CEO says: how to get the best out of custom publishing

Today I want to talk about Fremantle Press custom publishing – what it is, who should use the service and my top tips for making a publishing project a success for your organisation.

Our custom publishing work is separate to our publishing program, but draws on all our skills as a publishing team. In custom publishing we are typically commissioned by a client – most often a company, association, community group or government department – to produce a quality publication which might be given away to stakeholders or sold commercially under the organisation’s own branding.

These organisations usually require 1,000 or more copies and will make use of our range of publishing expertise in editing, proofreading, indexing, design, print production, and sometimes distribution. It wouldn’t be economically viable to create only one or two copies of a book so we don’t offer this service to individuals, nor for authors who want to self-publish.

Book stack of Carlotta's Perth
Book stack of Carlotta’s Perth

In recent times we’ve assisted the City of Perth Library to produce a local history book and the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Association of Western Australia to produce a guide to living with rheumatoid arthritis. Over the years we’ve also worked with clients that include the Shire of Perenjori, Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation, National Trust WA, Kerry Stokes Collection, Royal Perth Yacht Club, Curtin University, Atlas Iron,  Rottnest Channel Swim Association, Western Australian Institute of Sport, Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, Wesfarmers Arts and many others.

Book on flat surface Rheumatoid Arthritis
Book on flat surface Rheumatoid Arthritis

Our top tips for organisations considering a custom publishing project are:

  • Contact us as early as possible about your project. Do some research so you have a clear idea about the look and feel, format and size of the book you desire. That way, we can help you define the timeline and costings early on.
  • Be realistic with your timeframe. It’s good to plan marketing and distribution in advance but don’t set yourself up for failure with unrealistic launch dates. It can take many months to produce a book. Depending on the size of your project, a large-format photographic book, for instance, can take nine to twelve months. It may even take longer if you haven’t finalised your content – the text, photographs and copyright approvals – which are all required before we can make the first step.
  • If you require sign-off from multiple parties, you’ll need to make sure there is a clear approvals process in place. We recommend you delegate one person to manage the project and work with us. This will minimise delays.

It’s so satisfying to take clients on a creative journey and to see how pleased they are with the results. For more information and examples of our work visit the Fremantle Press custom publishing page.


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