Live DownUnder, Sell Globally

IP now offers authors the option of selling their titles by a print-on-demand (POD) subscription program (YBW).

IP uploads print and digital content to its POD partners Lightning Source, (a division of Ingram Book Group, one of the largest book distributors in the world) and BookSurge (a division of Headquartered in the USA, Lightning Source also has a major plant in the UK, which gives it access to the European markets.

Once up on Lightning Source’s or BookSurge's server, a title can be ordered by wholesalers or retailers world-wide. Both POD companies can produce single copies, or up to 500 copies or more. The quality of POD publications is similar to books printed conventionally. Clients living in North America and the UK pay local freight rates and receive the goods much more quickly than if they are shipped from Australia.

Once a title is with Lightning Source or BookSurge it is archived and remains “in print” indefinitely. You can also opt have your book distributed as an e-book for download onto computers, iPods or 3G phones.

Authors who sign up to the program pay a one-off set-up charge (currently US$50) when Lightning Source receives their title, plus an annual maintenance fee (US$12). (There is currently no charge levied by BookSurge for these services.) IP converts titles to Acrobat pdf files to the POD company’s specifications and then pays the author royalties in accord with our normal publishing contracts.

IP also offers other independent publishers and self-publishers the chance to make their title available world-wide through TBW without having to invest thousands of dollars printing copies that may sit in storage for years. You can order stock as you need it for little more than the cost of printing larger quantities in Australia, or you can simply refer buyers to their local bookshop, who will then place an order for them with Lightning Source or BookSurge, or your book can be purchased by individuals directly from

Independent publishers and self publishers can apply to IP for registration in the YBW program. To be eligible, you must submit a complete digital copy of the manuscript to IP with an non-refundable registration fee of AU$210, $NZ235 or US$185.

Normally, your title must be recommended for publication by a recognised agent or a professional assessment service such as IP.Assess; however this requirement may be waived if our editors view your manuscript as being of publishable standard.

If we judge the manuscript as suitable for YBW, we’ll send you the specifications required for preparing a press-ready pdf. Or you can ask us to do this for you for a fee set in advance. We’ll then send you a contract detailing our services, any costs involved and the royalties you can expect.

Titles accepted for YBW publication will be promoted under one of our imprints.

Read on to see what you need to do to your book before sending it to us for YBW.


Your Book to the World Guide

If you have the right software and know how to work with it, you can streamline the process of publishing in our YBW program, and save yourself money!

Prepare a polished file in Microsoft Word. We recommend having the manuscript assessed and edited BEFORE you prepare your final copy in Word.

Ensure that you have obtained an ISBN from Thorpe Bibliographic and a Cataloguing-in-Publication entry from the National Library of Australia. These need to be entered on the imprint page, generally one of the first pages in the prelims of your book. IP can arrange these for you, and also produce a barcode for the back cover, for a modest fee.

Once you’re happy with the manuscript, it’s time to desktop it. You’ll need a professional software package like InDesign or QuarkXpress, or you can engage a BOOK designer to desktop your manuscript.

We can then work with your designer to ensure we have a file that we can convert for uploading to the POD company's site. Alternatively, IP can provide design and layout services from your Word file at reasonable rates.

The information that follows is specific to Lightning Source's requirements for setting up a file. BookSurge tends to be less prescriptive, so we suggest setting a a single file to Lightning Source's specifications that will work for both companies.

You’ll need to choose a book size from the options offered by Lightning Source. These are, in millimetres:

203 x 127
198 x 129
216 x 140
229 x 152
234 x 156
244 x 170
254 x 178

Most books fit well into the 216 x 140 or the 229 x 152 size, but you may have special requirements. Talk to us about it BEFORE you brief your designer!

Lightning Source (LSI) offers four colour reproduction for your cover and for some jobs requiring colour on the inside pages. To determine the layout of your cover, use this formula:

width of the front cover + width of the spine + width of the back cover + 10mm for bleeds = total width

height of the cover + 10mm bleeds = total height

What’s a bleed? Generally most printers require you to send them artwork with an extra 5mm on all sides. These bleeds will be trimmed off at the end, so ensure that nothing important comes within 5mm of the bleed area.

How do you calculate the spine width? Easy. Go to Lightning Source’s home page, click on Resources, click on Book Designers’ Resources, then click on Calculate Spine Width. You’ll have to choose your book dimension from the list above, then click on Calculate.

Remember to prepare separate files for your cover art and for your internals (body text).

Note that LSI requires that books be AT LEAST 80 pages in length. If your book is shorter than that, LSI will make up the difference with blank pages. Or you can choose to put something on the extra pages like a blurb about your previous books or details about your upcoming reading tour of the United States.

Also note that your total page length needs to be a number divisible by 4. If it isn’t, LSI will round up to the nearest number that IS divisible by 4 and add extra pages to make up the difference. So, if your book is 82 pages long, LS will add another two pages to equal 84.

You have a couple of options here. If you have Adobe Acrobat Professional (version 7 or later), skip what follows about packaging in InDesign or Quark.

If you don’t have Acrobat Pro, you’ll need to get InDesign or Quark to package the file for you. What this does is to create a folder containing not only the desktop file but also any fonts, images or links you used in preparing the DTP file.

Before packaging the file, you need to PREFLIGHT it. Go to File/Preflight under InDesign (Quark users should check your Guide for similar instructions). InDesign will find any broken links, missing fonts or artwork in RGB rather than CMYK format. You’ll need to fix these.

Once you’ve got rid of thse annoying little yellow warning triangles, you can package the file, simply by going to File and clicking on Package.

Burn the resulting folders to CD, labelling them Cover and Internals, and then ship it to us, along with a hard copy of everything that going to LSI. Alternatively, you can send it to us via ftp (email us for further details).

If you’re really with it and have Acrobat Pro, you can go the final step, which is to first create a Postscript file then distill it into a pdf using LSI’s required preset. (If your eyes are glazing over at this, you should get us to do this for you!) The Printer should be set to Postscript, and the PPD (printer description) to Adobe PDF. If your printer prints the file, you’ve done something wrong!

You need then to distill the file using a program aptly named Distiller. Select the PDFX1a (2001) preset, get Distiller to open your file (which will have a .ps suffix), and voilá, you have a LS compatible pdf!

Do this for both your cover and your internals and then email the files to us.

If you’re not very clear about this and need us to do it all or part of it, help is just an email away! Obviously, the more you can do yourself, the less you’ll have to pay us to prepare your files for LSI and BookSurge. On the other hand, if you are computer and/or software challenged, you might be better off paying a pro to do it for you.








Gemma Barlow
Assistant Editor, Promotions
Work Experience, 2007