about shipping, but couldn't find a good way to segue into it, ugh. Why must my emails be so cohesive?

Also, the ISBN reselling idea from earlier: The plan is to buy a block of 1000 for $1000, and resell at $2~3. I don't care if I don't sell them all and end up losing money, it would be more of a service to those who don't want to pay the high fees for smaller amounts of ISBNs, out of the goodness of my heart. Plus, there's no expiration date on them that I know of ;D
I'll have to see what the restrictions are. If individuals are allowed to buy them, then A+. If not, I've got an LLC I can work though (not a publisher, though). ...if it has to be registered as a publisher, then I'll probably just give in ): No restrictions!
Good luck with the ISBN sales. Let us know how it goes. If it works out, maybe we can list you as a resource.

(Ugh, I keep feeling like I should have gone into law instead of art when this stuff comes up. xD)
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

I feel like that too.

I'm going to look into it more seriously after this semester ends in a month, and if I really do end up doing it, I'll post all the relevant info.
A Gaia ISBN Fund! biggrin

I think it's a great idea, especially since a lot of people on Gaia can't really afford ISBNs in 1-10 packs (and 100 is a bit much).

Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving/Black Friday!
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Wouldn't be Gaia (I came up with the idea with friends from SmackJeeves, actually), but yep! That's the idea.

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