Self-Publish-Books with Gilmour Print
From text and images
stored in a 4D database
or similar . . .
taken through Microsoft Excel
then some clever programming
transforms it into . . .
A top quality, full colour,
multi-page, high resolution,
printed brochure.
. . . or from Microsoft Access
transferred through Excel
then with some more expert
programming, transformed
automatically into . . .
. . . a 900 page A4 catalogue in two volumes
of nearly 9000 books from a collection of
17th to 20th century fiction novels with
details of title, author, publisher and
condition, all laid out without human
intervention in styling or keying.
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  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to discuss any aspects of your book.
  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to discuss any aspects of your book.
Telephone us on 01505 322614
Special Offer on Books
produced by Self-Publish-Books
at Gilmour Print

We will give you 20% discount on artwork charges on the production of your book plus supply the ISBN barcode* free of charge for the back cover on all orders received before 31 MARCH 2017**.

 * We will make the barcode from the ISBN supplied by you as the publisher of the book.
** Conditional on first order, 50% payment with order, balance paid on final PDF proof approval.
A 900 page, two volume catalogue from over 9500 Micorsoft Access records.
Self Publish Books / Gilmour Print
Project: To create a catalogue of a collection of over 9,500 17th to early 20th century novels of fiction for a collector from a Microsoft Access database, programmatically with minimal (re)typesetting and amendments in the page layout app.
The collector had originally started the project in the 1960s using a computer system that was now defunct and the original data was on floppies. Fortunately a computer systems expert had managed to retrieve the data from that system and it was supplied to us as an Access file.
We transferred the Access file via MDB Explorer to Microsoft Excel at which point we could see that because of the origins of the data there was a large amount of it that was not perfect. Some characters had not translated correctly between systems. In addition to this, due to the more than 50 years that the project had been ongoing, there were a lot of inconsistencies in wording, punctuation and also more importantly, in abbreviations.
The catalogue was estimated at 800 to 900 A4 pages. The client did not have internet access , nor even a computer and therefore needed to have a hard copy proof. Given the state of the data, it was going to take a lot of hard copy proofing to get it right. This would be expensive and also impractical. So it was agreed that in the early stages the editor would check a PDF, so removing the need for printed proofs.
The end client approved the layout in principle but due to the possibility that he might change his mind later it was necessary to make the typographical changes in the Excel file and not in the page layout software (Quark Xpress), otherwise a lot of reformatting at a later stage may have been necessary.
So we programmed an Xpress Xtension to allow us to import the text automatically once amendments were made in Excel. This worked really well. The text for the catalogue took about ninety minutes to load into the 900 pages automatically, completely styled and formatted with no human intervention.
This meant as the project progressed fundamental layout changes could be made without having to start again. The order and style of the details within each book entry could be rearranged simply by reprogramming the Quark Xtension.
Given the amount of work to conventionally layout the text, rearrange when necessary, then submit another proof and keep repeating this process with the inevitablity of operator error creeping in, the whole process of using Excel to hold and amend the data worked really well.
We were also able to programmatically index the book titles in Excel so that Quark Xpress recognised the index entries when the text was imported and so could generate an index of all books automatically.
Theoretically, if the content of the database had been 'clean' then the catalogue could have been created very quickly. The time consuming part of the work turned out to be sorting the text in the database, and not as we originally thought, working out how to programmatically create the book.
The final sewn casebound books were digitally printed in two volumes, on 115gsm archive quality bookwove for longevity.
Managed database capable of producing a 64 page full colour brochure with photographs, a separate pricelist and able to upload to update website.
Self Publish Books / Gilmour Print
Project: To manage a database for a client so that the data comprising both text and photographs can be uploaded to website and also be used to create a printed catalogue and a separate pricelist with minimal operator input at page makeup stage. The database had to be easily updated on a regular basis and the content exported either for web or print.
Important: The database had to be the only place where amendments to text and images took place.
The client supplied products to be photographed and text from manufacturers’ brochures and websites.
Prior to starting the project, the work had been undertaken maually, amending the website and then separately, manually producing a catalogue, then a pricelistand finally uploading the data to the client’s website.
After photographing the products they were combined with the text in a 4D database. We then had to create scripts and methods by programming in 4D so that the product records could be processed and exported to Microsoft Excel in a format that could be uploaded to their website or processed by a Quark Xpress Xtension to create the pricelist and the catalogue.
While the pages of the catalogue are all similar in appearance, they do vary in layout due to varying amounts of text relating to individual products. It was, therefore, decided to initially produce PDF galley proofs (ie just a long list of each product’s styled text with associated image) for the customer rather than laying out straight into the final catalogue. This meant that the client could check everything from the automatically generated Quark Xpress Xtension proofs and the amendments could then be made in the database.
Only once the PDF proofs had been approved for text and style were the pages laid out manually by copying and pasting, page by page, from the galley proofs into the final catalogue design, while making design adjustments for page balance. The catalogue was then ready to print. (8000 copies 64 pages full colour 165mm x 240mm)
Assistance with self-publishing by Jim Kirkwood author of several boxing books.
Self Publish Books / Gilmour Print

I have been asked by Self Publish Books at Gilmour Print to pass on my experience of dealing with Nielsen UK ISBN Agency.
For those of you who are determined to write a book, any type of book, with a view to selling it, you may find the following information of some help. It is in many ways an over simplification but it will give you a basic background to what is involved.
Firstly, and most importantly, no organisation will touch your book unless it has an ISBN number with its own unique barcode. There is only one place to get your ISBN number in this country and that is at In the past you had to buy a block of ten ISBNs (current price £149.00 including VAT) but as of January 2016, you can buy a single ISBN – unfortunately it costs £75.00 including VAT, so if you plan to write a second book you should buy 10!.
Nevertheless, Nielsens do provide services free of any additional charge. They will notify almost all online book sellers with details of your book. You can do this even before the book is complete, due to there being a facility to update once you are ready to release it.
Be aware that most people, in the first instance, seem to be buying books via Amazon. You can choose to sell your book on Amazon but you will not be happy to learn that they take 40% of the cost price of every copy they sell!
You can control the sale of your book to a very large extent. When you advertise, prospective buyers can either write directly to yourself, or order the book from a local bookshop. With the latter option, the bookshop will contact one of two companies, Gardners based in Eastbourne, or Bertrams based in Norwich. They in turn will place the order with Nielsens and they then send an email notifying you of the order. You send the books to either company (Gardners or Bertrams depending on which has contacted Nielsens) and will not be advised which bookshop made the actual order. Neither Gardners nor Bertrams are willing to pay the postage. Gardners and Bertrams make up their accounts at the end of each month and payment is made a couple of weeks later. However, they work a month behind. So, if you sell a dozen copies of your book in January, these will be included in their February accounts and payment will arrive with you by mid March!!
Don’t be disheartened, the whole process is much easier than you may think and staff at Nielsens are all very helpful. But, it is absolutely critical that you ADVERTISE your book as widely as you can afford. After all, if people don’t know about your book how on earth are you going to sell it . As a very rough guideline, a 75mm by 50mm advert in a local daily newspaper will cost at least £100 plus VAT. Also remember that if your book is on a local subject, the county library may wish to stock it.
I hope you find this information useful.

Jim Kirkwood
Contact Information from 1 November 2016 – Self Publish Books / Gilmour Print

Address: 12 Darluith Park, Brookfield, Renfrewshire PA5 8DD, Scotland, UK.

Telephone: 01505 322614.
You can contact us during normal business hours and also during the evening and weekends. If there is no one in the office calls divert to a mobile.


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Acknowledgements for this Website

Graham Miller for the Responsive Grid System which made revamping the website to be mobile friendly much easier. Also thanks to him for pointing me in the direction of jquery-match-height.

Liam Liabru for jquery-match-height

Jssor for the Jssor Slider code which made the animation on the home page possible. for the jQuery.mmenu plugin off-screen navigation menu used when viewing this website on tablets and mobiles.

Webchief for the Simple jQuery Dropdown Menu.

coder for HTML/CSS Popup div on text which was adapted for the popup used on clicking the Special Offer tag once it has slid in.

The team at jQuery.

vast-engineering for the jquery-popup-overlay code used for the popup windows.

 Icons made by Designerz Base from is licensed by CC BY 3.0

Emmanuel Garcia for turn.js for the page turning code used in mylivebook.

Alexander Manzyuk for jquery.playSound.js for the code to run the sound with the page turning used in mylivebook.
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