So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

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Tycoon
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So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by Tycoon » May 26th, 2010, 6:47 am

Okay, here's the deal. I wrote a story for the wife. Had it professionally edited, and all the goodies.

I still want to go through the traditional means of publishing, however my wife wants a copy now, and not a manuscript. And we all know how slow the publishing industry works. It could be years, or more realistically never at all. I also have friends and family and coworkers who have verbally commited to buying 2 to 3 copies each to pass out as gifts. I can easily sell the copies and break even(I don't want to make money off friends and family, nor do I want to lose money either)

My concern though is if I make say 100 or so copies with no isbn for just family and friends will this ruin any chance of going the traditional route? I'm not talking about a pod company either, I'm talking a legit offset printing company from the list of writers marketplace who just specialize in printing and thats it (like LSI).

Any thoughts, comments, or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by J. T. SHEA » May 26th, 2010, 4:22 pm

What's wrong with POD for 100 copies? And I thought LSI was a POD company.

I can see no problem for a 'traditional' publisher in what you propose, but people and organizations do have odd taboos. So do make sure you can 'unpublish' the book at any time.

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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by BlancheKing » May 27th, 2010, 3:33 pm

It doesn't sound too bad... though from the sounds of it, you've got a request for 20 something copies. What are you going to do with the other 80?

Why not go to Kinko's or something and make 1 copy for your wife?

The only other case I've personally seen of self publishing was by a friend of my RA. He apparently initially wanted his friends to have a copy of his book, but after making a sale of 100 or so copies, decided to promote his book. He left about 30 or so copies around our dorms in hopes that we'll appreciate it enough to finish reading it. Unfortunately, most copies are now serving as doorstops...
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Mark
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by Mark » May 27th, 2010, 5:56 pm

Tycoon wrote:I also have friends and family and coworkers who have verbally commited to buying 2 to 3 copies each to pass out as gifts.
My impression is that first run sales directly correlate to how much your publisher likes you. If you get your book published, then you'll want to tap your resources for selling as many copies as you can influence people to buy. Your friends and family are going to be among your chief supporters here, and if you have the confidence to get this thing sold to a traditional publisher, then I'd suggest waiting until they can go to Amazon or Borders to buy it.

One copy for your wife is another matter entirely.

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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by JustineDell » May 27th, 2010, 6:57 pm

Hey Tycoon!!!

I have a feeling I'm going to run into the same problem when I finished the book I'm writing for my daughter. I write romance and I don't really have the drive to publish childrens books, but ahem...the daughter has requested a "real" copy. Now, how do I say no to her cute little face?

Did you know that largest POD publishing company (Author House) normally only sells 150 copies of a book per author? The stat was in my most recent RWR magazine. So, if you sold 100, you'd be in good shape. The question you need to ask yourself is this: do I ever want to see this book printed by a real publisher, or would I be satisified with just providing family and friends with copies? I think once you ponder that, you'll have your answer.

Good luck!

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Tycoon
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by Tycoon » May 29th, 2010, 5:19 am

BlancheKing wrote:It doesn't sound too bad... though from the sounds of it, you've got a request for 20 something copies. What are you going to do with the other 80?

Why not go to Kinko's or something and make 1 copy for your wife?

The only other case I've personally seen of self publishing was by a friend of my RA. He apparently initially wanted his friends to have a copy of his book, but after making a sale of 100 or so copies, decided to promote his book. He left about 30 or so copies around our dorms in hopes that we'll appreciate it enough to finish reading it. Unfortunately, most copies are now serving as doorstops...
Actually I have requests for about 75 to 80 and counting...

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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by JFBookman » June 4th, 2010, 2:13 am

Tycoon, Justine,

What you are trying to do should be pretty easy. If you do a private publication--no copies are for sale, there is no ISBN and no listing at any retailer--there won't be a record of the publication anyway. Lulu allows books without ISBN and Createspace may also.

But you don't need those companies either. You can just go to a vendor like 48hrbooks.com or Alexanders.com and buy digitally printed books. Digital printing is just one part of print-on-demand distribution, but it's not limited to that role.

Most of these companies will have minimums, but it sounds like that won't be a problem for you. 48hrbooks requires a minimum order of 20 books, they are terrific to work with, and actually ship your books in--wait for it--48 hours from the time you approve your proof.

All you need to do is create your book in a program that can output a reproduction-quality PDF, which you'll upload to the printer. It's actually quite simple. Since these suppliers are not part of the book distribution network, you are just going to a printer for a print job.

If you have any questions about this, leave them in this thread and I will try to help out.

Best of luck,
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by deepsesh » June 19th, 2010, 3:14 am

This option of self-publishing sounds interesting.

Hey JFBookman - What about a cover design? Do they design a cover for you? Or can you design and get it printed out?

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JFBookman
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by JFBookman » June 19th, 2010, 11:37 am

Deepsesh,

You have a few options for covers. You can do it yourself in the same way you do the text, but this can be difficult with most word processing software. Or you can do it with a consumer-level graphics package like Microsoft Publisher or open source software like TeX. On Createspace they have a cover generator you can access from their website if you are publishing with them.

However because the printers' specs are more complex for covers, consider hiring a designer who knows how to design for print (not just web!) to do it for you. You can find people at elance.com or odesk.com or 99designs.com without too much trouble, and you might get a better deal than buying a "cover design package" from your author-services company.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you need more info.
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by karenbb » June 23rd, 2010, 4:39 pm

In the case of needing a single copy, I would go with Lulu. You can use their cover wizard and it's fast and easy, no ISBN necessary. I had five beta readers who wanted printed copies and it was cheaper to do five bound copies with Lulu than to print at Staples or Kinkos (2/3 cheaper if you can believe that) and it was even cheaper than frying a single ink cartridge on my home printer. My MS at the time was approx 400 pages and the bound copies ran around $11 each plus shipping. I think they're doing free shipping this summer.

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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by daringnovelist » June 24th, 2010, 3:13 pm

If you don't want to really self-publish - just create some copies for friends and review, then mark it "Advanced Review Copy" so it can't be mistaken for a real print run. (Further more, if you publish it later, those could be collector's items.)

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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by JFBookman » June 24th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Good idea, daringnovelist, but label them Advance Review Copy or Advance Readers Copy (not advanced). It's also good to put under that something like this:

Not for resale.
Uncorrected Page Proofs.
Please check with Publisher before quoting from this book.

Also, don't put an ISBN or barcode on the book, so it will obviously not be "for sale."

And don't list it on Amazon!

If you'd like more detail about the ARC covers, check out this blog post:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2009/09/ ... arc-cover/

Hope that helps
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by Tycoon » June 25th, 2010, 5:46 pm

My wife talked me into self pubbing this novel... and I don't mean just throwing something together.

I am fortunate enough that we both have good jobs so I hired a editor and a cover designer. Everything was done the way we wanted it. All my goals were reached by writing this for her as a Christmas gift. And to be honest, I don't plan on writing another novel so throwing this in a drawer and writing another wasn't an option.

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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by JFBookman » June 25th, 2010, 6:21 pm

Andrew, that's a touching story and one of the most unique reasons I've ever heard for writing (let alone self-publishing) a book. The cover is lovely, although the bar code looks a bit funky. Good luck with the book!
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Re: So I want to self publish... kinda sorta, not really

Post by Quill » June 25th, 2010, 10:37 pm

Tycoon wrote:My wife talked me into self pubbing this novel... and I don't mean just throwing something together.

I am fortunate enough that we both have good jobs so I hired a editor and a cover designer. Everything was done the way we wanted it. All my goals were reached by writing this for her as a Christmas gift. And to be honest, I don't plan on writing another novel so throwing this in a drawer and writing another wasn't an option.
Okay, that's your hook! This is going to be big! Agents will be calling you, you won't even need to write a query. Wow.

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