Orange Frazer

Five Things You Didn't Know Were Hiding in Orange Frazer Books

It’s not a gimmick when we say that at Orange Frazer, each book is unique. We mean this literally, because every single Orange Frazer book is totally different. Our book design services don't include templates or package-design deals, which means that each image has been individually photo-corrected, each page has been individually formatted, each cover has been individually ushered from concept to bookshelf. Brittany, our lead designer, spends weeks (and sometimes months) drafting, sketching, brainstorming, redoing…and redoing again. We’ve been known—over the course of many weeks or months spent on a particular project—to leave a few “signatures” along the way.  So here they are: the fun (and wacky) things you’ll find hiding in Orange Frazer books:

Orange Frazer PressJust a Car Salesman. Jeff Wyler is known for his numerous successful dealerships over several decades, and the parade of car models across the cover seemed a fitting way to honor that legacy (in both time and diversity). And if you look closely (and know your automobile trivia), you’ll see that our publisher’s very first car, a 1978 Dodge Challenger, made the lineup.







Orange Frazer PressRevealed: Columbus: The Story of Us. In 2012, Columbus celebrated its bicentennial year with all of the celebratory fanfare befitting a prosperous and growing Ohio city. We were commissioned to publish the book honoring this celebration, working with Jamie Greene of ACP Visioning + Planning to make it a reality. Fun fact: Jamie loves bison, and for his Halloween costume that year, dressed as bison for the “bison-tennial.” In honor of Jamie, we included a small bison on the OFP logo on the back cover.







Orange Frazer PressHarriett’s Homecoming: A High-Flying Tour of Cincinnati. This book, by Susan Levine, boasts illustrations by Columbus-area artist, Erin Burchwell. Her layered watercolors lend depth and vibrancy to each page. As a tribute to the Queen City (once the pork capital of the USA), Erin included a pig in every single illustration. Don’t believe us? Try finding all of them (it’s not easy).





Orange Frazer PressChad: I Can’t Be Stopped. Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals worked with us on his memoir, I Can’t Be Stopped. For the cover, we used a profile shot of Chad, in which you see his chin resting on his hands. After this photo was taken, Sarah (our production manager) noticed that Chad’s fingernails were in terrible shape. She insisted that they be cleaned up for the cover. It was too late to reshoot, however, so our designer went to work trimming—and reshaping—them on Photoshop.






Orange Frazer PressStirrups. It’s not often that you are asked to publish a gynocologist’s memoirs. The cover for this one was particularly challenging. Putting actual stirrups on the cover would be provocative (and off-putting). And no one wants to see a WebMD-style stock photo. A conceptual cover was key. Brittany took a brief field trip to a local jewelry store for inspiration, and came back with photos of charm bracelets and the willpower to design (from scratch) her own symbolic charms. She successfully did this, and I bet you won’t guess which charms are real, and which are her creations (she’s good).

Comparing Apples to Apples: Four Tips for Choosing a Self-Publishing Company

916602_83133825 If you’ve been in the market for a book publishing service, you know that there are about a thousand different options, all offering varied templates, packages, offerings, and pricing structures.

It can be difficult to choose the right self-publishing company for you and your book when faced with a number of unequal factors. One package may break out all of the services and show the specific cost for each in an À la carte fashion, while others may bundle all of the services with the cost of production to give you a unit cost for each book that you’re producing.

It can make your head spin.

But there are general guidelines for comparing your various packages and quotes, and we’ve curated our own experiences with clients (and competitors) here to help you out.

1. Make sure you know exactly which services bundled packages include, so that you can accurately compare them to an À la carte list. We’ve had clients come in before with the list of services provided in a package from CreateSpace, Lulu, iUniverse, Xlibris, etc., and we can very quickly assure that all of these production services are included in our quote as well. Library of Congress, barcode, ISBN, “worldwide distribution” (read: Amazon listing), etc., are all standard services, but check with all of the potential companies to make absolutely certain that this is the case.

2. Calculate the unit cost of each book. Once you’ve determined comparable services, you’ll have to do some math to make a good decision. Determine how many books you are getting in each package, and break down how much you are paying per book. Then determine how many books you would have to sell (and at what price you could sell it) to break even (in each package).

3. Don’t let lofty marketing promises be a deciding factor. Some companies inflate marketing promises to lure authors. “Hollywood” packages are the worst offender. These packages will promise to send your manuscript to a special screenwriting consultant to determine whether or not your book could become a movie. The odds that this is a legitimate and reputable consultant are slim, and the odds that your manuscript will get a full and comprehensive review are slimmer. Only pay for what a company can actually give you, and that is a book.

4. Make sure your potential companies have a clean record and a solid reputation. There are a number of companies out there that continually find themselves in legal trouble for unconscionable practices, but unfortunately authors never seek out this information until they’ve experienced the worst. Look for reviews about the company online, see if they’re owned by a larger company, and if so, what the reputation of the parent company looks like. For example, Author Solutions owns a number of other companies, including Xlibris, iUniverse, and AuthorHouse, so while at first glance the lawsuit concerning Author Solutions may not seem relevant to you when you’re looking for feedback about Xlibris, you’ll discover once you follow the money that you’re actually looking at the same company. Be as informed as possible. To read more about common concerns with these companies, you can check out my post on the topic here.

Perhaps the hardest truth for an author in the publishing or self-publishing industry is that there is NO option that will allow him/her to avoid the hard work of marketing. In today’s industry, even authors picked up by traditional publishers do most (or all) of the marketing legwork, so unless you hire a PR company or a marketing guru, you shouldn’t expect a publishing company (traditional or self-publishing), to do this work for you. For more about the question of marketing in the self-publishing (or custom publishing) industry, you can read my post on the topic here.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comparing packages, quotes, and even your own goals and budget. If you live in the Cincinnati area and would like to learn more, you can attend my session at the Power of Stories: Personal History and Self-Publishing Expo. I will be exploring this same topic in greater depth and will be answering any and all questions.