Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I publish a custom lab manual with Morton Publishing?

We strive to make the customization process as smooth as possible for you. When you call us, a human being answers the phone, and our custom editor, production group, customer service team, and your sales rep will do the best they can to make sure you are satisfied. Morton is a small, privately-owned company that cares about our customers and is dedicated to creating high-quality, affordable lab materials. We have more than three decades of publishing experience and take pride in the quality of our work. In addition to our production capabilities, we have a deep reservior of quality content from which you can choose, including lab manuals and photographic atlases. It is our goal to earn your business and to ensure that you are happy with your custom lab manual. 

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Are there enrollment minimums?

Yes. There must be at least 100 students/year enrolled in the course for us to create a standard custom manual.

For any custom project that includes any images from our image library or requires typesetting services there must be at least 300 students/year enrolled in the course.

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How many books will you print?

We "print-on-demand", meaning that when an order is placed from your bookstore, the books will be printed and shipped, typically within a few business days of receiving the order. We have a 100% return policy on any unsold copies.

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Can I get instructor copies?


Yes, we will provide you with complimentary instructor desk copies of your custom manual, typically one copy per section per year. 

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What is your return policy?

We have a 100% return policy for any unused, un-damaged books up to 12 months from the date of the original invoice. 

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How much does a custom manual cost?

The price depends on what sort of project we do and how many pages are in the manual. If you customize an existing Morton manual, or provide us a "camera-ready" manual, our basic suggested retail price structure is 13 cents per page for a black and white manual and 17 cents per page for a color manual. For example, a 200 page full-color manual has a suggested retail price of $34 (200 x .17=$34). This should be the cost to the student in the store.

For more complex customs, there are a few extra costs to consider. Most of the illustrations from our image library are free of charge for you to include in your manual. If you choose to include any images from our paid image library (mostly photographs found in our atlases), there is a 10 cent per book per image charge. For example, if you use 30 atlas photographs, it adds $3 to the cost of the manual (30 x .10=$3).

If we typeset the manual for you, it can add between $3-10 dollars per book depending on the enrollment and the amount of time it takes to typeset.

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Is custom less expensive?


Usually, but not always. It depends on how much material is removed from an existing manual, and how many pages are printed. We are happy to provide price estimates for a potential project so that you can make the decision that is best for you and your students. 

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Are there price minimums?

Yes, the minimum suggested retail price for a black and white manual is $24.95. The minimum suggested retail price for a full-color manual is $29.95. 

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Can I mix black-and-white and color?

Yes, but if there is any color in the manual, the whole manual needs to be printed in color. So, if you want to include color, don't be shy, go for it. 

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What is the format?

All of our books are shipped three-hole drilled, loose-leaf, and shrink wrapped to facilitate the incorporation of class notes and other lab materials. This format also helps us keep down the price of the manuals. We do not publish bound manuals. 

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Can I customize an atlas?

Yes, but there must be at least 100 students enrolled in the course annually, and any custom atlas must be listed as a "required" text in the bookstore. Please contact our custom editor or your sales representative for more information.

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What is a MortyPak?

A MortyPak is just our fancy term for "bundle". If you bundle your custom manual with one of our atlases, we offer a 10% discount on the atlas. 

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Do I need to sign a contract?

No. We don't use contracts for custom projects. It is our opinion that if you are not happy with our product, you should be free to take your business elsewhere. 

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Who owns the copyright to the material I wrote?

If it's your content, it's your copyright. We hold no copyright to anything you wrote, even if we print the manual for you. We maintain copyright on any of our content that is included in your custom manual, such as our images or illustrations.

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Will I get to see proofs of of the manual before you print it?

Yes, we typically provide .pdf files for you to proof prior to the book being printed. If you require a printed proof, we can provide one.

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What are the deadlines?

For customized Morton manuals or "camera-ready" manuscript, we must receive the content selections or final manuscript by:

  • April 1st for summer classes
  • June 1st for fall classes
  • October 15th for spring classes

For customized manuals that require typesetting services, we must receive the final manuscript by:

  • March 1st for summer classes
  • May 1st for fall classes
  • October 1st for spring classes
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How do I gain access to your image database?

Click here to access our image library.

Morton allows instructors to include our photographs and illustrations into their custom lab manual. There are "free" and "paid" options. Most of the illustrations are free of charge, and most of the photographs are 10 cents per image per book. So for example, if you include 30 of our photographs into your lab manual, it would add $3 to the retail price of the manual (30 images x .10 = $3).

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Is an index included?

If you would like the index to the full Morton manual, it can be included. The index won't be customized to match your content selections, but the page references will still be accurate for the content that you select.

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What does "camera-ready" mean?

"Camera-ready" simply means that you are providing us with a manuscript that is ready to print, as-is.

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What types of files do you need?

A Microsoft Word document is the preferred format when you submit your manuscript to us (ideally with a .docx extension typical of MS Word versions 2007 or later). We also accept .pdf files, but these need to be created from .docx files. We will not be able to make edits to .pdf files and they will be printed as-is.

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What are "typesetting services"?

"Typesetting services" simply means taking your manuscript (e.g. Microsoft Word document) and putting it into a design so that it has a professional appearance. By using our typesetting services, it allows you to spend more time on the content and less time on the formatting.

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Can a custom manual be re-paginated?

Yes and no. Because our lab manuals often make page references within the text, re-pagination would make these references incorrect. For this reason, we don't repaginate the original pages. However, for an additional charge of $1 per book, we can add sequential pagination (for example at the top of the page) to help students more easily navigate within the custom manual.

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Do you offer royalties?

We can offer a royalty on original instructor created material up to 15% of the net sales value of the book. The royalty is added to the price of each book.

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What about permissions for copyrighted material?

We do not request permissions for third party content. In order for us to print your custom manual, it must be free of any third party content or you must secure written permission for any third party content, such as images taken from Wikipedia, or content taken from other copyrighted material. 

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What kind of paper will the manual be printed on?

The paper will be a high-quality matte (non-glossy) paper similar to the paper used in our nationally distributed books.

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