Orange Frazer Press

Books in the Age of Impressions: Part One

My job is to convey the message about our services to people who wish to publish a book. This includes tracking how clients come to us. I’m interested in how they find us, as it helps me adjust our marketing. When I look back at how current and potential clients have found us, the most common pathway is through one of our books. But how do you track or quantify the impact of a book as a marketing tool?

It’s more straightforward in the online world. We now have the ability to track and quantify nearly everything we put online. I can pull up the Google Analytics page for our Orange Frazer website and know how long people spend on each page, which page leads people to the contact page, which page causes people to stop reading, etc. I can track how many people are new visitors or returning visitors and how many of them visit on a desktop computer, smart phone, or tablet.

Most important, I can track the number of impressions my content may have, which means I can also create new and better content, and update its layout and structure, so that it reaches more people and garners more impressions.

But how do we, then, quantify the “impressions” of a book? This is answered through two specific questions

1. If I print 10,000 books, am I limited to 10,000 impressions? 2. Can you compare books and websites as marketing tools?

I believe the answer to the first query is no, and following is why.

Cleveland photography, Jennie Jones
Cleveland photography, Jennie Jones

We produce books for private clients all the time. These books end up on bookshelves, in stores, on coffee tables, and in gift shops, each book with a finite number of copies and a predetermined retail price. A few years ago, we worked with Cleveland photographer Jennie Jones to produce her collection of Cleveland architectural photography, Cleveland Inside Outside. While she printed a finite number of books, sold a finite number of books, and kept a finite number of books, people have interacted with her book in not-so-finite ways, and it’s led to various outcomes.

For example, I recently received an email query from a photographer living in Paris, who, on his most recent trip to Ohio, visited the Cleveland Museum of Art and saw Jennie Jones’s book. He felt it akin to his vision for his own work, so he contacted us to learn more about what we do. Someone else may have also seen and flipped through this book without purchasing—in fact, who knows how many people looked through the book in the gift shop, and who knows how many people will now remember Jennie Jones’ photography, or the unique design of the book?

Another example: we recently met with a university committee about producing an anniversary book, and we left a number of our books with the committee members to show to the board. One of these board members happened to have an entirely independent book in mind, saw one of our books, and came to us about her own project. We will now be publishing her book as well. The books, passed around to a group, and then discussed with family and friends, were experienced tenfold.

We are currently producing a memoir for a local farmer and Vietnam War veteran. How did he discover us? Through the book of Clinton County photography currently sitting on the coffee tables of local banks, political offices, residents, and community liaisons.

While each copy of a book is finite, the number of people a single book can reach is anything but.

So, to answer the second question of comparing books and websites as marketing tools: kind of. We can use similar language in our comparison: impression, as a term, is useful when discussing print materials. However, there is still the question of tracking a physical product. Maybe someday we will know when you turn a page, dog-ear a corner, or Google the author. We are coming closer to this with e-books. But for now, we’ll focus on how to leverage the potential impressions of a book for marketing—in part two.

My Mother

Marcy Hawley with daughter, Sarah, 1974 When I was working in Cincinnati many years ago at a popular retail establishment, a regular customer (who chose to remain anonymous) started leaving me gifts. At Easter he left a stuffed animal on my car (how did he know which car was mine?) and sent me flowers in May with a note that said, “I would like to get to no you better,” frightening for many reasons, only one of which was his spelling.

My store was open until midnight, and I was often by myself on some morning shifts. I was also responsible for a safe full of money, something my five-foot self was willing to fight to protect even if it was not what was suggested in the SOP manual. Given these circumstances, one can imagine how uncomfortable my new faceless admirer made me feel. So I called the police.

“Leave a note on your car telling them to stop leaving you gifts,” the officer said when I called the police station later that day. “Unfortunately there is nothing we can do until the person stalking you does something harmful,” Not soothed by this illogical response, I called the person whom I always called when frustrated—my mother.

She listened with her usual calm.

“Give me the number of the police station and the name of the officer you spoke with.” I did. The very next morning, a detective and two police officers walked into my store.

“Are you Sarah?” The detective in the suit asked.

“I am.” I responded, staring at the three of them in disbelief thinking, for me? All of this effort for me?

“Do you know a so and so?” The female cop asked.

“Oh my gosh, I do. It’s him? He comes in here at least three times a week,” I said. He was a car mechanic who was very quiet, always polite, and had several teeth missing (all of which I am sure had an interesting story as to their departure from his mouth.)

“Well, that is who has been sending your flowers and placing gifts on your car. We have instructed him to stop immediately and he will be in later on today when he gets off work to apologize. If he gives you any more trouble please let me know,” said the detective.

And then the three of them left.

My mother always knew how to protect me. Growing up I watched her shield me from the typical family feuds with my dad, or from my sister when she was being overly bossy, or from some mean girl ‘friends’ when puberty unleashed its hormone induced fury on our innocence and turned us against one another.

Marcy and Sarah at the beach

I inherited this protective instinct. I know this because about two decades after she saved me from my unwitting stalker, I almost stabbed her burglar with a pair of pink, Susan G. Komen themed scissors.

In July of 2013, the alarm company called our office to let my mom know that someone was trying to break into her home. Did she want them to call the police? “Yes!” she yelled. She slammed down the phone and ran to her car (she lives two minutes away from the office). “You are not going alone!” I cried. Before running down the stairs, I ran back to my office and grabbed my shiny, pink-handled Susan G. Komen scissors, my co-workers looking at me as if I’d gone mad. I had! I felt the adrenaline pump from the pit of my stomach to my shoulders, swirling around the base of my neck and into my head. I was becoming the world’s tiniest incredible Hulk.

We sped to the house. The minute I saw the side door with the windows broken out, I ran to it and screamed through the now glassless door frame and at the possible intruder, “Motherfuckaaarrrr! If you are still in there I am going to kill you!” It just so happened that a large, balding police officer was rounding the house from the back yard at that second. I startled him and he looked at me as if I was possessed. In fact I was possessed. I wanted to hurt the person who threatened my mom’s safety and who violated the house I grew up in and I felt no fear doing so. My life was not as important to me at that moment as my mother’s was to me.

Since I couldn’t climb through the window of the door, the police officer and I went to the front of the house where my mom was and she unlocked the door. The three of us started searching the house for the intruder—under the beds, in the closet, and behind the doors. The perpetrator, had I found him, would have gotten stabbed in the eye with my Susan G. Komen’s.

The intruder was not found in the house. He, upon breaking the glass, triggered the alarm and ran off. But not before slicing himself up on all of the shards. He was eventually found and charged for attempted burglary and sent where misguided, drugged up, lost souls go. My mother would rest assured that her house would not be broken into, at least for a while, and that her guard dog of a daughter would protect her at the first sign of real danger. (Whatever that means to have your tiny, five-foot-tall daughter protect you.)

Marcy and Sarah about to cry

But I know it means ripping my heart out of my chest and beating a person over the head with it if someone tried to harm her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Not Just Another Cookbook: Before and After

We don’t always have the opportunity to share a “before” image of an Orange Frazer creation. If you know our lead designer, Brittany, you know that she usually makes the magic happen with nothing but a manuscript and her own creative juices as her guide. However, for our recent cookbook project with custom client Colleen Brethen, we were given a mock-up of the book that she had been using prior to professionally publishing her recipes. It was a spiral bound collection she had put together herself, with a plastic cover (to protect from splattering, no doubt!), and cardstock pages. She asked us to create a glossy, professionally designed cookbook for her, and that we did! Colleen’s project had our creative team drooling every single day (it could be scientifically verified that our collective calorie intake quadruples when we are designing cookbooks), and we’re so excited to share the “before and after” images (excuse us while we break out the office cookies).

book publishing services, Not Just Another Cookbook
book publishing services, Not Just Another Cookbook
book publishing services, professional design, Not Just Another Cookbook
book publishing services, professional design, Not Just Another Cookbook

If you have a collection of personal or family recipes—bound or unbound, scribbled on recipe cards or typed out in chapters—we would love to help you create a professional and memorable cookbook that generations after you will cherish.

A Reflection on All Decades of My Life Ending in Four, by Sarah Hawley

To honor the New Year of 2014, we thought a trip down memory lane from one of our employees might be fun. Take a trip with Sarah, our production manager and daughter of Marcy Hawley, the publisher, as she recalls all decades of her life ending in the number four. 2004 was the year for sports books. Orange Frazer published Joe Rounding Third and Heading for Home and Bengals Legends; the Men, the Deeds, the Consequences. I was still a starry-eyed publicist. Back then, speaking to well-known Cincinnatians like Joe Nuxhall, Greg Hoard, Isaac Curtis, Louis Breeden, and Dave Lapham made me feel that I was a little moon in their sporty solar system, mistakenly thinking that I, too, was a star and that I should have played a professional sport. (Like what? I’m only good at cleaning, saying “No” to change, and worrying.) Needless to say, that year brought a lot people into my life; some who are still my friends today, while others were meant to be a part of my tidy and neurotic universe only as supernovas.

In 1994, I was graduating from college, moving into a house in Hyde Park, Ohio, with friends, and suffering from a vicious case of mono. I think “College Grad with Mono” is a story worth telling that is really not worth telling.

Me, circa 1994

Orange Frazer was still a dream in 1984. Marcy, the publisher, was writing for Ohio Magazine and under the tutelage of then Ohio Magazine editor, John Baskin. Marcy was now making enough money from writing that she could afford more things for the family and add to my father’s income. In one summer (My sister Margaret and I refer to it as “The Super Summer of 1984”) my mother purchased mauve wall-to-wall carpeting for the TV room, ordered HBO, purchased a microwave oven and new kitchen countertops. My sister and I thought, “Our parents have been lying to us. We are the descendants of Austrian Royalty and our inheritance just kicked in.” We watched everything on HBO even if it was rated R, staying up late into the hours previously reserved for nightmares or sickness. We microwaved marshmallows, sandwiches, SpaghettiOs, eggs, candy, and probably our brain cells as we watched the food boil and swell and cook magically by the aid of electromagnetic radiation. Our beds were now our sleeping bags and pillows spread all over the carpet. We absorbed its mauve color, sponginess, and new smell through all of our senses. Margaret and I slept downstairs the entire summer, ensuring maximum enjoyment and usage of these purchases. The kitchen and the living room became our magic kingdom. Who needed Mickey Mouse? (We thought he was creepy, anyway.) Our dad let us watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porky’s.

In 1974, I was two and only remember falling down my grandmother’s basement steps along with a wicker baby-doll carriage full of Fisher-Price people. The cement floor at the bottom was my first conscious experience that life can be hard, painful, and cold. My mother, clad in white cut off jean shorts and a blue tee-shirt, picked me up and cradled a painful situation away. Falling down those stairs could explain why I don’t like basements or the cold, but maybe it is really from a college experience, once again, not worth mentioning.

 

--Sarah

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).