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  1. #26
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    I am using Createspace for my paperback copies.

    You can create your book for free, provided that you are semi-average with formatting and cover creator.

    I ordered proofs twice, they cost €10 ( for 1) and €18 euro (for 2). They were made for less than five DOLLARS each, but shipping to Ireland added the rest.

  2. #27
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Please do learn at least a little about typesetting if you're formatting your own print book.

    Please please please please. You can generally shave a fair amount off the cost, which means a lower cover price, and a much better looking book.

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  3. #28
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin adrianstaccato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Please do learn at least a little about typesetting if you're formatting your own print book.

    Please please please please. You can generally shave a fair amount off the cost, which means a lower cover price, and a much better looking book.
    Thanks. Do you have any advice when it comes to typesetting? I've heard Garamond 12 works well.

  4. #29
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Typesetting isn't selecting the typefaces to be used; that's part of book layout and design, and up to the book designer, though the typesetter may be consulted.

    Typesetting is the arrangement of individual glyphs in space on a page.

    Generally speaking, most typesetters either have a four year degree in design plus an apprenticeship, or they have the equivalent in on-the job training.

    I had two years of apprenticeship, several classes and had to pass an exam based on the quality of my work.

    After which I worked under a senior colleague's guidance.

    In other words, there's a lot to learn. I'd start with reading Ken Umbach's /Research Guy's free pdf on self publishing. He's a member here, and it's linked in his sig.

    I'd suggest going to your local public library and reading the sections in The Chicago Manual of Style on layout, design and topography.

    And I'd make myself familiar with some basic concepts; this site discusses some of them.

    Look at a lot of commercially published books. Look at how they're designed, what type is used where, and how, and when. Notice the sizes, the leading, the justification and weight.

    Some of what I'm saying here is about design rather than typography, but I suspect you're going to be your own designer as well.

    Look at the front matter and how chapters open, and how page numbers are handled.

    Notice how punctuation is handled. Pay attention to curly quotes and apostrophes, and how they behave in terms of punctuation marks like em-dashes.

    Look for colophons at the very start or the very end of books; often they'll tell you the typefaces used, the size, and the leading. You'll have better luck with older books than newer ones in finding a colophon.

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  5. #30
    New Skin; Learning About Thick Fish Rob Lopez's Avatar
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    I've just gone through the Createspace process Adrian. I'll be reporting on it in detail when I update my monthly thread in a couple of days.

  6. #31
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin adrianstaccato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Lopez View Post
    I've just gone through the Createspace process Adrian. I'll be reporting on it in detail when I update my monthly thread in a couple of days.
    Hey Rob, thanks. I'm interested in hearing about your experience. P.S. I will be posting that blog chain soon!

  7. #32
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin adrianstaccato's Avatar
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    I ordered my proof copy a few days ago. I'll update back to let you know how it goes. My main concern is the title page. Hopefully it looks alright.

  8. #33
    Author, Designer, Imaginative Being aibrean's Avatar
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    My only gripe with CreateSpace is the lack of consistency when printing the wrap. I had six copies come in and two of them had a misaligned spine. It wasn't horrific, mind you, but I'm a stickler for perfection. It bugs me when the spine text isn't absolutely centered.

    Overall, I and others were very impressed with the quality of printing (alignment is more of a technical/set-up issue on their end). The wrap was glossy and a solid weight and the pages were crisp and white was white.

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  9. #34
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aibrean View Post
    My only gripe with CreateSpace is the lack of consistency when printing the wrap. I had six copies come in and two of them had a misaligned spine. It wasn't horrific, mind you, but I'm a stickler for perfection. It bugs me when the spine text isn't absolutely centered.

    Overall, I and others were very impressed with the quality of printing (alignment is more of a technical/set-up issue on their end). The wrap was glossy and a solid weight and the pages were crisp and white was white.
    See, I don't think that glossy covers are good, and I don't like whiter-than-white pages. That glossy laminate often peels off, and a softer cream makes for a better reading experience, in my view.

  10. #35
    Author, Designer, Imaginative Being aibrean's Avatar
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    Well, there isn't an option to define matte in CreateSpace I was happy it wasn't on cheap-feeling stock.

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  11. #36
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianstaccato View Post
    ...Should one bother with them?
    You can set them up on CreateSpace for the cost of a proof copy (a couple of dollars, I think mine worked out at $6 each)

    All it takes is your time. So really, you have nothing to lose by making it available.
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  12. #37
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaldna View Post
    All it takes is your time. So really, you have nothing to lose by making it available.
    I agree, unless you have to order a proof copy for yourself, which I highly recommend.

    You can chose white or cream paper with Createspace. My first proof, I played with margins and such (Back in Summer '12) and picked white paper as a trial. It looked okay until I ordered a second proof with cream, no comparison in my opinion - Like Old Hack said, it makes for a better reading experience. Also, comparing it to the trade published novels on my shelf, they all had cream pages (or very close to cream)

    Personally, I am all for having paperbacks available, but that being said I purchased 300 from createspace to sell locally and as of today I have sold ~275, so you can see where my fondness for them comes from. I made the paperback version available on Amazon as well for overseas friends who don't have a kindle nor like reading books digitally.

    Some poster mentioned $700 fee's with Createspace, I can assure you, there is a free option available. If you want to skip ordering copies to sell locally or from your own website, then it will cost you nothing to sell them from Createspace's own page or Amazon.

    I had two problems with Createspace:
    1 - One book so far (there may be more, but I have not been told) had two pages in the middle inserted upside-down!
    2- With each order, there are slight variations in cover color. You would have to be looking to find it, but its still there. That being said, If I ordered the 300 copies in one go, I'm sure that would not be a problem.

    Best of luck with it.

  13. #38
    Author, Designer, Imaginative Being aibrean's Avatar
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    BTW, CS is quite over-priced in their offerings. It's much better (if you do not have the capabilities) to hire your own designer than go through them for any sort of design or formatting. They WILL charge $50 for each change after it's (the proof) been approved. If you don't choose their design services, there is no charge, so hiring a designer to make post-approval changes could save you a ton.

    WIP - Infiltrate (Holo Book 2) [YA Sci-fi]
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  14. #39
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spell-it-out View Post
    I agree, unless you have to order a proof copy for yourself, which I highly recommend.
    I am always worried when I hear of any publisher skipping the proof stage. So much can go wrong.

    You can chose white or cream paper with Createspace. My first proof, I played with margins and such (Back in Summer '12) and picked white paper as a trial. It looked okay until I ordered a second proof with cream, no comparison in my opinion - Like Old Hack said, it makes for a better reading experience. Also, comparing it to the trade published novels on my shelf, they all had cream pages (or very close to cream)
    There's a difference in the texture of the paper too: CS books are printed on a very smooth paper, which I assume is either cheaper or required by the digital printing machines: offset books are usually made with a slightly rougher textured paper which reminds me a little of watercolour paper, albeit much thinner.

    I love good paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by aibrean View Post
    BTW, CS is quite over-priced in their offerings. It's much better (if you do not have the capabilities) to hire your own designer than go through them for any sort of design or formatting. They WILL charge $50 for each change after it's (the proof) been approved. If you don't choose their design services, there is no charge, so hiring a designer to make post-approval changes could save you a ton.
    Have none of you considered Lightning Source? Or local printers, which can often undercut the prices offered by CS and Lulu? Or does it then get too complex getting your print editions available through online retailers?

  15. #40
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    If I had only eBooks I would have a print versions too because as someone else already mentioned, it gives the customers a price comparison. Front covers might be more important for print books.

    I write music method books which have musical pieces in them that can't be flowable like normal eBook text (so the musical pieces would be small on eReader screens), and even if you could you would be increasing the "page turns".

    I only have paperbacks, I can't tell you how much this totally does my head in, I WANT to get into this market. The big publishers like Hal Leonard and Mel Bay have barely touched the eBook market either (or at least they have mostly PDF like I do).

    For books that are primarily on eBook format, Paperback might be good for the “occasional buyer” for whom the price of buying an eReader doesn’t justify the amount of books they buy. I have purchased a couple of print books recently, I could have bought them as eBooks to read on my PC but I prefer to be able to read them anywhere.
    If you think Amazon vs Giants is bad, do you think that Amazon vs Self-publishers would be better?

  16. #41
    Resistance is Everything christwriter's Avatar
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    What would be a good cut-off length for paperbacks?

    I've avoided doing it so far because one, I DON'T want to do the formatting (though the discovery that me ma spends 90% of her life in InDesign formatting brochures has me a bit more encouraged) and two, my books are TINY. 30K words at the most.

    I already know that I'll want to do paperbacks for my novels, and for omnibusses (Omnibi? Plural form of omnibus, damn it) of the shorter things, once the story arcs are complete. But if the benefit is that much greater it makes me wonder how many sales I might be missing out on because I don't have hardcopy versions available.

    Would it be a good idea to wait for the omnibi and novels? Or just do it and get it over with?

  17. #42
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    I had no trouble formatting using CreateSpace's template. Takes me about half an hour each time I do it, plus about half an hour for the cover (mostly because I keep tweaking it). As others have said, a proof copy in the U.S is under $10. The more you do it, the easier it gets, just like with e-books.
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  18. #43
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Print editions are typeset, not formatted, and it's a very special skill: it's easy to do it badly and to not even realise how badly you've done it, so don't expect this to be an easy thing to do for yourself. We've had a couple of discussions about this recently, which you should be able to find relatively easily.

    By "cut off length" do you mean print run? If so, a few years ago, you would have to print about 350-400 copies via offset for the savings to be worthwhile: below that, you might just as well use digital printing. I don't know how accurate that figure is now, but you could get quotes for both alternatives, to see how it works out.

  19. #44
    Author, Designer, Imaginative Being aibrean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Have none of you considered Lightning Source? Or local printers, which can often undercut the prices offered by CS and Lulu? Or does it then get too complex getting your print editions available through online retailers?
    I have and it's definitely something I would consider in the future. I was on a short time-frame for publication so I went with what I knew would be a quick process (i.e. from delivery of files to printing). As for local, I'm looking at POD until I would have enough outlets for book purchasing.

    I'm definitely not satisfied with the inconsistencies at CS.

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  20. #45
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin DRMarvello's Avatar
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    I publish through both Lightning Source and CreateSpace. I use CS for distribution to Amazon.com only and LSI for distribution to everywhere else. I don't use Expanded Distribution at CS because they take a 60% cut, while I can set my discount to just 20% at LSI.

    Realistically, print books have not been a very profitable thing for me. Maybe 1% of my sales are in print. But a print edition is essential for certain things (like Goodreads giveaways). Plus, there's nothing like holding a real book in your hands.

    FYI, here are a few other things you can get from LSI that you can't get from CS:
    * Matte finish
    * Hardbacks
    * A lighter creme paper (in color and weight)
    * Control over your discount
    * Control over returnability

    My experience has been that the quality of LSI books is better than CS, although others will argue the reverse.

    Just keep in mind that ALL POD printing equipment (right now at least) has a 1/16th inch tolerance. That means your cover may drift up, down, left, or right by 1/16th of an inch. And that's on each book. In an order of 20 books, some will be right on, some will be shifted left, some right, etc. POD drives perfectionists crazy.
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  21. #46
    Author, Designer, Imaginative Being aibrean's Avatar
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    DRMarvello: Do you have an ISBN for each or did you buy one and use it for both?

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  22. #47
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin DRMarvello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aibrean View Post
    DRMarvello: Do you have an ISBN for each or did you buy one and use it for both?
    I bought my own ISBNs and assigned one to the paperback edition and one to the EPUB edition. I use the paperback ISBN at both LSI and CS. I use the EPUB ISBN at PubIt!, Kobo, and Draft2Digital (for distribution to the iBookstore).
    Author of the fantasy adventure series The Vaetra Chronicles
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  23. #48
    I think it's definitely worth doing, although the value you get from it may depend on the genre that you write in. I put together a paperback copy largely so that I could offer a copy of my book for a Goodreads giveaway, and was astonished to realise that the paperback copies of my book are actually outselling my ebook versions!

    I think this is largely because my books are illustrated chapter books, and that many parents and young readers prefer to read these in print rather than on an ereader. It might also be that the print version is fairly cheap ($4.99) because it's quite a slim volume.

    Other benefits of having a print version include having more freedom over your pricing and royalties, potential distribution into shops and so on, and having something to display if you're at a launch or signing. You can also use the difference between the print and ebook pricing on your Amazon page to present your book as being hugely discounted: my print version is $4.99 and my ebook $.99, and because of this, Amazon is touting the ebook version as being 80% discounted, even though this isn't strictly true.

  24. #49
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Trapjaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Typesetting isn't selecting the typefaces to be used; that's part of book layout and design, and up to the book designer, though the typesetter may be consulted.

    Typesetting is the arrangement of individual glyphs in space on a page.

    Generally speaking, most typesetters either have a four year degree in design plus an apprenticeship, or they have the equivalent in on-the job training.

    I had two years of apprenticeship, several classes and had to pass an exam based on the quality of my work.

    After which I worked under a senior colleague's guidance.

    In other words, there's a lot to learn. I'd start with reading Ken Umbach's /Research Guy's free pdf on self publishing. He's a member here, and it's linked in his sig.

    I'd suggest going to your local public library and reading the sections in The Chicago Manual of Style on layout, design and topography.

    And I'd make myself familiar with some basic concepts; this site discusses some of them.

    Look at a lot of commercially published books. Look at how they're designed, what type is used where, and how, and when. Notice the sizes, the leading, the justification and weight.

    Some of what I'm saying here is about design rather than typography, but I suspect you're going to be your own designer as well.

    Look at the front matter and how chapters open, and how page numbers are handled.

    Notice how punctuation is handled. Pay attention to curly quotes and apostrophes, and how they behave in terms of punctuation marks like em-dashes.

    Look for colophons at the very start or the very end of books; often they'll tell you the typefaces used, the size, and the leading. You'll have better luck with older books than newer ones in finding a colophon.
    This is very helpful info. Thanks Medievalist!

  25. #50
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin adrianstaccato's Avatar
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    Just clicked "Approve"! I'm excited!

    I have a Goodreads giveaway planned and a series of ad campaigns. I'll update to let you know how it goes.

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