1. You say you’re “turnkey.” What exactly do you mean by that?
It means we can provide every possible service you need to make your commemorative book happen. From the research and writing to archival collections, new photography, design and printing. We can even warehouse your books and/or help you market them to your constituencies. Our aim is to make this process as easy as possible on you while delivering the highest quality book.
2. But what if we don’t need all of those services?
That often happens. Some clients write their own manuscript for their company history or prefer to do their own design on their anniversary book. If a service isn’t needed, we’ll simply not budget for it. We do, however, like to consult on the aspects of the job we’re not completing to ensure it syncs with all other phases.
3. So, do we just package up all our photos and send them to you and you write the story?
Gosh, no. We’re coming to you. First, editor Rob Levin will visit to meet with you and your team, to discuss your needs, how the story can be shaped, who your audience is, what you want your commemorative history to accomplish and so forth. Next, the writer will be on location to do research and conduct interviews. Following that, we’ll assign an archivist to go through your archives, whether they’re in shoe boxes or digitally cataloged and indexed by the thousands. In between, we’ll visit as often as is needed at no extra charge.
4. We have a very tight deadline. Can you still do it?
It depends on how you define tight. We’ve done books in as little as four months, including research, writing, design, and printing. Other books typically take eight months to a year or so. The main problem with a very short turnaround is that it limits the scope of the project (shorter manuscript, fewer pages in the book) and the client review time for key phases is heavily cut. But, yes, we can, and the clients for whom we’ve developed books in short timeframes are very happy.
5. Why do you beat around the bush when I ask for a “ballpark” price?
You noticed that, huh? Because invariably, we’ll either blurt out a price that’s too high and that scares you away (even though you said you wouldn’t hold us to it). Or we’ll spit out something that ends up being too low, and then it looks like a “bait and switch” when the real numbers come in (even though you said you wouldn’t hold us to it). In truth, there is a conversation that must take place prior to us running the numbers. This conversation will involve many questions and answers. Some of them you may already know (press run, for instance) and others we may need to discuss (manuscript length or new photography, for instance). Eventually, we’ll have enough material to pull together a budget for you.
6. How involved are clients in the process?
Some are very involved and others are more likely to let us do our job and then get involved at key sign-off phases. We’ll work either way you like and both methods are the same price. We did one project—an international four-language medical atlas—that had a review team of almost forty people on three continents. Other clients have small review teams in one office. Either way, our managing editor will be keep you abreast of the project at every step, and you can always call or e-mail us at any time with your thoughts. Trust us on this: if we don’t hear from you, you’ll hear from us. Because we do think it’s critical that you know what’s happening with your book at all times.
7. Once my commemorative book is printed, then what do I do?
This is something many clients don’t think about—just how are you going to distribute all those books being delivered to your school or company? Many of our clients are now asking us to handle the warehousing and fulfillment for them. We have arrangements with two fulfillment centers to take care of you—taking the order, packaging the book, and shipping it via any number of methods (USPS, FedEx, etc.). You can even have a personalized letter inserted with a book from, say, the CEO or Head of School. If you’re selling your book, then we can set up a shopping cart that links from your website—it processes the credit card and the order is sent to the fulfillment center. You receive monthly reports on inventory and the gross and net revenue you’ve earned.