Sunday, October 31, 2010

Plan Your Revisions.

I'll help: Technology--specifically publishing software like Quark or Adobe InDesign and POD (print-on-demand) technology--makes it easy and relatively inexpensive to revise your book once it's published. In fact, it's so easy, you can get carried away doing revisions and become distracted from the business of authoring, which is to say, marketing. However, I do think it is wise to plan your revisions, and I've devised a mechanism for doing that.

If you are a full-service customer, I will waive my normal fees for changing up to 20 pages (regularly $1.50 per page) and for uploading files to your online printer (regularly $25.00 per upload) for a revision uploaded at least 90 days after your initial printing and again for a revision at least one year after your initial printing. (You will still need to pay any fees charged by your printer.)

Here's my thinking. If you wait 90 days after your first printing, you might want to make minor changes based on feedback from your readers and you might have gotten some juicy testimonials that you didn't have when you first printed your book Then, again, after a year, you might need to update some basic information: your contact info, website addresses, promotional material at the back of the book, or your back cover. If you don't need to make any changes, that's great. If you do, this seems like a reasonable schedule to me. And if you need to do it more often and are willing to pay the regular prices, that's okay too. The Publishing Pro.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Consider These Three POD Companies.

They each have different advantages: And disadvantages. I see no reason for the average self-publisher to take anything but the POD (print-on-demand) route. You can print books as you need them, reducing your inventory risk, and the prices are surprisingly low. Here are three POD companies (websites) worth looking at. I've put several books up on LightningSource. They're quality is good; they even promise archive quality paper that meets library standards. Their base prices for black-ink-only interiors are not as good as those of CreateSpace, but they offer quantity discounts that reduce your costs whenever you're printing more than 50 copies at a time. If you print 250 copies at a time, the discounts get really serious. Sometimes, they even offer sales. Their prices for color books are surprisingly low. Their service is good, with customer-service reps that you can talk to, and excellent turnaround times for printed books (a week). I also like that they don't pretend to be anything but a printer, even though they are owned by Ingram, a major distributor. LightningSource is a good choice if you value quality and plan to sell most of your books yourself. (You can open a "wholesale account" with LightningSource, but I haven't recommended that any more than I recommend that my customers sign up with any other distributor.) CreateSpace gets my attention mainly because they are owned by Amazon and offer a seamless way for your book to be distributed by Amazon, with the result that you get a better deal than if you signed up separately for an Amazon Advantage account. They also offer an "eStore" option that lets you use your website to send book orders to CreateSpace to be fulfilled. Obviously, you don't make as much if you fulfilled the orders yourself, but it's a decent deal and a great one for author-publishers who don't want to be bothered with running to the post office all the time. Their base prices for black-ink interiors are less than those of LightningSource, but they don't seem to offer quantity discounts. And their color prices are higher. Also on the downside, they don't promise to use archival paper and their printing may be done by different vendors, with varying quality the result. We're not sure about their service yet, but that Amazon and eStore option is quite attractive. (They too offer an option for getting into bookstores, but the return hardly seems worth it.) I'm looking at this one for one reason. If you need to run a few pages of color in an otherwise black-ink book, InstantPublisher is worth looking at. They charge color prices only per color page used. LightningSource and CreateSpace will normally beat their prices, but in this instance InstantPublisher might be the solution.--The Publishing Pro