Wednesday, December 24, 2008

PayPal Makes It Easy ...

But be careful: If you'd like to take credit and debit card orders for your book(s) but don't want to pay the freight for a credit-card merchant account, PayPal is a viable option. PayPal has several plans available, which can be both confusing and helpful. And you should also be aware that there are many complaints on the web about PayPal, most from merchants rather than consumers and many of the complaint sites seem to be supported by a competing merchant provider. Several of our clients are using it to take credit card orders and like it. One of them, Scott Mares (author of The Complete Book of Cyclocross) found that Yahoo web hosting made PayPal a particularly convenient option for his bookselling site. The Publishing Pro.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In Tough Times, Publish.

... Or perish: The old expression from academia applies in the business world today. Even though the world seems to be constricting, this is a good time to publish. In fact, publishing may be the difference between your success and failure. Here's why:
  • In tough times, people want help. In fact, they are desperate for it. If you've got something to say that will change their lives, say it now--when your audience is most interested in listening.
  • In tough times, you have to be better. You can't be lazy. You must be focused. You have to know your audience, know what they need, and know how you can meet that need. In tough times, you are more likely to produce a great book.
  • In tough times, your book can be the difference in your business, ministry, or work. The right book builds your credibility and your brand, gets you more business, makes you desirable as a speaker, and is a profit center in its own right. The right book may even make you attractive to an employer.
  • In any times, publishing a book--if you do it right--is low risk. Nowadays, you don't have to dump your money into inventory. You can print as you go. Moreover, you can adjust on the fly.
Let us tell you how to make your project a success, especially in these times. The Publishing Pro.

Join Our Author's Meet-up!

Reach your audience: I'd like to form a Colorado Springs "authors' meet-up" This would differ from a "writers' group," which typically focuses on the introverted part of the publishing process. Instead, we would focus on the extroverted side of things--the selling, the marketing, the reaching out to your audience--what I call "authoring." Early feedback suggests that we charge a modest fee, maybe $5.00 for would-be authors and $1.00 for anyone who brings their published (traditional- or self-). The reason for the distinction is that published authors would be able to share their experience, strength, and hope. We've settled on the first Monday of the month, time and place. still to be determined. This is a great opportunity to get free coaching and support, both from me and participants. Contact me if interested. (If you are interested in this sort of thing but live outside of the area, let me know. There are virtual ways to meet.) The Publishing Pro.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Typography: Double Space

It's a New Era: In the typewriter era, good style required you to put two spaces after a period. Typewriters used "monospaced" fonts, meaning that every letter or glyph took up the same width. With monospaced fonts, two spaces after a period looked better and we're needed to set off a sentences from each other. When we moved into the computer era, more than two decades ago now, most fonts in common use are variable-width. These fonts look better when you use only one space after a period.

Even so, a surprising number of people keep to the habit of inserting two spaces after a period. This either makes more work for your desktop publisher, who will eliminate them, or will leave your book looking a little amateurish if your desktop publisher doesn't better than to eliminate all those extra spaces.--The Publishing Pro, LLC

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Typography: Serif and Sanserif

The Basics: In typography, regular fonts fall into two major categories--serif and sans-serif. "Serifs" are little nobs or slight ornamentation on the ends of letters. Fonts that don't have these bits are called "sans-serif," from the French sans meaning without. Here are a few rules of thumb:
  • For printed works, use a serif font like Times New Roman for your body text. It will be easier to read as text than a sans-serif font like Arial.
  • For online works, use a sanserif font for your body text. For reasons that have something to do with light, sans-serif fonts read more easily on current computer screens.
  • If you want to use more than one font family, use (for a printed application) a serif font for your body text and a sanserif font for display or non-body text applications (e.g., chapter headings, subheadings, and the like). This works because serif and sans-serif fonts are so different from each other that your choice will look deliberate. On the other hand, if you try to combine serif (or sans-serif) fonts from different families, it will look like you don't know what you are doing.
  • In general, you don't want too many font families in your book. For most purposes, two font families are plenty. You can get more than enough variety from variations in style (i.e., Roman, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Large Caps, Small Caps, Underscoring, and the like). The Publishing Pro, LLC

Friday, January 11, 2008

If You Recycle, Are You Really Saving Trees?

It Seems Logical: If you print a book, you need paper. If you use virgin paper for your book, you have to cut down a tree to make the paper. Therefore, you are reducing the world's forest. Well, not really, as it turns out. "Pulp" trees are faster growing than lumber trees. Like Christmas trees, they are planted and cultivated. Farmed. The more paper you use, the more trees get planted. This excerpt from a story by Sally Herigstad in MSN MONEY, says it well enough.

We've all heard: Recycle paper and save the trees. But according to James
Wetzel, a professor of environmental economics at Virginia Commonwealth
University, the end result of all that recycling is fewer acres of timberland,
not more. More than one-third of paper pulp now comes from recycled sources.

"Alas, one result is a decrease in demand for pulpwood -- thus the price of
timberland falls," Wetzel says. If timber companies sell fewer trees for paper,
they find more-profitable things to do with the land, like sell it to

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions," Wetzel says. "If you want
people to plant more trees, they need a reason. In 30 to 50 years, they will
harvest those trees."

Shredded paper may not make it into recycled paper, anyway. Anca Novacovici,
founder of Eco-Coach, says, "Shredded paper cannot be recycled with regular paper because the fibers are cut short. Therefore it is demoted to a lower-grade material."

To me, it still makes sense to recycle paper when you can because it saves (maybe) some energy. It just doesn't save the forests, so don't lose sleep over printing your book when recycled paper isn't practical.--The Publishing Pro, LLC