Updated: Oct 17, 2019
If you are looking for the next step in self-publishing, look no further. AlphaGraphics is the local Tucson printing house for you!
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of touring the Tucson branch of AlphaGraphics. I first heard about AlphaGraphics at the yearly Tucson Festival of Books. I was impressed with the quality of their printing services and their dedication to self-publishing authors. It has been my intention for some time to publish a list of resources, helpful businesses, and advice columns for writers. I’m proud to start my list with AlphaGraphics. I do not publish resources lightly as I believe writers, whether they are self-publishing or seeking representation, deserve the best treatment. In a world where literature is changing so quickly, it is essential to support those willing to create masterful stories and brave the internet trolls and haters to make their stories known. At Fantastic Literary Services, we strive to provide individualized feedback and constant support to writers, and we are pleased to find AlphaGraphics Commercial a kindred spirit and partner worth bragging about.
During my tour at AlphaGraphics, I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness and family-like culture. I knew before I scheduled my first tour that AlphaGraphics worked with large businesses like Geico, Raytheon, and the University of Arizona; I expected to be greeted by a corporate attitude. However, while they have all the capabilities and latest or most efficient equipment of a larger organization, they provide the quality customer service and personalized attention of a small business. For the writer looking to print high-quality books, this is the place to do it. For the writer looking for easy customization, friendly representatives, and a printing partner that will provide support and guidance throughout the project, look no further.
Their Mission and Goals
After my enlightening tour of the printing facilities where I learned all about the different machines and the various kinds of print jobs and services that AlphaGraphics offers, I had the chance to interview one of the co-owners, Lisa Jones, and the retail manager, Ellie Acton. During this interview, they both conveyed a lot of passion for their business and, especially, for self-publishing authors. When I asked them why they got into this and why they were so passionate about what they do, they said:
“The staff makes the difference. When we connect a client to a sales representative or employee, that employee cares. If the client doesn’t have exactly what they want, that employee will go back to the drawing board as many times as it takes until the client has precisely what they were looking for. We make sure that we are available to make sure someone can talk to the client throughout the process. Our employees listen, are driven, and knowledgeable.”
Ellie even told me about her unique library of first editions: signed books from every author who ever published through their print shop. It was immediately clear to me that this is a company filled with people who care and are excited about every project.
Who should Consider AlphaGraphics
Authors who have a completed manuscript and want to self-publish.Authors who want help not only printing their manuscripts but also want assistance with marketing - i.e., website design. Anyone who wants to print bookmarks, business cards, signs, flyers, and other promotional materials to help market their bookAuthors who want to print 100 or more copies of their manuscript.Authors who want a sales representative dedicated to helping them with their project.Authors who want high-quality printing.Authors who want to use AlphaGraphics to store and ship their print books with little to no hassle.
Some things to consider before you get started
AlphaGraphics is NOT a traditional publishing house but a printing press. They do not offer in-house editing, they do not take commissions or endorse books, and they do not vet or select the best books for publication, meaning they print what you give them. So, if you are looking to publish through traditional means, this might not be your best fit. AlphaGraphics does not offer developmental or copy-editing services to authors. They do have a final review before printing where they point out potential mistakes and allow the authors to correct or leave them before publication. However, we at Fantastic Literary Services hope that we can help fill this gap. If you want to find a developmental editor, copy-editor, proofreader, or beta reader and would like to know more, please check out our services page.
How to Get started
To get started, you can request a quote or contact them from their website www.TucsonCPS.com. Once you scheduled a quote, you will have a personal consultation to discuss your project. A sales represen
tative will first ask you about your budget so that during your conversation, when they talk you through all your options, they make sure they always keep your budget in mind. Additionally, they can speak to you about their other marketing services and strategies such as printing bookmarks, business cards, flyers, signs and poster, etc.; web design; book cover design; digital formatting; ISBNs; etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
(These questions and answers came directly from an AlphaGraphics pamphlet)
Q. Does AlphaGraphics take a portion of the sales of my book?
A. No. You retain ownership and all profits from the sale of your book.
Q. What services do you provide in creating my book?
A. Our work usually begins after your book is written and edited. We traditionally handle the layout of the text, setting a font style, updating the Table of Contents, setting chapter breaks, and page numbers. We’ll design a cover or handle the final adjustments for spine width if you already have a design. We also offer assistance with the creation of your ISBN and Amazon book listing.
Q. Can AlphaGraphics assist with my cover design?
A. Definitely! Our award-winning design team wants your book cover to make the best first impression possible (because, yes, people often do judge a book by its cover!). Cover design can include everything from the imagery to the title font to the summary blurb on the back cover. If you choose to have us design your book cover, you’ll collaborate with one of our designers to produce a cover design that best showcases your book and captures your vision.
Q. What about e-books?
A. We can convert your print-ready files into multiple e-book formats, ensuring a clear read on all types of e-readers, tablets, and touchpads. Additionally, we create web landing pages designed to help in the marketing and distribution of your books and e-books. From major online retailers to special-interest sites, we assist you in placing your book with the right internet markets.
Q. Can AlphaGraphics help me with book marketing and sales?
A. Absolutely. We can help our authors identify their target audience and plan their marketing strategy. We can design marketing materials (such as bookmarks and postcards) to advertise their newly released books. We also promote our authors’ reading and reviews online and in our retail stores, and we host an author tent for signing and sales at the Tucson Festival of Books. Personalized service doesn’t end with making books!