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Publishing Deck Questions - Size, Costs, etc.


Hi everyone,

I've read through the threads listed in the FAQ pretty extensively concerning publishing your tarot deck, but I'm still left with a few questions. I am thinking more the self publishing route, where I take my deck to a printer and let them publish it So, with that said, I have a few questions:

1) Size of the cards in decks. Does it matter? Do bigger sized cards cost more to publish? Are these differences substantial? Originally I wanted to go with a 2.5 x 3.5" card, but I am rethinking that.

2) Are there general preferences for the size of cards? Should this factor in more than cost?

3) There seems to be a large variety of discussions on the costs of publishing, printers who might publish, etc. I'm not clear on ballpark figures even for printing at this time. Can anyone help clear this up with their own experiences?

4) Printers also seem to have been discussed in the past in the threads. Is there any new information about printers that anyone can share? Any new good printers (local or worldwide?)

5) If one were to sell one's deck online to recoup the costs of getting it professionally printed, are there better and worse ways to market and sell it? Any thoughts?

Sorry for the barrage of questions. I'm still in the process of painting my deck, but things are going along so smoothly that I would like to start thinking about these issues now so that I have decisions made when I am ready to move forward! .

Thanks!
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I can't help with any of those questions, but we have lots of members who can. Just wanted to say welcome to AT and all the best with your project.
Can you share even a tinsy tiny scan or two??
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Most of these questions have been answered here, though I know it can take time to comb through everything.

In answer to one though, yes, basically the size and format of the cards has quite a major effect on cost. Our cards, for instance, are not a standard "playing card" size and format and this makes them quite expensive to print. The best thing would really be for you to talk this through with one or two printers who are used to printing cards. They should be able to give you some idea of costs for standard size and formats, and for unusual/oversize formats. By the way, this will also give you much better "ball park" figures than you would get here. It depends so much on print-run (printing 500 cards basically costs much the same as printing 1000 for example, as the set up charge is the same and makes up a high proportion of price) size, format, cardstock, whether or not you need any "specials", the printer themselves (printers who are used to doing cards may be less expensive than those that have no previous experience) etc etc. It also depends a lot on where you print of course - some regions are much cheaper than others but may require a high print-run.

I'd also just like to say that it's important not to confuse publishers and printers (this isn't aimed at you, it's more a general bit of advice). They are quite different things. Here is a good definition of what a publishing house does:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publisher

We get emailed from time to time asking if we will print decks for people. But we aren't a printer, we are a publisher, so of course there is no way we could do this even if we wanted to. The reverse is also the case; many good printers do not undertake publishing. So when looking for either a printer or a publisher, it does help to be aware of the difference.

Anyway, I hope that's of some use. Best of luck - it looks like your deck is going really well.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ
I can't help with any of those questions, but we have lots of members who can. Just wanted to say welcome to AT and all the best with your project.
Can you share even a tinsy tiny scan or two??
Oh yes! I have a "Tree Tarot" -- its in this forum too . I have the whole thing here: artisticjourneys.blogspot.com
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Baba prague - Thank you for the advice. I plan on talking to some local printers in the next few weeks to see what they say about card size, etc. I take it from reading the other forum posts that nobody has found an online printer that they like.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adriayna
Baba prague - Thank you for the advice. I plan on talking to some local printers in the next few weeks to see what they say about card size, etc. I take it from reading the other forum posts that nobody has found an online printer that they like.
I would strongly advise against an online printer first time around. Cards are complicated to print, cut and pack and we find it's better to use someone local and keep an eye on things. But that's only our experience, others may disagree.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adriayna
Hi everyone,

I've read through the threads listed in the FAQ pretty extensively concerning publishing your tarot deck, but I'm still left with a few questions. I am thinking more the self publishing route, where I take my deck to a printer and let them publish it So, with that said, I have a few questions:

1) Size of the cards in decks. Does it matter? Do bigger sized cards cost more to publish? Are these differences substantial? Originally I wanted to go with a 2.5 x 3.5" card, but I am rethinking that.

2) Are there general preferences for the size of cards? Should this factor in more than cost?

3) There seems to be a large variety of discussions on the costs of publishing, printers who might publish, etc. I'm not clear on ballpark figures even for printing at this time. Can anyone help clear this up with their own experiences?

4) Printers also seem to have been discussed in the past in the threads. Is there any new information about printers that anyone can share? Any new good printers (local or worldwide?)

5) If one were to sell one's deck online to recoup the costs of getting it professionally printed, are there better and worse ways to market and sell it? Any thoughts?

Sorry for the barrage of questions. I'm still in the process of painting my deck, but things are going along so smoothly that I would like to start thinking about these issues now so that I have decisions made when I am ready to move forward! .

Thanks!
Hi adriayna

I have extensive knowledge in printing so I can answer some of these questions fairly easily.

If you are painting the deck then the pics have to be prepped - scanned and laid out - figure 79 hi rez scans and proofing to be sure the color is correct.

The size does matter. The cards will be run on a sheetfed press because I am assuming you will not be printing over 100K decks... and quality is an issue (eliminates web presses) so if you run it sheetwise - meaning all the backs on one side and all the fronts on the other - the standard size largest sheetfed press (easy to come by) is a 40". So the sheet you have to play with is 28" X 40" (some card stocks are 26" X 40" ). Lay the cards out on this sheet. all fronts on one side and all backs on the other... that should give you an idea on the size the cards should be. If you want to do the cards 2.5" X 3.5" you have will have a lot of extra room on the sheet so you can go larger if you want. Make sure you leave room on all 4 sides - don't go to the edge of the sheet.

Figure the stock of paper you want to use... cards should be coated... aqueous coated - dull or gloss - whatever you want but you need to figure that into the cost - it is done inline with the printing.

Let's assume you are running the job standard color with no extras - like metallics - the job would be 4/4 + overall aqueous coating - you need a 5 color press.

The magic realist decks are large - so is the tarot of dreams... these would take more than one run which would cost you double for just printing the deck portion of the job! The way you should figure it out in the beginning is with one run - meaning everything fitting on one large sheet. There are also 70" presses out there but they are harder to find and of course will increase your price - paper has to be ordered special too with 70" jobs.

Then you have to print and bind the LWB - unless.... you do it like a card and make a few cards since you have so much room on your sheet. I think the merryday did that and I like it that way.... IMO.

Then you have to print the box and get it die cut and glued etc....

So you have either 2 or 3 runs to pay for.... the way I priced things was sheets through the press. We began at a min amount thru the press which in my case was 4K sheets - so you paid the same printing price for 1 sheet as you did for 4K then above 4K you paid per thousand.

You live in the mid west - which is excellent. Printing prices are quite less expensive in the mid west. My company was in NYC and my prices would reflect that but I could give you an idea...

BE careful with printers! My customers used to tell me horror stories of their experiences.. you need to know what you are doing and have everything in writing. Don't ever go to the least expensive person unless you are sure you know what you are getting into - go when they are printing your job and OK it on press - make sure you approve of the color - stay around and make sure it is done properly and they just don't walk away once you ok it. Go when they are cutting the job and make sure it is being done correctly. You need to be very hands on or you need to hire someone who will be for you.

Then someone needs to collate the job and box it...

All things to consider.....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by franniee
BE careful with printers! My customers used to tell me horror stories of their experiences.. you need to know what you are doing and have everything in writing. Don't ever go to the least expensive person unless you are sure you know what you are getting into - go when they are printing your job and OK it on press - make sure you approve of the color - stay around and make sure it is done properly and they just don't walk away once you ok it. Go when they are cutting the job and make sure it is being done correctly. You need to be very hands on or you need to hire someone who will be for you.
I couldn't agree more. This time round our printer tried rather hard to get on with the job without Alex there - this included him calling us at 6am on a Sunday to say he was just about to print
I do understand why printers would rather that the designers aren't there - to many printers designers are fussy and a pain and they slow things down when they want lots of adjustments - but honestly, just brave it out and be there. It makes a huge difference.
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Another thing..... you make sure the color on the proof is what you want in the end....don't let them tell you they will fix it on press. Once you are on press the color can be moved a slight bit.....but not dramatically and you should never think it will be fixed later - fix it right then before plates are made.

Organize the cards by color vertically.... cards with a lot of red let's say should be on top of one another...in a line going up....meaning 40" goes across horizontally and 28" is the vertical measurement - SO everything in line going up vertically should be grouped by color - have similar colors - it makes it easier on press.

Good printers know this - but printers are not all created equally. So you need to be aware of this.

Good printers don't mind you on press if you know what you are doing. The problem is when your expectations are unrealistic or you can't articulate what you want - so make sure you like the proof.... have them proof it on the paper you are going to use so you can get a better idea.... don't let them proof it on a gloss coated sheet if the final product is going to be on a matte sheet.... they won't look the same.

Your sheet should be coated like I explained before... the inks will sit on the sheet - if the sheet is uncoated the inks will be soaked up and look more muted and less defined ... cool look if you want but maybe not necessarily what you had in mind. Talk about all of this before you go to press.... you can PM me if you want and I will help you along.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franniee
Good printers don't mind you on press if you know what you are doing.
Yes, but the problem is that many printers are pushed for time and they know that having someone there is likely to slow things down (more calls for adjustments etc). We find that even with the best printers we have to be a bit thick-skinned to make sure that Alex is there.

Anyway, you seem to have covered it Frannie - oh except for cardstock. It might be good to mention that there is special cardstock with a carbon layer inside that is best for cards (helps to prevent bends and tears). Not every printer can get this in reasonable quantities as it's often made to order - so just something else to bear in mind.
Top   #10




 


 


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