how to make a hardcover book

Signatures

april 28 @snowbaz-feda (it’s almost over?!)

“you’re my favorite up and coming author and i go to one of your signings, oh my god your handwriting is so pretty, wait did you just write your number in this book” au (not mine).

ok so baz is a pretentious prick but that’s nothing new. 

word count: 549

Simon’s bouncy today. It’s one of his most adorable, if ungraceful, qualities. But he’s dragged me to the local bookshop, the one run by our favorite old lady, Ebb, the one that I introduced him to, and the one that’s featuring the magnanimous Basilton Pitch, aka Simon’s crush (though he would never admit that). Simon’s read all of his books after stumbling across his author’s page a couple years ago. He mostly writes fantasy—merwolves, goblins, mages, and vampires—but this one’s supposed to be different. It’s just out today, and Simon’s been up since dawn, dragging me out of a caffeinated stupor, to go buy the book and meet the guy.

“Simon, I love you dearly, but I’m going to have to hit you over the head with the nearest book if you don’t stop that,” I yawn.

“Sorry, sorry. I’m just, I’m so excited, Penny. And nervous. What do I say? What do I do? I mean, this is Basilton Pitch. He’s probably expecting a sonnet or something. Oh god, Pen, what if he hates me?”

“He won’t hate you, Si. He’ll sign your book, you’ll say something awkward about how much you love him, and then the hordes of women behind us will close in and I’ll be forced to pour hot coffee on them to get us out of here.” Some girl at the shelf beside me scoffs at my comment. I’m not wrong. Basilton Pitch is gorgeous. It’s why half his readers started on his books.

We get to the front of the line and Simon’s clutching the book so hard I think it’s going to break. It’s gorgeous—hardcover and embossed—but I try not to pay attention to the way he holds it.

Simon holds out the book, eyes wide, mouth dropped open, to the one and only. “Who should I make this out to?”

He sounds just as posh as I would expect him to through his writing (of course I read it, Simon would kill me if I didn’t), and glances between the two of us expectantly.

“Simon Snow. It’s for Simon.”

Basilton meets Simon’s eyes and grins slowly. “Snow spelled just how I think it is?”

Simon nods.

He opens the front cover and tilts the book—he’s left-handed I notice—and pens out a message. He writes what appears to be more than a simple sentence, and finishes it with a signature.

“I just—I love your writing,” Simon gushes when Basilton hands him the book back. “I’ve read it all.”

Basilton smiles again. “I’m glad to hear that. I hope you like this one, too. It’s been a pleasure.” Basilton holds out his hand and Simon shakes it, shocked.

We pay Ebb, who insists on a family and friends discount and gives us both large hugs, and on the way home, Simon cracks open the book.

For Simon Snow,

May your name be a testament to yourself and your originality. I will never meet another Snow like you.

Enjoy the read,

Basilton Pitch

The note is finished with a series of numbers that make Simon’s face go bright red.

“Simon, is that a phone number?”

“I—well, yeah.”

I cock one eyebrow but say nothing else. Apparently, those of Basilton’s readers who began because of his beauty never knew he batted for the other team.

Title: “The Spooky Truth with Dr. Jones,” (½)

Summary: Emma Swan is a podcaster looking for a semi-interesting story. Dr. Killian Jones is a paranormal investigator who doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Emma Swan absolutely does not want to write this story—but it seems to be writing itself. A CS Black Tapes AU.

Notes: This delightful little AU was 100% inspired by The Black Tapes, a seriously awesome fictional horror podcast that you can listen to for free. Which you should. Right now. I’d like to thank and/or notify a # of awesome people who helped with this: @seastarved @zengoalie @ofshipsandswans @abbadons-little-witch @the-reason-to-sail-home @businesscasualprincess @swanandapirate (who also wrote a podcast AU, so if you like this, you should probably check it out). Also on Ao3.


+ Honestly, the worst thing about this job is the constant threat of, “You have a face too pretty for radio,” every time she has to conduct an interview with some bland fuck-boy that the country has suddenly decided is worth her time. If not for the occasionally tedious subject matter and overeager interviewees, it would be damn near perfect.

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shinis-sandbox  asked:

DUDE did you make a physical copy of your fic??? That's so COOL, and also how??? Share your secrets!

I did! I wanted to have it to hold and remind myself that I can make stuff. When its all online its easy to forget, so now its on my desk next to my book of fanart. 

I had to reformat it as a document and what not but it was pretty easy to make it into a hardcover book using Lulu.com 

You can get the cover to be a whole crap ton fancier I just didnt because that wasnt the part that really mattered to me. I would like to do it with all of my major fics eventually and use the covers that people designed for them. 

On the back its written

 “May this serve as a physical reminder of all that you’ve accomplished already and be a symbol of everything you will accomplish still. This story gave you a community and no matter where it goes or how it changes this book will remind you of what it was, as well as what it did for you.

This is not that last time you will hold your own story. It is only a matter of how long you are willing to wait till next time.

This is a story of finding love in the rain.”

Also I just wrote this, which is probably the Evanstan half of the opening chapter of that Evanstan and Stucky crossover fic…before Seb disappears and gets replaced with Bucky…

##

“Well, you asked him if he knew how many guys you’d hooked up with on camera…”

“Oh no,” Sebastian said. “No. Tell me I stopped there. No.”

“And, and this is kind of adorable, he did that stupid attractive embarrassed pink-cheeked thing and sort of laughed…”

Sebastian put an arm over his eyes, leaning against the wall. The wall did nothing to help, so he slid down it and sprawled theatrically on his face on the ground. Chris Evans had laughed. Had been embarrassed for him. “I’m a horrible person.”

“Totally. Completely unlovable. We all hate you.” Anthony sat down beside him, poked him in the shoulder. “Don’t think I mean that, kid.”

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#bookreadhappyhour June Book Photo Challenge••
Day 4: Books & Sweets••
June Bibliophile Challenge••
Day 4: Hardcover vs Paperback.

Sadly I cannot eat these sweets 😕 but they make great #bookstagram props anyway haha. And perhaps if I were made of money I’d be shouting “HARDCOVERS!” from the very top of my lungs, but as that is not the case I love how much more affordable and easy to lug around paperbacks are. 😊❤️📚

COLLEGE: The Dean’s Son [M]

Member: Jungkook | Genre: Smut | Word Count: 2.4k  |  ©

Parts: Teaser | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 [Complete]

Let’s just hope you can get an extension on that paper.

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anonymous asked:

Do you know anything about how to make a custom book of shadows? I'm thinking of making one. Can you tell me everything you know about it, especially what type of paper is best if I'm going to be both drawing and writing directly in it?

Hi there my friend! 

Making your own grimoire/book of shadows is such a wonderful idea, since you can enchant it while making it. 

There are tons of YouTube tutorials about how to make books & bookbinding: 

As for paper, you can use any kind of paper you want - but keep in mind what you may want to add to your grimoire. If you want to paint, draw or write with fine liners, paste things into your book, you’re going to want a heavier duty paper than printer paper. Your local art store should have different kinds of paper you can try out and buy. Look closely at the thickness of your pages. Is ghosting okay with you?(when writing with pen or ink is visible a little on the other side of the page) If you use handmade paper, keep in mind that the pages may be a little harder to use with certain writing/drawing tools. 

There are a lot of colors and sizes of card stock paper as well, and printmaking paper options. 

Explore your options and good luck my friend!! 

8

Cinderella: A Dream Come True is a GREAT Disney ‘Art Of’ Book

(…and Amazon is selling it for less than a dollar!)

Cinderella: A Dream Come True may only be 8" tall, but it is PACKED with GORGEOUS CONCEPT ART and insightful behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

The first half of the 160-page hardcover is a delightful re-telling of Walt Disney’s Cinderella. What makes this 'storybook’ section so special are the illustrations. The book uses crystal-clear stills from the film, Mary Blair’s pretty pastel concept art and various pieces of pencil animation and storyboard excerpts to bring the text to life.

Reading this half of the book reminded me of the magnificent bonus feature on the Beauty and the Beast DVD that showed the entire film using only unfinished animation, concept art and storyboards. It’s amazing to see how much of the film’s final emotion is there even at the earliest stages.

The second half of Cinderella: A Dream Come True – the making of the film – is the REAL treasure here. It is everything an animation fan wants in a 'making of’ book. Page after page of BEAUTIFUL paintings, pastels, pencil animation and charcoal renderings – all created by the classic Disney Studios artists while they were at the height of their abilities. What’s more, there are images in here that have never been re-printed anywhere else!

The book also includes lots of funny and fascinating anecdotes by the film’s cast and crew. Damned near every one of Walt’s famous 'Nine Old Men’ gets a chance to share their experiences. Also included is a nice section about the songwriting team of Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman. As a Disney nerd, it’s not often that I come across a book containing info I’ve never read before. Cinderella: A Dream Come True brings the new – and lots of it.

Here’s the crazy part: AMAZON IS CURRENTLY SELLING COPIES FOR UNDER A DOLLAR!

2

How I Take Notes: Sources for Thesis Writing

Tools: Post-it Flags, Uni Propus or Mildliner highlighters, Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners, Faber-Castell pencil, and Paper-Mate Ink Joy gel 0.7, Moleskine lined large hardcover notebook

Method: As a headline, I write the text that I am reading and the author.  If I am reading one article/story out of an anthology, then I also write the larger collection and its editors.  This makes it easier when I need to create a citation. If the book is divided into chapters, I make the chapter titles subheadings.  To me, this makes my notes more organized and I can figure out which portion of the book I am talking about.  

While taking notes, sometime I write little blurbs to myself, which I indent and underline using my stablio.  Usually I do this to explore how the text relates to my paper or question how an interesting fact can be used.  Other indentions are used (not underlined) to tell myself to do something in the paper or when the text elaborates on a point and I paraphrase.  I rarely highlight my notes unless I make a note to myself to do something while writing my paper and I don’t want to forget to do the thing.

Within the books themselves, I underline or simply mark in the margins where the section I am using ends and begins.  I use pencil because most of the books I use are library books.  However, if the book is my own, I will use a highlighter.  I also jot down a definition to a word I may not know using a pencil.  I use tabs in places where I know I will be using a direct quote for easy access.

Pro Tip: Always write down page numbers for everything, even if you’re paraphrasing or don’t really feel that you may use that information.  If you write it down, write the page number.  You may not have access to the book or article down the road, or simply don’t want to comb through the entire work to find that one spot you were talking about in your notes.

Book Ask
  1. What book are you currently reading?
  2. What book did you recently finish?
  3. What’s a book that’s been on your to-read list for a long time?
  4. What’s the next book you’re hoping to read?
  5. Is there a book you own, but aren’t planning on reading?
  6. What was your favourite series as a kid? Would you still read it now?
  7. What’s your favourite series now?
  8. Fantasy or sci-fi?
  9. What’s a book you want to buy?
  10. Have you ever judged a book by its cover?
  11. Have you ever bought a book because of who the author was?
  12. Have you ever read a celebrity memoir? If so, whose was it?
  13. Are you a fan of autobiographies?
  14. Fiction or non-fiction?
  15. Favourite fiction genre?
  16. Favourite non-fiction genre?
  17. Historical fiction: yea or nay?
  18. Do you read the book or watch the movie first?
  19. Paperback or hardcover?
  20. Do you read e-books?
  21. How many bookshelves do you have?
  22. How do you organize your books?
  23. Do you prefer borrowing books from friends, borrowing books from a library, or buying them?
  24. How willing are you to lend your books to other people?
  25. In what condition do you keep your books?
  26. What’s your favourite book?
  27. What books can always make you cry?
  28. What books can always make you smile?
  29. What’s the biggest book you’ve ever read, and how many pages did it have?
  30. What character do you connect with the most?
Say it Again

Characters: Keith, Shiro
Pairing(s): Shiro/Keith
Warnings: potential minor spoilers for s2 (but probably not)
Notes: Sheith Week Unlimited - Day 3: One Last Time, can be read as a post-war future fic or earth au

Read on AO3

Summary:
“Say it again?” Shiro asks, flopping onto their couch and draping himself across Keith’s lap.  Keith smiles fondly down at him, placing his book aside in favour of running fingers through that tuft of hair.

“Say what again?” Keith asks, feigning innocence.

“You know what.” Keith smiles, brushing Shiro’s hair back before leaning down to capture Shiro’s mouth in a kiss.

Keep reading

From Another Time: Chapter 7

Read it here. Sneak Peak:

“Stay back, akuma!” Alya held up a hardcover library edition of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. “I will brain you with this if you come any closer. This thing makes an excellent weapon.”

“Okay, obviously I’m you and not an akuma,” Older Alya scoffed. “And second, stop trying to justify buying those massive books. You already have all the trades!”

Alya swung the book to make a point. Older Alya spun and knocked it out her hand. “You can’t use collector’s items as weapons. That’s how we get damages.”

“Who the hell are you?”

“I’m you but smarter, hotter, and ready to make you a very happy Ladyblogger,” Older Alya answered with a grin.

dandellionprincess  asked:

Hi, I am looking to make my own leather journal. This is the first time I've done anything with leather or bookbinding other than tooling and some light pyrography. I'm basically an infant when it comes to this with no experience or idea where to start. I was looking into making a hardcover, but I'm not sure how to attach the done sewn-together signatures to the leather/spine/idk so it will still turn and be flexible. What kind of leather is good too? Any other advice for a newbie? Thanks! :)

Hello there,

Thin leather is very important for joint flexibility. Goat or pig leather will do, if you can find vegetable or half tanned leather, all the better.

Ideally, you can leave some space between the book back and the back end of the cover in order to be sure it will open properly. Basically, when you insert the cords in the cover, pull it a bit. This bit should be equal to to thickness of the cover or more. It’s very dependent on the thickness of the leather you’ll be using and how the endpapers are going to be attached. You can leave no space at all and still achieve a flexible joint but you have to be sure everything is in order.

I’m not sure I’m helping with what I wrote but nevertheless, the best advice I can give if you have little experience is to experiment furiously. You can sew small books that you can give as presents if you don’t like them yourself. Try everything that seems like a good idea. Fail and learn. Otherwise go to a master who can teach you and you can save yourself of disappointment.

The problem with learning by yourself is that experience is the key that unlocks all the doors. For example a few years ago I read a book about bookbinding techniques and honestly, didn’t understand almost anything. I tried some things and failed miserably. A few years later I read the book again and it was like I was understanding it with my hands, I knew what to do. It didn’t matter that I understood the sentences before.

Mostly, have fun! Feel free to write anytime,

Stopan

To play: answer the prompts and tag your friends to do the same. Optional: use #microreview and check out @microreviews for “rules,” reviews, and more!

@the-forest-library tagged me - thank you!

Pick a book you own but haven’t read yet: 


The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

How did you come by it? Given by a friend? Bought from a recommendation? Compelled by the cover?


It was like 50 cents at a thrift store and was a very nice hardcover edition. I have enjoyed the musical before, so I was interested in purchasing it.

Quote the first sentence(s):


“It was the evening on which MM Debienne and Poligny, the managers of the Opera, were giving a farewell gala performance to make their retirement.”

Realistically, will you ever read it?


Possibly. It’s a classic and I do enjoy the stage version, so it seems like this might be a good thing to read.Tagging- anyone who wants to do it!
INFP Gothic

Yelling. Everyone is yelling. Your mother. Your father. Your brother and sister. Your aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. Strangers, even. You don’t actually see it happening but it is a vision of the future. You know confrontation is looming as each second passes and you know there’s nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. 

You’re invited to a friend’s party and there’s a lot of people you don’t know. Your friend is nowhere to be found. They don’t own any pets. The wall is your best friend. Next thing you know, you have become one with the wall. The partygoers all talk and smile at each other while all you do is watch, unnoticed. 

It’s time to have others hear your voice. You hesitate because you don’t know how they’ll respond the ideas that have been brewing inside for so long. The emotions that stir the biggest passions in your heart. Your voice is heard but it didn’t make a sound. 

Someone has taken an interest in you. You want to open up and bare your soul to them and let them see you without your walls placed up, but you can’t see the hearts and minds of others, only your own. 

Hardcover Books. Candy wrappers. Clothes. Notes you wrote to yourself from long ago with smudged letters all lie in piles on the floor. Diaries, hair dye, and lost items lie under the far unknown reaches of the area below your bed. Your closest is full of the unknown. Spiders, roaches, husks of the bugs that came and starved lurk in your closet. You sneeze at the piles of dust and you know you need to clean but you never know where to start and most of all, what you’ll find. 

It’s happening. Their eyes are narrow, their nostrils are flaring, the loudness of their voice is so distracting you can’t hear what they’re saying as they yell at you, pointing out your every flaw, your every mistake. All eyes are on you. You feel small, insignificant. You want to take your actions back, to rewind time to a better place. All you can do is run, run until you reach the place where the confrontations are no more. 

Harry Potter Series Swedish Vocabulary Part Three

ryktena (n): the rumors

att flämta (v): to gasp (in this context; there are other ways to use this word)

att darra (v): to tremble

att nicka (v): to nod

häpnadsväckande (adj): astonishing

spetsnäsduk (n): lace handkerchief

att snörvla (v): to snuffle, to sniff

visare (n): hands (of a clock)

klokt (adj): wise, sensible

att anförtro (v): to entrust

motvilligt (adj): reluctant

mullrande (adj): rumbling

billyktor (n): headlights (literally car lamps)

jättelik (adj): gigantic, enormous, colossal

grensle (adj): astraddle, astride

trassliga (adj): entangled

yvigt (adj): bushy, wavy and all “woo woo” when talking about hair, according to a Swede.

väldiga (adj): huge

ett filtbylte (n): a bundled blanket (literally a blanket bundle)

att förstöra (v): to destroy

en blixt (n): a lightning bolt

att få det överstökat (v): to get it over with

famnen (n): arms, embrace

tog Harry i famnen, took Harry into his arms

lurviga (adj): shaggy

rivig (adj): lively

stickiga (adj): prickly, stubby

polisonger (n): whiskers (on a person)

plötsligt (adj): sudden

ett tjut (n): a shriek, a yell, a howl

sårad (adj): wounded

fläckig (adj): spotted, stained

NOTE: At this point Hagrid is talking and the text, like in the English version, conveys his accent by changing how words are spelled to be more phonetic. Å in this case means och, and e means är

sorgligt (adj): sadly

skärp dig: get it together, literally tighten you[rself]

att upptäcka (v): to discover, to detect

översta trappsteget: the top step 

häftigt (adj): in this case they mean heavily or violently, but this word is very often used in everyday speech to mean cool or awesome

kvävd (adj): smothered, muffled 

ljuskulor (n): lightbulbs

att ila (v): to rush

bläcksvarta (adj): ink-black

tjuvnyp (n): a sneaky pinch

knuffar (n): shoves 

***********************************************************************

Pages 23-29

Welcome to my new vocabulary list series! I will be going through the Harry Potter books and making vocabulary lists with the peculiar and magical words that make the HP world so enchanting!

Any requests, comments, suggestions (especially on how to make the lists more visually appealing and clear), please send them to me in a private message! I love to hear from people :) Like this list? Let me know!

In order to read this book, it is recommended that you already know how things like verb conjugation and adjective agreements work in Swedish. If you want some posts made about that, let me know!

If you would like to read along, I am using Harry Potter och De Vises Sten, hardcover, översättning av Lena Fries-Gedin, 1997. You can use any version, however, as I’ve listed the words in the order they appear, so ultimately page number does not matter.

End of chapter one! Good job and happy reading, everyone!

momomochihyung  asked:

Hello! I was wondering if you have any advice/guide on how to make artbooks?

Hey momomochihyung! Sorry about the belatedness of getting to your ask!

Hmm, your question is a bit broad/general, and I’m unsure of your level of experience in terms of making things for print (I am assuming you are making a printed artbook). But we’ll do our best!

*** Side note for anyone submitting questions, the more info you can give us and the more specific your question is, the more helpful we can be!

Without knowing where you’re coming from, the best advice we can give is around your process and approach. As with any project, planning is number one!

Most of the time, it starts with asking yourself questions to define your project. That helps you to outline what you need and what you should research to help fill in any gaps. Here are some things to consider:

  • What kind of artbook do you want to have? Are you collecting existing work into a book, or creating all new work just for this book? Is there a theme? Are they sketches? Finished works? Is it just you? Is it a collaboration? etc. This mostly affects your planning/scheduling of creating your book, but can also affect production (e.g. colour vs black and white, printing it yourself versus finding a professional printer, etc.).
  • Do you have any specific goals? e.g. this art book is for some purpose or application (Selling? Fundraising? Portfolio? Have it for a specific event? Display like a fancy coffee table book? Need to mail it?) Is there a deadline/date? This may affect things like size, quantity being produced, other production factors, etc.
  • Based on your plans (and the amount of art you have or plan to have), what is the format of your book? What size (dimensions) and number of pages?
  • What’s your budget? What can you afford? Where will you get the money? How much can you do yourself (laying out, printing) and how much do you need help to do (or to pay others to do)?

Now set your plan into action!

The following is not necessarily in order, since you’ll find you can’t necessarily complete some parts independently, but covers areas for consideration as you turn your dream into reality!

RESEARCH!

For inspiration: Look online, on your own bookshelves, at events. Get ideas and get inspired by other artbooks.

For practical application: Learn and fill in the gaps in your knowledgebase in terms of production of your artbook.

http://nomediakings.org/doityourself/doityourself_book_press.html
This is a great article to learn about self-publishing/book production and get you started on making your own books (with little illustrations too!):

We also have lots of resources in these tags:
http://aatoast.tumblr.com/tagged/printing
http://aatoast.tumblr.com/tagged/file+preparation (more specific)

We have a self-publishing tag that is even more relevant but for some reason results are not showing up on tumblr :/ http://aatoast.tumblr.com/tagged/self-publishing
But most relevant things are all tagged under printing too. :)

The lovelovehill tumblr also has lots of great info for self-publishing (focused usually on comics but you can extend it easily to other kinds of books, including artbooks!) http://lovelovehill.tumblr.com/
http://aatoast.tumblr.com/post/44633851002/digital-prepress-and-bookmaking-presentation-may-2011

PROJECT SCOPE

Basically, this about what’s involved in your project, and two of the biggest components are time and money.

Figure out your schedule. Workback from when you need the artbook done. Include time for finishing your art, proofreading/proofing (making sure it’s error free!) and production. Don’t forget shipping if you’re printing it at a non-local printer! Always build in extra time wherever you can, and target at least a week or 2 ahead of when you actually need the final book. You may not have all the details yet but roughing it out from the beginning helps a lot.

Figure out your costs, and where you will get the money. Your budget will of course affect the production of the final product. For the vast majority of our followers, you will probably create the artbook with digital printing. Talk to a printer and get some quotes early on, so that you don’t end up planning some extravagant thing that you can’t afford to produce! Many artists today are also considering crowdfunding sites like IndieGogo and Kickstarter as options to secure funding, or to do preorders of some sort to make sure they have the money. We won’t go into details on that here since it’s a huge topic in and of itself, and there are many resources available about using those sites that you can find via Google :)

PRODUCTION DETAILS

Plan out your book in advance. Make thumbnails of your pages, mockups/dummies of the physical book if you can so you know how everything will be laid out / how the pages will be imposed.

Check out printers/suppliers. See our resources page for a number of printers, including ones that do books! Note that we’ve organized printers generally based on what they are best known for, but many printers can handle books, depending on what you’re looking for. (We also haven’t used every single printer on the list so it’s more for informational/starting point reference!)

Many local print shops can print books. It depends on what you’re looking for, e.g. binding (saddle stitched, perfect bound, hardcover/casebound), full color versus black and white sketches, quantity etc. Working with a local printer also makes it much easier for you to see print samples, check out papers, ask questions, etc. 

There are also lots of online short run digital book printers, like Lulu, as well as photo book specialists like blurb. The benefit of some of these printers is that the process may be more straightforward and you may not need to have specialized knowledge of or access to design programs (e.g. many of these companies may offer their own template system or workarounds). Note that the prices may be higher and sizes/binding/paper stock selection may be more limited since they have to standardize the product.

In the resources page, we include some well-known non-Canadian printers that take online orders, though we try to highlight Canadian printers as much as possible and always recommend you support a local business wherever possible! And of course this isn’t a comprehensive list - there are way more print shops and suppliers than we have listed out there!

Hope this helps! Good luck with your artbook project! :)

Self-Publishing: A Breakdown

Self-publishing can be really confusing and intimidating when you are trying to get started. There are lots of things to consider! Do you want a print copy of your book? How much money are you willing to spend? Can you edit, design, and market your book yourself, or do you need outside help? These decisions are big and complicated enough. But once you make them, the real fun starts—you have to decide where you want to get the services you need. There are dozens of online self-publishing retailers, and all of them come at the problem from a slightly different angle. Let’s try and make this a little simpler.

Basically, the world of self-publishing businesses can be broken down into three markets: print-on-demand, e-book publishing, and ancillary services for self-publishing authors. I will explain what these three different services entail, as well as what you should think about before you use them.

Print-on-demand

These websites allow authors to do what used to be considered “vanity publishing”—self-publish a small run of print books. This is a pricey option and definitely not for everyone. If you just want a single copy of a book for yourself or a family member, this is a nice option, but if you are thinking about seriously creating your own book, you need a serious chunk of change. For a 100-copy run of 100-page trade paperbacks, you’re looking at $300 out of your own pocket.

Before using print-on-demand

  • Consider where you want your book to end up. Who is going to get your book? Is it a small run for family and friends? Are you trying to get your book into actual bookstores? Each of these questions will influence how many copies you make and how much you pay for them.
  • Consider how many copies you want. If you want a large number of books, you’re going to need quite a bit of money, even for small paperbacks.
  • Consider what you want the final product to look like. Most print-on-demand services offer a gigantic selection of hardcover and paperback styles, varying in price. They can also offer different cover and binding styles, so you really need to think about what the final product should look like, as well as how much you can afford to spend.
  • Consider formatting, editing, and design.  Do you know how to use formatting programs like InDesign or Publisher? Are you willing to do that work yourself? Do you feel confident in your copyediting and proofing skills? Can you create attractive covers? Do you know anything about fonts? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no,’ you might need to find a graphic designer and/or a freelance editor.

E-Books

E-books are the new big thing in self-publishing. They offer almost no risk to the author and to the retailer, so it is a cheap, easy option for people who have an audience for their book but no desire to go through the traditional publishing process. However, the e-book market is highly saturated with badly designed, badly edited books, so potential authors really need to put time into their work and ensure it looks as good as possible before putting it online.

Before publishing an e-book

  • Consider formatting and editing.  Just like with print publishing, e-books have to be formatted and edited by someone. Many e-book retailers offer editing services, so if you do not feel confident taking care of these steps yourself, you can find someone to do it for you (for a price).
  • Consider design.  This one gets its own bullet point for e-books because an attractive cover is everything. People aren’t going to buy a book that looks like it was designed by a third-grader. Also, e-books offer their own special design challenges because of the file formats they use. Make sure to upload your potential book onto some kind of device and check it over before hitting that submit button, because the pagination can get screwed up in the file conversion process.
  • Consider your synopsis. People are only going to buy your book if it sounds interesting, so work really hard on your book’s summary to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.
  • Consider marketing. If you want your book to make any money, you have to advertise it somehow. Do your friends know about your book? Does your family? How are you going to get people outside of that circle to buy your book? Do you have a Facebook page? A Tumblr? A Twitter? Is the first book in your series cheap or free?

Ancillary Services

These are services that help self-publishing authors access resources offered at a traditional publishing house, like professional designers and editors. None of them are cheap, but if you are unsure how to do these things yourself or where to start, they are a big help. For examples, see Bibliocrunch and FastPencil.

Before using an ancillary service

  • Figure out how much you can do yourself. If you are a terrible proofer, a professional should definitely go over your work to avoid embarrassment. If you can’t use Photoshop or InDesign, you might need a designer to help you out.
  • Figure out how much you are willing to pay. Freelance editors and designers don’t come cheap. Packages through actual companies like FastPencil or Bibliocrunch are not cheap, but they can take a lot of the hassle and worry out of self-publishing.

In General

Think carefully before choosing any of the services listed above. Consider what you want to do with the final product and who the audience is. Remember to do what will please you as an author—after all, that is the main advantage of self-publishing. 

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word count: 1262

warnings: swearing, drug references




Floorboards creaking under your boots, you cringed at how eerily quiet the house was. Making your way down the long hall, you couldn’t help but notice the multiple family photo’s featuring smiling families and beloved pets. Rapping lighting on the last door of the hall, you quickly turned the knob and pushed the door open. It was a rather elaborate bedroom, seemingly untouched by the destruction of the world outside. Walking in, you couldn’t help but note the floor to ceiling bookshelf, packed tightly with literature of all sorts. Crouching down, you pulled out several books, from the lower shelves, stacking them beside you. As you were scanning the back of a hardcover, the floor behind you creaked. Dropping the book, you spun around to see Daryl lower his knife and stepping into the room. He whistled lowly at the bed, before walking over and flopping onto it.

“Fuck me, think we can fit this in the car?” You shook your head slowly before turning back to pick up another book. Pulling it out, the shine of plastic caught your eye. Ducking down, you reached in and retrieved a rather large ziploc bag containing green buds and a packet of rolling paper.

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