Self Publish Write Now


Self Publish Write Now
Robert Plamondon
OryCon 33
  • You have options
    • You can write fan-fiction, and put it in book form, and as long as you don’t offer it for sale to the public, you haven’t violated anything.
    • Or if you wrote a book and it’s gone out of print. I sent a copy of the original book, and they cut the spine off, scan the pages, and it’s identical to the original.
    • Or if you write a novel, and every publisher in America rejects it twice.
  • Why would you do this and how?
    • Everyone values the printed book. It’s prestigous.
    • There’s the possibility of money.
    • If not money, other possibilities. First job out of high school was the result of a book that he had printed.
    • Publishing is a glamour industry. So it’s got to look good.
  • The interior is a PDF file printed on a black and white printer.
  • The cover is full cover with a plastic coating.
  • It’s printed much indistinguishable from a traditionally printed and published.
  • All the print on demand guys use acid-free preservation papers. It is better than what you get with publishers.
  • If you can make it look good as an 8.5x11, you can adjust the page size and margins and have it look good at 6x9.
  • Choose a robust font. Like 11pt Georgia.
    • Something like Caslon is too lightweight and feathery. 
  • Microsoft Word has pretty good typography. 2003 is actually considered to be the best.
  • Then you upload it to Createspace. They run some checks. Then you order a proof copy. After you approve the proof, it will show up on Amazon within a few hours.
  • You have a choice of public or private. 
    • If you don’t own the rights, you can’t do it publicly.
  • Q: If you want to tie together the Kindle version and the print version, can you do that?
    • Yes, definitely. You can do it through the tools. And even if you screw it up, Amazon has real customer support people. Hit the contact us button, and someone will fix it for you.
  • You can republish stuff that’s in the public domain.
  • If you want to get into bookstores, it can happen by a big publisher. Or by you going into a bookstore and getting them it order it for you via ISBN. 
  • Lightning Source
    • Is a bare knuckle, serious sort of publishing thing these days. It’s probably better to stick with Createspace.
  • It’s far easier to sell non-fiction than fiction. 
  • Recommended books
  • Covers
    • You can use the cover designer and get a pretty good design
    • You can use images from the government which are mostly all in the public domain and are all free.
      • hubble space telescope photos
      • photos of asteroids
      • great for any 
      • national archives photos are all free
      • patent illustrations are available
    • 300 pixels per inch is the standard you need for images
    • stock photo services
    • Even art is relatively cheap: a professional done fantasy art cover was $125 from an artist friend.
  • Q: How can you do images in the text?
    • A PDF file can have images and text.
    • Grayscale can be a little iffy. The printers they print them on are optimized for text. 
    • You can pay for color interiors, which are designed for art books, and look great - but cost about 5x per page.
    • Line art usually comes out great.
  • Createspace has a pro plan, which drops the cost per book, for a fixed fee per year per book.
  • Q: If you do Lightning Source, can you also sell it through Amazon?
    • Yes, but it probably makes sense to just do Createspace because then you have better availability on Amazon.
    • The one thing Lightning Source is essential for is if you need to scan an existing print book to do a facsimile reproduction.
  • Be generous when you have it: it’s rewarding to give away fan-fiction books.
  • He republished out of print books
    • As an author you can only write so many books
    • As an editor/publisher, you can do 10x as much material in a year
  • Everything published before 1968 is in the public domain if it hasn’t been renewed. Stanford has a copyright renewal database. You can check on books that have expired.
    • There’s a ton of stuff written back in the forties and fifties which is still modern knowledge and useful stuff. It’s highly relevant to current times.
  • Q: To become a publisher, what did you have to do?
    • You don’t need a business license if you are not a retailer.
    • You probably just need a D.B.A. (doing business as) to cash checks with your bank.
    • I have a class C corporation, which creates more paperwork.
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