July 2016 Locally Owned 4

BookCrafters Tell All

Nestled in a small office in a quiet Parker home, a husband and wife tap away at their computers. Photographs of family, posters, maps and books surround them. As the Colorado sun shines in through the window, the silence in the room is laden with anticipation. Here, the BookCrafters work their magic.

Joe and Jan McDaniel offer a unique service. For only $35 per hour, they will work with you to publish your book.

They create handsome, glossy tomes from dusty, decaying scrapbooks. Fading photographs are revitalized in colorful, modern albums. A manuscript can be turned into a print-on-demand book with a professionally designed cover and an ISBN, ready for worldwide distribution.

“Many people we’ve met tell us that they have a manuscript almost ready, but they are terrified and don’t know how to take the next step,” Joe says. “Be it a novel, a children’s book or a personal memoir, we take the mystery out of publishing.”

“Our first consultation is free of charge,” says Jan. “Sometimes we sit for two to three hours, talking about what we do and showing people samples of books we have published.”

“Many of our clients are older and not computer literate. It was a steep learning curve, but we are skilled users of InDesign. We work with several printers. We started with Blurb and now mainly use Lightning Source and Book Partners.”

Joe McDaniel is a biologist and award-winning photographer. He grew up in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Jan is an educator and has a keen eye for text editing and formatting. They both love to travel and began self-publishing their own travel journals in 1996. BookCrafters was set up in 2007 and has published more than 250 titles.

Jan’s favorite projects are the family memoirs and journals, many with only five to 10 books printed for children or grandchildren.

One example is a private journal, written and illustrated by a young British lady of leisure in the early 20th century. Every hand-written page was carefully scanned and lovingly reproduced in a 500-page hardcover book, of which only a few copies were printed for family members, and one for BookCrafters as a sample of their work. The beautiful volume, with its fascinating personal history and delicately colored sketches, cost $50 each – a considerably low charge for such a high-quality publication.

The McDaniels just completed a book for a client’s mother, who turns 90 this year. She had a collection of love letters from the 1920s that were typed out on tissue paper by her grandfather, who was courting her grandmother at the time. She also kept a collection of his poems. BookCrafters scanned all these mementos, along with family photographs, and designed a family tree to include in the book.

“We talk to people and tell them how to make their book even better. It’s that personal touch that makes us different from mass-market publishers,” Jan explains.

“All royalties go straight to the authors. We don’t keep any rights, which many publishing companies do. We are able to meet some very short deadlines and can convert printed books to e-books. Also, we give the author all the print-ready files, which is very unusual.”

Joe and Jan are longtime members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) and the nationwide Independent Book Publishers Association. Numerous BookCrafters publications have won “CIPA EVVY” awards at the well-known annual book contest, now in its 21st year, named after CIPA founder Evelyn Kaye.

Joe emphasizes that attention to detail and the low cost per project set BookCrafters apart from other self-publishing companies, where a minimum package fee could start at $1,500 or more. Significantly, most of their new business comes from referrals.

“If a client brings in a clean manuscript with an idea for a cover design, we can publish it for less than $1,000. Sometimes much less,” says Joe.

“We can do anything! The possibilities are endless,” Jan says. “Just give us a call.”

Please visit BookCrafters.net or call 720.851.0397 to learn more about their publishing services.