Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How to Self Publish Your Book

It doesn’t matter if you’ve written the great American novel or just want to publish a coffee table book filled with pictures of your cats, you can easily, and affordably self publish your book thanks to the wonders of POD printing.

What is POD mean?

Print. On. Demand.

POD printing is actually making its way through several markets, from t-shirt printing to DVDs, and yes, Books. In all honesty, I imagine POD will be the ONLY way to publish or print small runs of books, dvds, t-shirts, and calendars in the near future.

Just because it is designed for small print runs, though, doesn’t mean that you have to give up on having a high quality product. In the early days of POD printing (you know, a few years go) sometimes the publications looked muddy or cheap, but with the rapid advancement of this technology, you can print ONE COPY of your book that looks as good as anything you’ll find in Barnes and Noble.

Here are some steps to help you get started publishing that masterpiece we already told you how to write.

1. Write the book
I know we already covered that, but seriously, you’d be surprised how many people try and skip this step.

2. Find a Printer
Ok, there are a few choices out there, but the first thing you need to do is read the fine print when dealing with these POD printers. A lot of them will call themselves PUBLISHERS. They ARE NOT publishers. If you’re marketing your book, you’re writing your book, you’re editing your book, and you’re selling your book…they are nothing but printers, and don’t do business with any of them that say otherwise.

3. Format and Edit the Book
If you were intending to self publish from the start, you may have already formatted as you went, but if you were originally writing a manuscript, you need to make several changes from your manuscript format to your final printed format.

For example, your book should not be double spaced. Single space the book, and choose an easy to read font. Some people will tell you a Times font, others and Arial, or still others will swear by Courier fonts. Just make sure it’s easy to read, and that it looks good, and is legible at the final size of your printed material.

You will also need to fit all of this within the template for the size of book you have chosen to publish. Lulu.com is very helpful with templates, and it is not as daunting as it sounds. You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to pull this off.

Finally, in formatting, don’t forget to include a copyright page. Take a look at the formatting of the books that you own for reference…but also remember, this is YOUR book. You don’t have to go by the rules here. Just make sure people can read it.

4. What About the Cover?
You have options here. Most of the printers will have template designs for those of you that aren’t artistically inclinded, but don’t want to seek out an artist. If you’d like to try and find an artist, you can do so by looking at Devianart (a collection of AMAZING artists of all skill levels…not always Safe for Work, though. You have been warned) or DrawingBoard.org (same about the NSFW here too…artists…gotta love ‘em). Most of these artists are struggling artists like you’re a struggling writer, so you can get some good work pretty cheap…just remember, they gotta eat too.

5. Upload Your Book and Order one!
After you have your formatting finished, simply upload your book to the site of the printer you have selected, and order a copy of it! You’ll get a fresh, crisp production copy of your book in the mail very soon. After you have checked everything over, made sure their were no spelling errors or pages that printed funny, you’re ready to market!

…but marketing is a whole different article.

Article from Lifespy.com

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