Printing is alive and well

For those who think printing is dead, I am here to tell you it is not. We have been printing books for individuals and businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada for nearly 20 years and it hasn’t slowed down.

Just when I wonder where the next book is coming from, the phone rings or I get an email asking if we can help. We also work closely with a book consultant from Dubuque, Iowa, which has been the case going on nine years.

We have also published some of our own titles with varying degrees of success.

Some of our clients have requested that we also publish their books as e-books, which we have done, and put them up for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. We have had only slight success online. I think your chances are better online if you are famous.

I’ll have to say I have met many wonderful people in the book-publishing business. A lot of books are historical in nature and who isn’t interested in history?

Two women from May­field asked for my help in telling the story about their hometown. Most people I have had the opportunity to help had tried to put their books together with programs that are not intended for publishing books.

In their case, one of the women had purchased one of the $800 programs we use to assemble the book and finally gave up. The book ended up being one of the books with the most pages I had ever done for anyone, and still is.

It contained many photos, charts and a ton of text. It was truly an amazing piece of work they had done for their friends and neighbors in Mayfield.

I could go on all day about the many great customers with whom I have worked through the years.

Prior to Free Press days, I worked with Father Tonne at Multi-Business Press, where we printed his “Jokes Priests Can Tell” series.

There were eight books in all and I believe he was working on more of them before old age took its toll.

I was thrilled not long ago to find a handful of pristine original hardcover books written by Raymond F. Wiebe titled, “Hillsboro, Kansas, The City on the Prairie.” The Centennial Committee commissioned Mr. Wiebe to write the history of the town.

These books were printed by Multi-Business Press (formerly Mennonite Brethren Publishing House), which is now where Cooperative Grain & Supply has its headquarters.

What’s even neater is that you can buy a copy for your own personal library here at the Free Press.

We reprinted 100 of these books in softcover a few years back and sold out of them.

If you want to know about early Hillsboro, this is the book you need to own.

I even had a book printed in China at the request of my client. That was hard.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@

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