Tag Archives: self-publishing

How Much Does It Cost To Print A Book? Doing My Self-Publishing Homework

book and script editor for hire Joe Wallaceby Joe Wallace

People aren’t going to like this. Especially some blogs on self-publishing, print-on-demand, and etc. And while what I am about to relate is based on preliminary research only, it does beg a couple of important questions about cost vs. convenience. Do I have the answers to those questions yet? No.

As some readers here already know, I run Turntabling.net, a blog about vinyl records, record collecting, the “vinyl lifestyle” and related topics. Recently I started a book project about strange, obscure and really weird LPs and found myself facing a dilemma. Self-publish or find a publisher?

Self-publishing these days implies an e-book. But I need hard copies to sell at conventions, record fairs and the like. In my case, knowing my potential audience well enough to know hard copies are the bigger draw, I can’t avoid the printed page.

I’m halfway finished with the book project at the time of this writing, and it occurred to me that perhaps I should look into starting an imprint for this project rather than approach a print-on-demand service. I started researching printing press companies rather than P.O.D. companies or “publish your book” websites. I looked up “printing services” on Google, and “printing presses”.

It’s true that submitting a book to a printing press requires more technical know-how and care than submitting to a middleman who you pay to help you with your book project. But I know I can handle that technical stuff–it’s about margins, PDF files and images formatted correctly. It does not seem THAT difficult with a bit of persistence and stubbornness.

My initial research results weren’t promising. I need full color pages for 101 album covers, so my costs are considerably higher than a non-graphics intensive black & white book. The stateside companies I contacted quoted me a whopping $7000 for TWO HUNDRED LOUSY COPIES! Doing the math…well, I didn’t bother. I can’t afford 7K. Print-on-demand sites weren’t much better. In some cases my full color needs were THE stumbling block.

Then I started researching offshore printing presses, and guess what? I got a $3000 quote for full color inside and out…for TWO THOUSAND COPIES. That’s 250 pages, full color, quality paper.

Imagine, fiction writers and non-fiction counterparts, how much your smaller, non-color book would cost if you had it PRINTED overseas rather than going through a stateside POD publisher. The economics of a black-n-white paperback book with standard paper? Potentially astounding.

I can’t vouch for the quality, reliability or safety of doing an overseas print order. But what I DID do was to take a few of my favorite books and see who/where they were printed. I found that books similar in format or audience to mine, done independently and in small runs, were all printed in China.

Again, I cannot vouch for any of these companies I’ve examined. Yet. But I am SERIOUSLY looking into offshoring my book to China. It’s a simple case of economic survival and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. But I have a book project that needs printing, and I know two printers who will give me two thousand books for roughly three to four thousand dollars.

What would YOU do?

It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp…of Books

Evelyn LaFont

by Evelyn Lafont

So you’ve written a book! Good for you—give yourself a nice pat on the back and go eat some chocolate. And you’ve decided to self-publish your book, you say? Inspired by the success of other self-published authors, you’ve decided to get off the query train and instead take your future into your own hands? Again, I say awesome.

Hey—what’re you doing? I didn’t say, “Now go sit down and reward yourself with chocolate.” Uh-uh. As a self-publishing indie author, you’ve still got work to do.

1. Find beta readers. I don’t know about you, but I think that just about everything I do is genius. Hell, even my poopie is like a beautiful, doe-eye colored water lily straining against the confines of its porcelain cage. Beta readers help you figure out whether or not OTHER people will think your book is good and can indicate whether or not it has a chance to make it out there. They can also help you figure out what is, and isn’t, working from a reader’s perspective.

2. Hire an editor. It is almost impossible for an author to perfectly self-edit his or her own manuscript. I’m sorry, you can argue all you want, but it’s true. Editors help you figure out which darlings to kill, how to clarify your message, and point out inconsistencies in characters and plots. They are vital.

3. Hire an artist. You need a hot cover, not a hot mess. I don’t know about you but when I use Photoshop to try and do my own graphics, it ends up looking like I wanted my book cover to feature the ass end of a monkey. Not cool, and not going to help you look like a pro.

4. Hire a proofreader. Editors don’t always catch all the spelling and grammar errors you’ve made, and they surely won’t catch any made after you incorporate their edit suggestions. Hire a proofreader to go through the book one last time before you publish.

5. Get a layout designer. If you read on an e-reader, then you probably know what it’s like to deal with the author who didn’t properly layout his or her MS. In a word, it is suck. It takes you right out of the moment as your eyeballs become busy playing hide and seek trying to figure out where your next paragraph or sentence begins.

6. Market your book. Once you’ve done all the above (and I do mean ALL of it), now you have to spend the rest of your life marketing your book—oh, and not to other writers, but to readers. And not just any old readers, readers who actually like the genre your book is a part of.

I’m sorry self-publishing authors, but there will be no chocolate for you.

Evelyn Lafont is an author and freelance writer. Her debut novella, The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating is available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble and Smashwords .

VRG Cover

The Revolution Continues…

by Mike O’Mary

Crime Spree Mag coverTwo weeks ago, I talked about the revolution in the book publishing industry. No big secret, right? Everybody knows that we are in the midst of a major shift from print to digital in the publishing industry. And everybody is speculating about what that means for the “industry” – from the big publishing houses to indie publishers to agents to best-selling authors (who are now passing on six-figure advances because they don’t want to give up their digital rights!) to self-published authors (who would probably gladly give up their digital rights for a six-figure advance!).

Below are links to a couple of really great recent blog posts about changes in the publishing industry, and about the possible ramifications. Read them when you have a few minutes, but then come back because I have some really exciting news for freelancers, even if you’ve never written a book and never plan to… Continue reading The Revolution Continues…

The Revolution in Publishing

by Mike O’Mary

How many of you have tried to publish a book and been rejected? As an author, I was rejected many times. It’s not fun.

As a small (three books last year), indie publisher of other authors, I can also tell you that it’s not fun to reject book proposals — especially proposals for good ideas by some very good writers. But I have to reject books anyway. Part of it is due to limited resources (mainly my time). But part of it is also a matter of knowing my limitations when it comes to marketing and selling books. It’s hard enough to sell books that are in my area of expertise (short creative nonfiction and memoir). It would be really hard — and ultimately disappointing for the author — for me to try to sell books that target other audiences. So I don’t do it. Even if it’s a really good book.

Sometimes I will direct the author to another publisher that might be a good fit. But more and more, I am tempted to give this advice (and you are hearing it here on Freelance-Zone first!): Do it yourself. Continue reading The Revolution in Publishing

The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter

dan-poynter-self-publishing-manual.jpg If you are interested in the journalistic aspects of the writing game and don’t know who Dan Poynter is, do yourself a favor and check out the Poynter Institute. You will find a whole universe of stuff you didn’t know existed. Dan Poynter has built a hell of a reputation as an expert in all kinds of journalism, and you should not underestimate the value of any writing-related material with the Poynter name on it.

That includes this self-publishing manual. To be fair, I haven’t read this one yet but the Poynter name lends enough credibility to recommend it. To those who might take issue with me on this one, spend an hour at the Poynter site and tell me if you still disagree. And if that’s the case, forget the book–you can learn a LOT just by having a go at the site and soaking up the benefit of all that experience. At the website you will find a lot of info on Poynter workshops and seminars,and I have many friends who have attended Poynter seminars, all come back with glowing reports of the massive amount you can learn about the craft in a very short amount of time.

Buy for $13.57