Frequently Asked Questions


There are several components that go into pricing a Build Your Own manual, including the following:

  1. Page count
  2. Image selection
  3. Typesetting (if applicable)
  4. Royalty (if applicable)
  5. Enrollment

We strive to keep our prices competitive and affordable. Please contact our custom editors for more specific pricing information.

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.

  • The minimum suggested retail price for a full-color Pick-and Choose lab manual in the Life Sciencs is $29.95.
  • The minimum suggested retail price for a full-color Pick-and-Choose lab manual in Chemistry, Physical Science, and Astronomy is $19.95.
  • The minimum suggested retail price for a full-color Atlas is $24.95
  • Build Your Own books are not subject to minimum pricing.

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 editorcustom project editors, 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 reservoir 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.

Yes. 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. The minimum price for a customized atlas is $24.95. Please contact our custom editor or your sales representative for more information.

Yes, will provide .pdf files for you to proof prior to the book being printed. We do not provide hard copy proofs.

For customized Pick-and-Choose manuals, we must receive your content selections by:

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

For Build Your Own books, we must receive the final manuscript by:

  • March 1st for summer classes
  • May 1st for fall classes
  • October 1st for spring classes

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.

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, if the pagination of a lab manual requires it, we add a secondary, sequential pagination in addition to the original pagination to help students more easily navigate the custom manual.

This is done for a number of reasons. For example, the design of a book may require that chapters begin on a right-hand page. We will keep the addition of blank pages to a minimum.


Yes. In the life sciences (General Biology, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology, Zoology, Botany, etc.) there must be at least 100 students/year enrolled in the course for us to create a Pick-and-Choose or Your Original Material custom manual. In Chemistry, Physical Science, and Astronomy, that minimum is 50 students per year.

For a Build Your Own book there must be at least 300 students/year enrolled in the course. We can accommodate 200-300 enrollments with a 2-year commitment to use the product.

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

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

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

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.

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.

The paper will be a high-quality matte (non-glossy) paper.

Build Your Own

Click here to access our image library.

Before you can view our image library, you must be logged into your instructor account. To create an account, click here. For Build Your Own books, Morton allows instructors to include our photographs and illustrations in their custom lab manual. Most of the illustrations are free of charge, and most of the photographs add to the cost of the book. In order to include images from the Morton image library, a 200 student annual enrollment minimum applies.

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).

"Typesetting services" simply means taking your manuscript (i.e. 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.

We can offer a royalty on original instructor-created material. Adding a royalty will increase the price of the book. We cannot offer royalties on Morton-supplied material (lab content or images).

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. Please see our Copyright FAQ page here for more information.


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 exercises, images, or illustrations.

The internet contains everything you’re looking for, so it is tempting to take content (exercises, images, etc.) from a Google or Wikipedia search. However, the internet is not public domain.

Public domain works fall into three main categories:

  1. Non-copyrightable items: Names, ideas, facts, government works.
    1. Note that some names and ideas may be protected under trademarks or patents.
  2. Works that have been placed into the public domain by their creators.
    1. These explicitly state that they were created for the public domain.
  3. Works that have had their copyrights expire and then automatically placed into the public domain.
    1. This usually happens 70 years after the creator of the work has died.

As soon as content is created, it is automatically protected under copyright laws. It does not matter where or how that content was created (online or offline, digital or analog).

If something is truly in the public domain, it can be used in your custom. Public domain has a very specific and narrow meaning, however, and does not apply to the internet as a whole.

Related to the public domain discussion, a book going out of print does not mean that the book’s content can be used without permission.

When copyright permission is granted, that doesn’t mean that it’s yours to use as you see fit. Whether you are changing publishers or going into a new edition of your book, you’ll likely need to secure permission for any content you’ve used in the past.

Fair use is designed to let authors use limited portions of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. However, those circumstances are narrow, and legal interpretation of fair use is fuzzy. To be safe, use of any content that isn’t yours within your work, no matter how small, should be accompanied by written permission from that content’s creator(s).

You should always credit the creator of any content that you’re taking from elsewhere to use in your work. However, credit is not the same thing as permission. Unless you have written permission from the creator of that content, you are not allowed to use that content in your book.

Creative Commons licenses are standardized methods to grant copyright permissions automatically, without you having to seek out that content’s creator to specifically ask for it. However, not all Creative Commons licenses are created equally. In order to be able to use Creative Commons content in your material in a published lab manual, the license must specifically include language saying it can be used in commercial material. Make sure that you read the actual Creative Commons license for the content you wish to include before you drop it into your book.

Ask them to give you that permission in writing and we’re good to go!