A unique twist! Our publishing software makes it easy to customize books for your group or event

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IN THIS CUSTOMIZATION: A large university-based church invited members and newcomers to take part in a group discussion of Daniel Buttry’s book, which is filled with stories of peacemakers. For this group order, the congregation added 1.) its name and motto to the front cover, 2.) a Who We Are page about the congregation’s distinctive mission, 3.) a Welcome letter inviting visitors to learn more about the church.

Are you hosting an event or coordinating a local group? Consider adding a logo to the front cover of an appropriate book—and include a letter from the host or other valuable local information to the book’s opening pages. Popular customizations include adding a group’s mission statement, an introduction to staff members—or discussion guides for small groups, classes and book clubs. The possibilities for adding a few helpful pages are limitless. The best part? We make customization quick and easy. These options are available for all Front Edge Publishing (FEP) titles in any format.

Why is our system truly unique? We publish books using our Book Edge software developed by FEP Publisher John Hile, a top software developer throughout his long career. The basis of Book Edge is an “XML-first” workflow, widely recognized by publishers as a gold-standard in flexible production. That’s in contrast with traditional methods of designing, laying out and producing the files needed to print and bind a book. Then, most publishers have a different crew do the same thing, again, to produce various e-editions. Production is slow and, in the end, the content of a book winds up stored in multiple versions. That means new editions are expensive. Customization of a single group order is usually out of the questions.

Our software is our advantage: Our Book Edge XML-first software is especially efficient after a decade in producing books and updating the software. At the end of the Book Edge process, the total content of each book is stored in an easily modified, single-source file. Initially, we developed this system to allow us to skip the duplicate production work involved in making e-books. That made us more efficient right away. Now, this XML-first software allows us to easily accommodate the robust resurgence of ink-on-paper publishing. As those publishing systems continue to add a wide range of choices in paper, ink color and binding formats, our production system opens the entire array of options to our authors.

The biggest bonus for our authors is that our books can be efficiently revised, updated and reformatted. We can modify covers and add or revise pages for special group orders. We can change editions completely within a matter of a few weeks rather than the timelines for revision that are measured in years at more traditional publishing houses.

Why would you want a specialized edition of your book? Well, perhaps you’ve published an inspirational book, one that is ideal for a church group to read and discuss. With our software we can easily produce a group order with the church’s name and logo on the front cover and we can include additional material inside. For instance, the syllabus for the small group program could be included so that each member always has it handy. The same edition could also include information for visitors. The customized book could be used as a lovely, thoughtful gift that says: “Welcome to our church family.”

Just take a look at the photos with this column, which show a customized group order we shipped to a large United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor several years ago.

Click on the cover to visit the book’s page on Amazon. You are looking at the new, nationally released edition of this very timely book. But, already, the MSU team is customizing this book for individual police agencies. Their first customization adds special content about MSU’s own police department, so that agency can distribute copies of the book to build stronger community relationships. Now, other police agencies nationwide can order their own customized editions, adding specific local information to the book.

This summer: Our staff is very excited about a brand new book: 100 Questions & Answers About Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, Public Safety Officers and Tribal Police. In addition to the nationally released first edition of the book, we already are customizing this book for regional use. The Michigan State University Journalism students who researched and wrote the book, at the same time, worked with the MSU campus police department to come up with a customized edition specifically for the MSU campus police. This unique edition will be used to bridge the communication gap between the law enforcement community, the students and the faculty. We can easily imagine every police department across the U.S. improving local relationships by distributing customized copies of this book.

Special editions are also useful in the corporate world. Have you ever been to a conference where you received a welcome gift like a drink koozie or a tote bag? What did you do with those “gifts”? Did you keep them, throw them in the trunk of your car, or did you donate them to a local charity? What if that gift had been a really interesting book that was created just for your conference? Experience tells us that you would keep that gift or pass it onto a treasured family member or friend. Corporations that host conventions can add their corporate logo or the event logo to the front cover of a particular book. Information about the company and the conference can be added to the interior of the book. If you’re an author whose book gets you invited to be a guest speaker at these kinds of events, then you need to publish with FEP so that you can offer specialized editions to those who engage you as a featured speaker.

Want to know more about customized editions? Contact [email protected] and we will be in touch shortly to discuss your publishing opportunities with Front Edge Publishing.

About Susan Stitt

Susan Stitt is marketing director of Front Edge Publishing. Over the years, she has guided many authors through the challenging process of launching books and developing strategies that will grow readership. She also has worked widely with nonprofits. Now, she shares her expertise twice each month on our Front Edge Publishing website.