Robertson Publishing

Robertson Crest

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Los Gatos Observer
By Alastair Dallas

Robertson Publishing

Los Gatos-based Robertson Publishing, run by Jon and Alicia Robertson, offers books by many authors—some of them Los Gatans, like Mary Tomasi-Dubois, Ira and Barbara Spector, James L. Sullivan, and Carl Heintz.

The Robertson catalog includes some interesting and unusual topics, such as Oskar Thurnher's A History of Ambulance Service in Santa Clara County, or A Month of Sundays by Ira and Barbara Spector, describing villa life in the south of France.

Mercury News
Article Launched: 01/28/2008
Los Gatos Weekly Times
Vol. 125, No. 5 Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Authors who self-publish don't have to go it alone
By Marianne Lucchesi Hamilton

If Jon and Alicia Robertson weren't busy running Robertson Publishing and 1-800-ProColor, it would be easy to imagine them working as psychologists, midwives, life coaches or in any other profession requiring warmth, compassion and encouragement. In their care, say several local authors, manuscripts can be transformed from a jumble of word-processed words (often needing a good rewrite or five) into a slick volume that will command attention in the most crowded bookstore.

The Robertsons don't just design and print a book; they invest a bit of their souls in every one. "Our authors have worked so hard, and in many cases they've committed themselves to writing for years," says Alicia, who serves as CEO of Robertson Publishing. "So we do whatever we can, whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to get their books out there."
Jon & Alicia Robertson
Jon and Alicia Robertson do more than just help authors prepare their books for market. They provide authors with help and quidance throught the entire self-publishing process. (George Sakkestad/Bay Area News Group)

Any author wishing to work with the company first receives a booklet entitled "Out the Door," written by Jon. Drawing on his many years of experience as a designer and printer, and in publishing the literary magazine Ellipses, he has collected in the booklet much of the knowledge needed to help get those wishing to self-publish off and running. In it authors find such helpful tips as which software to use for their manuscripts (Robertson recommends InDesign vs. Microsoft Word), how to properly save text files, and more.

Also, writers can visit the Robertson Publishing Web site to find an online toolkit chock-full of still more information: how to write an author's biography, what makes a great pitch letter and even contact info for local and national media. "If you want to send your book to Oprah, we can give you the address," Alicia notes. Additionally, the Robertsons can help with post-publication marketing by printing up business cards, posters, press releases and other promotional materials, at prices struggling authors can afford.

As part of their services, the Robertsons also handle the payment of royalties to their clients. Jon tracks all sales in bookstores (through the Robertsons' connections with distributor Ingram Book Group) and on Amazon; he then ensures proper payments are doled out. "There's the retail price for a book and then its wholesale price, which is what Amazon would pay," he explains. "Then there's the author's price, which is beneath wholesale. The difference between wholesale and the author's price is what the royalty payment is."

"The Robertsons are a great couple," says Los Gatos author Mary Tomasi-DuBois, whose second novel, Danger in the Jeweled City, was just produced through Robertson. "They're very non-pretentious, and have made some marvelous suggestions." Tomasi-DuBois came to know Jon and ProColor when she served as chairwoman of the Los Gatos Arts Commission, and through her work with the Los Gatos Community Foundation and Shakespeare Festival.

"We entrusted all of our printing to ProColor," she says. "I was delighted to learn that the Robertsons are also doing self-publishing. It's wonderful to have this resource in our area. I encourage everyone who's thinking of going that route to give them a call."

Los Gatos Weekly Times

Los Gatos couple offers to help Los Gatos businesses with window signs

By Marianne L. Hamilton
for Los Gatos Weekly-Times

Posted: 11/03/2008

Jon and Alicia Robertson frequently tune into Turner Movie Classics. But during a screening of "Meet John Doe" earlier this month, the couple, who own and operate 1-800-ProColor Printing and Robertson Publishing, had an epiphany. In Frank Capra's Oscar-nominated black and white comedy-drama, the residents of a community, through a series of events, not all of which are legitimate, come together to help each other.

Now, the Robertsons hope to do something similar for the Los Gatos business community. They have pledged to produce a 2-foot by 3-foot full-color, horizontal paper banner for each retail merchant in the town, for display in storefront windows — entirely for free.

"A lot of merchants are in trouble in the current economy," Jon Robertson said. "Just as in the movie, we're going to start a `John Doe Club,' and try to do something to help local business owners. So many people have helped us over the years, we'd like to return the favor."

Robertson adds that his shop is already equipped to produce the signs, and his paper supplier has agreed to support the program.

"When my vendor heard what we were doing, he offered to sell me the paper at a greatly discounted rate," Robertson said.

Just as in the more modern film, "Pay It Forward," the Robertsons hope their good deed will generate a burst of goodwill among Los Gatans.

"We're all in this together; we need to help each other. What if every company did something like this? It could be a community challenge," Robertson suggested.

The Robertsons recently mailed out postcards to local business owners, advising them that the banners will be available through the end of 2008 (one banner per merchant). Though the potential market for the free signs could be as many as 600 businesses, the Robertsons say they are happy to donate as much time, energy and materials to the cause as necessary.

1-800-ProColor Printing and Robertson Publishing are at 59-B N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos. For more information about the free offer, contact Jon and Alicia Robertson at (408) 354-1481.

Robertson Publishing • Fremont, California USA
Book Publishing — Affordable and Collaborative
Toll free: 888-354-5957

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