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Happy Easter March 20, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 3. Castle Books, 4. Castle Distributed Books, 5. News, The Art of Easter, Why Did Jesus Die?.
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I was reading an entry in the classic daily devotional ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers the other day and came across this excellent Easter quote…

“The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit. Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.”

On the Easter theme, we have two brilliant books that examine the death and resurrection of Jesus:

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Why Did Jesus Die? by Dick Tripp was published by Castle Publishing last year. World-renowned writer, J.I. Packer said about this book, “Dick Tripp combs the Scriptures to find and focus every reference to history’s most momentous event. Does a more thorough coverage of the biblical data exist anywhere? I doubt it.” The book offers fascinating insights into the death of Jesus. The strongest impression I got from the book was the fact that the death of Jesus is the central moment of the Bible. Everything in the Old Testament leads up to that event, and everything following the death and resurrection is a result of it. I highly recommend this book – it’ll open your eyes up to the full scope of the Easter story.

artofeasterweb.jpgAnother excellent Easter title is The Art of Easter. This provides another way of looking at the truths of the death and resurrection. The Art of Easter is a beautifully presented coffee table book featuring contemporary New Zealand Christian art, based on the traditional Stations of the Cross, insightfully and creatively interpreted.

The impact of these two books can flow on beyond just Easter weekend. Both are available in New Zealand from your local Christian bookshop. Why Did Jesus Die? is just $26.95 and The Art of Easter just $24.95. Or order copies direct from Castle by contacting us.

Have a wonderful Easter!

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Publishing Services March 17, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 1. How Castle Works, 4. Publishing Services.
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Since 2000, Castle has developed as a commercial publishing company with high production standards. We always aim for the best possible quality. Over the last three or fours years, we have offered that same level of service to self-publishers and other organisations. Our clients have included large organisations like the Salvation Army, Pascoes and OMF NZ, but also lots of individual authors who have fulfilled their ambitions and produced great self-published books.

Here are the main publishing services we offer. You can use any or all of them:

Editing. Authors can be a bit nervous about editing, but it really is a crucial part of getting your book ready for publication. A good editor can ‘get inside the author’s skin’, maintaining the author’s ‘voice’ and tone while polishing the writing to make it easier to read and more accurate. The final result of editing should be to add value, not subtract it. Some manuscripts only need a little bit of editing and some need a lot! Castle provides experienced editors who treat your work with care and attention to detail.

Design. Even though we’ve been told a million times not to judge a book by its cover, the truth is that most people do! The quality of the cover will shape a person’s impression of the quality of the book itself. The cover design needs to be eye-catching and in keeping with the tone and content of the book. Book design also extends beyond the cover to the inside pages, and that’s where layout and typesetting come in…

Layout and Typesetting. Professional layout and typesetting change your manuscript from a plain old Word document into a book. The true art of layout and typesetting is to create a coherent design that flows from the cover to the inside pages, while taking into account the comfort and perspective of the reader. In other words, make the book look good and easy to read! It involves selecting typefaces, working out line spacing and placing all the elements (body text, page numbers, headers, headings and pictures) on the page.

ISBN and Barcode. The ins and outs of the legal requirements of book publishing can be a bit daunting. So Castle takes care of obtaining an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) (required by law for all books published in New Zealand) and a barcode (so that the book can be sold in bookshops).

Proofreading. As my boss is fond of saying, ‘It’s easier to change something before it’s printed than after.’ That’s why proofreading is so important. This process eliminates any last minute mistakes – misspelt words, missing words etc. We have experienced proofreaders who can help ensure that your work is free of annoying little errors.

Printing and Binding. The last step in the production process. Our sister company, Wentforth Print, has over 30 years’ experience in the printing business. They have in-house offset printing facilities for large quantities and the latest digital technology for smaller quantities and ‘print-on-demand’ jobs (so that you can get new stock as and when you need it). They also act as brokers for off-shore printing.

eBook. The revolution in publishing! But it’s not an either/or thing (although it can be if you want!): it’s worth having your book in ebook and printed form – marketing and selling your book is all about having ‘strings to your bow’ – making your book available as an ebook creates another avenue for people to find and read your book – all over the world! Castle has all the expertise to navigate the technical aspects of ebook production.

Distribution. In many cases, Castle is able to assist in distributing your book to the booktrade. In particular, Castle has a great working relationship with the New Zealand Christian booktrade. We will assess your finished book, and if we think we can help, we will buy stock from you and on-sell it to bookshops. We can also help with ebook distribution, utilising our international ebook retail partners, making your book available to a much wider audience.

Support and Advice. This where it really comes in handy working with a commercial publishing company. As you self-publish your book you can take advantage of our experience and expertise. As part of the total package, we will guide you through the publishing process and give you advice on things like setting a retail price and marketing your book.

Contact us for more info or to get a publishing services quote.

Submitting a Manuscript March 14, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 1. How Castle Works, 3. Submitting a Manuscript.
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Whether you want us to consider publishing your work as a Castle title, or if you are interested in Castle providing publishing services, the first step is the manuscript assessment process. Castle provides this free of charge and from this process we make a recommendation about what we think the best publishing solution is for your work. Here’s how the process usually works…

1. Contact us. It’s important that you let us know that you are intending to send us your manuscript or manuscript idea. You can also contact us early in the writing process if you want some advice while you are still working on the text. The easiest way to get in touch is by using the contact form here.

2. Manuscript form. Once you’ve contacted us, we will email you a manuscript form. This form asks some important background questions that help us get a clearer idea about what you hope to achieve with your book. We will immediately consider your completed form before moving to step 3.

3. Manuscript sample. Having reviewed your completed form, we will usually request a manuscript sample. Generally this will consist of three to four chapters of your book. It is best if this is supplied via email rather than printed. From this sample we can get an idea of the tone and style of your writing, and begin to establish whether we can publish your script as a Castle title or recommend our publishing services for self-publishing. It can take a little longer to respond to your manuscript sample as we like to do your work justice and consider it carefully before responding. But feel free to contact us during this process to see how things are going.

4. Full manuscript. If we think that your work might have potential as a Castle title, we will request the full manuscript so that we can read right through the text and make our final decision. We will also need your full manuscript if you are using our publishing services so that we can begin work on your book. Once again, assessment of your full manuscript can take some time, but you can always contact us to see how things are progressing.

That’s the process. Sometimes it will vary a little depending on the situation, but the most important step is step 1. Contact us now!