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Matte versus glossy covers

Not so long ago people in bookstores would reject a trade-published book for being self-published simply because of the glossy lamination on the cover. Now both Lighting Source and CreateSpace offer matte lamination, so the people who dislike self-published books will have to find other criteria.

Whether you select matte or glossy lamination for your book really depends on the particular cover. I’ve seen one book with a hot pink cover that is absolutely stunning.

I tried a matte cover on one of my books and immediately switched to gloss. The matte lamination made the green background too dark in indoor light. Outside in natural light the colors faded.

Front covers of two books printed by Lightning Source.

Matte on left, glossy on the right. Photo taken in daylight. Books printed by Lightning Source.

Getting quotes from editors

Some writers are reluctant to contact editors who don’t post a fee schedule.

At one time my website included a method for calculating a base fee for my services. Even though a fee RANGE (cents per word) was stated, persons contacting me calculated their fee at the lowest rate and assumed that’s what I was going to charge. So then I would have to tell them I needed a sample of their manuscript to determine the fee, and nearly always after reviewing their samples my fees weren’t at the lowest rate.

If prospective clients think they’re going to pay one fee and find out it’s higher, they may feel cheated before we even agree to work together. That’s a lousy way to start out.

Please don’t be shy about contacting editors if you’re an introvert or shy. Many, maybe most, editors are introverts also. They should be happy to be contacted about a possible job. If they aren’t, then strike them off your list.

I hope you have a list. Having other editors in mind may ease your reluctance to contact them about your book. Contact them all! (But I don’t suggest a mass mailing. 🙂 )

You don’t need to use the first editor you contact. We don’t expect to get every job we quote. Providing quotes comes with the territory. If you get multiple quotes and sample edits, you can make a better decision about the quality of editing and who you’d like to work with. If the editor you select gets hit by a bus (knock on wood), then you already have backups in mind.

Some editors will charge a fee for a sample edit. That’s perfectly legitimate and shouldn’t make you reject an editor.

Getting a Library of Congress data block for your book

The Library of Congress provides CIP data blocks only to publishers who fulfill certain requirements. Most indies won’t meet those requirements.

However, anyone in the U.S. can obtain a PCN for their book. A PCN is a preassigned control number. It is equivalent to the LCCN, the Library of Congress catalog number. If the LOC later decides your book is important enough, they’ll use that number for their record.

You can include the number on your book’s copyright page:

LCCN 2014000000

If you have a PCN, you can obtain a PCIP (Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication) data block. There are several companies that will provide them.

PCIP data block

I’ve obtained reasonably priced data blocks from Adrienne Bashista:

Apply for the Library of Congress PCN program here: