With the world moving away from fossil fuels, the time is right for a detailed investigation of the alternative sources of energy and, in particular, the role of wood as a sustainable alternative.
We were delighted to be asked to work with authors Pieter Kofman and Eugene Hendrick on this important book, a project that took almost a year to complete.
After a detailed consultation, it was decided to prepare the book in five volumes, each volume dedicated to a different aspect of the study. Three of the volumes describe the main wood fuels: firewood, woodchip, and wood pellets. They outline the sources of raw materials, how they are seasoned and dried and issues to do with transportation and quality.
The other volumes deal with standards, conversion technologies and sustainability. Each of the volumes is beautifully illustrated with detailed drawings and photographs.
The full publication runs to 588 pages in a handy 240 x 170mm format. The five volumes are perfect bound and are held together in a printed slip case and the finished publication weighs in at an impressive 1.8kgs.
The Design Process
We started by offering the authors a choice of cover designs, the five covers done in four optional styles. This gave the authors the chance to identify the look and feel they wanted for the book.
We also supplied some alternatives for the inner pages, with a choice of font size and spacing to establish which style would be best so readers could easily understand and absorb the text. These sample pages were supplied as both PDFs and printed pages, so the authors had a realistic representation of the options.
Once the options were chosen, we began flowing the book text, one volume at a time and submitting them as PDF proofs for examination and sign off by the authors.
When the proofs were finally approved, we decided to produce one copy of the book and slip case using digital print technologies. This allowed the authors to approve the whole job with confidence before the full production run commenced.
Printing and Binding
The five volumes were printed lithographically, as was the cover sheet for the slip cases. Once the books were printed and bound, a set was sent to the slip case manufacturer so the case could be produced to the exact size. The sets were then compiled and packed in slip cases prior to being shipped to our warehouse for storage.
Marketing, Sales, and Shipping
The authors took on the task of publicising and marketing the book to their target audience. They arranged for the book to be reviewed by various trade press and academic journals as well as spreading the word among their fellow professionals.
We agreed to look after the selling and distribution of the books using our website and shipping partners. Interested parties are directed to the website where they can quickly order and pay for the book. The books are shipped the same day to addresses in Ireland and worldwide.
The book is also available on Amazon but most orders to date have been through our own site.
With only a handful of first edition copies left, it is time to decide how to approach the second edition of the book – learning from the issues that arose in distributing the first edition.
The main challenge is the weight of the book and the subsequent cost of shipping it outside Ireland. While the book retails for €40, the shipping cost outside Ireland can range from €20 to almost €80.
Should we offer the book as an eBook? Would readers be able to easily read and understand the book in that format? Or should we offer the five volumes as standalone books that can be purchased and shipped more economically worldwide?
That is a decision for the coming weeks. I will let you know how it goes.