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?'s for the Members of CR > Print on Demand Question

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Nerd-Light-Books (nerdlightbooks) | 28 comments Hi all! I was wondering if any of the authors here have ever used a "print on demand" form of self publication? The author I edit for is really hoping to do it, but she needs more info. It looks like if she used Amazon's service she'd have to charge a crazy amount for a book that's just $4.99 digitally. I would love any feedback you can provide. Thanks!


message 2: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 474 comments I'm doing createspace I didn't have to charge 4.99, they have things where you can do it yourself and its free. if its just digital did she look at smashwords?


message 3: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments Well, you HAVE to get into their 49.99 program to get the price of the books down. It makes them MUCH cheaper.

Has she enrolled in that yet?

Splitter


message 4: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Oh lord, don't even get me started on the mechanics of this!


message 5: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Me either!!! GAG ME..... this is the main reason I searched for a publisher for sooo long.....

Oh please, let me go back to my corner......


Nerd-Light-Books (nerdlightbooks) | 28 comments She's already published and sold many copies digitally on Smashwords and Amazon. But she's hoping to find a way to make the book available to print without the book costing $20.00 a book. Jenn and Cambria, it sounds like you don't think it's worth it, huh?


message 7: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments What type of book? How long? What size pages?

Simple is cheaper. Illustration make the book larger. 11pt font is readable. See what different sizes of book cost (sometimes, a larger page costs less).

I can't remember, but I had a 320 or so page book and the cost was well under $10 to me. (about 80K words)

What do you think is making it so expensive?

Splitter


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) I use Lulu.com (because I'm not American and I need the European sizes Lulu provides). There's a "cost calculator" somewhere on the site. A POD book will cost more than an e-book for sure, because the printing is what brings the cost up. But she can decide the price and how much she wants to earn - like, she might want to earn the most from the ebooks and leave the print book at POD cost or minimal earnings for her.
Lulu has NO set up fees. And if you don't want to order a copy to see how it comes out, you can just make it public. For an extra 25$ they send it to Amazon and other markets. Or you can add the link to the print edition on the Smashwords page - the Smashwords site is down this weekend, but you can check how I did it on my profile come Monday.
(http://www.smashwords.com/profile/vie...
go to the Books of the Immortals - Air or Fire, which have a print version, or Soul Stealers, same)


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I used CreateSpace (Amazon's POD publisher) to publish my paperback. Here is a link, which will let you put in a list price of your choosing, then you select a couple of other details (no. of pages and size of the book), and it will give you an idea of royalties.

I know the author wants to know if she can charge a low price for her book with Amazon, but with this calculator, she can tell if the royalty amount with her chosen list price would be negative. If it's less than $0, then obviously she has to set a higher list price.

https://www.createspace.com/Products/...

I hope that helps. It is wise to upgrade to the Pro-Plan, for about $40, because I think you can make your list price cheaper, as C.S. Splitter said. Also, the paperback will be available in far more online stores, such as Barnes and Noble, automatically.

CreateSpace is a good service, in my opinion, and I can help with questions your friend might have.

Thanks, Mona


message 10: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Mona wrote: "I used CreateSpace (Amazon's POD publisher) to publish my paperback. Here is a link, which will let you put in a list price of your choosing, then you select a couple of other details (no. of pages..."

Mona, thanks so much for providing this valuable information!!!


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Jenn. I know the whole print on demand thing is hard, so I just want to help. It's really worth it, in the end - you can do so much more with print than just ebooks - but it's confusing! :)


message 12: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Mona wrote: "Thanks, Jenn. I know the whole print on demand thing is hard, so I just want to help. It's really worth it, in the end - you can do so much more with print than just ebooks - but it's confusing! :)"

Girl, with this Christmas book, my respect for indies grew a hundred fold!!!


message 13: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments I'm signing up with LSI for mine (I hope!) as it's better if you're UK-based but they tell me it's also a lot more difficult to get it right so the trick is to do the proof on Createspace and then use the file for LSI as Cr Sp proofs are a lot cheaper.

Pricing looks expensive though - esp as in the UK average price for a hard copy is 8.99 and managing to get your book produced for less than that looks like something of an undertaking....

Mona, did you consider LS or go straight for CrSp? And are you US based or elsewhere?
JAC


message 14: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Ahhhh so many knowledgeable peeps here!! You have my respect for this stuff for sure!!!


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

J.A. wrote: "I'm signing up with LSI for mine (I hope!) as it's better if you're UK-based but they tell me it's also a lot more difficult to get it right so the trick is to do the proof on Createspace and then ..."

Do you mean Lightning Source? I hadn't really heard of them, to be honest, so I went straight for CreateSpace. I had released the Kindle edition of my book in February 2011, and I just wanted to stick with Amazon, as it's what I knew. Also, I'd heard good things about CreateSpace.

I'm in Australia, so obviously there are attractions for using companies outside the U.S. Lightning Source has an Australian office, I noticed. The main disadvantage of using a U.S. printer is the cost of postage when I buy copies of my book - it's so high! The book itself doesn't cost much, but the postage! But, I guess Australia is in the middle of nowhere. :)


message 16: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Mona - I did the "US edition" of some of my books on Lulu, and it costs ME a fortune to have my books printed and shipped to Italy, but hopefully it's cheaper for US customers.
JAC - I considered all of the above (CreateSpace, Lightning Source and Lulu )back in 2009 - LS is the most expensive, as I was told in my workshop for publishers. I chose Lulu because when I do A5 comics and graphic novels it ships from France and it's cheaper. I know LS is very costly, especially if you have to do another version... besides, two years ago it didn't ship to Italy, so I ticked it off the list for that reason! ;-)


message 17: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Thanks for weighing in for our international members, barb!


message 18: by Bill (new)

Bill Talcott (billtalcott) | 80 comments So, through Create Space I can make my book available in print without coughing up anything up front? Amazon just produces a printed copy when one is ordered and then take their cut? It's almost scary.

And also, Does one double spaced page of my word file equal a page in the book that is produced? I went to Create space to use their royalty calculator and am trying to figure out if I calculated the amount of pages correctly. Thanks


message 19: by Patti (new)

Patti Roberts | 123 comments Mona wrote: "J.A. wrote: "I'm signing up with LSI for mine (I hope!) as it's better if you're UK-based but they tell me it's also a lot more difficult to get it right so the trick is to do the proof on Createsp..."

Mona wrote: "J.A. wrote: "I'm signing up with LSI for mine (I hope!) as it's better if you're UK-based but they tell me it's also a lot more difficult to get it right so the trick is to do the proof on Createsp..."

I'm in Australia too and the postage thing.....Horrible. But I found Create Space easy to use once you got the hang of it and would recommend them to anyone wanting to print. Does anyone know of a company that has POD in Australia??


message 20: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Bill, depends on the size of your book. UK ones tend to be 5"x8" and my very rough estimate is that there's 350-400 words per page whereas my A4 page has up to 500 depending on font size and spacing.

Patti, LSI has POD in Australia I think - at least I had to sign a POD agreement for them.

Barb, I know there are some costs on LSI that CS don't have but I thought it all pretty much equalled out in the end? Will have to check that if not, but prob will have an account on both if I can. But one of the reasons I wantedto go with them is the Espresso Machines - there's one just near where I work and if I'm with LS and want to buy one I can go order it, they'll print and bind it on the spot and in 20mins I'll have it with no postage costs and no delay. To me, that's something worth having...Don't know where else they have them though.
JAC


message 21: by Patti (new)

Patti Roberts | 123 comments J.A. wrote: "Bill, depends on the size of your book. UK ones tend to be 5"x8" and my very rough estimate is that there's 350-400 words per page whereas my A4 page has up to 500 depending on font size and spacin..."

thanks for that. I will go check it out now :))


message 22: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Thanks everyone for all the fab news and helping each other out!


message 23: by Patti (new)

Patti Roberts | 123 comments J.A. wrote: "Bill, depends on the size of your book. UK ones tend to be 5"x8" and my very rough estimate is that there's 350-400 words per page whereas my A4 page has up to 500 depending on font size and spacin..."

Do LS give you a new ISBN number? Can you use the same files for the cover etc that you used to upload on create space or do you have to start over? just a couple of questions for when you have time :)


message 24: by Bill (last edited Nov 19, 2011 06:19PM) (new)

Bill Talcott (billtalcott) | 80 comments I think I'm going to try Create Space and see what happens. I've had a few people ask if they could get a printed copy of my book. In the future I would like to be able to tell them they can. I can also post back here with my experience. With nothing to pay up front I have nothing to lose. There will be a big difference in price between the printed edition and the ebook editions.


message 25: by Patti (new)

Patti Roberts | 123 comments Bill wrote: "I think I'm going to try Create Space and see what happens. I've had a few people ask if they could get a printed copy of my book. In the future I would like to be able to tell them they can. I can..."

i thought create space was very easy to use. Very straight forward.


message 26: by Barbara (last edited Nov 19, 2011 10:17PM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Bill wrote: "So, through Create Space I can make my book available in print without coughing up anything up front? Amazon just produces a printed copy when one is ordered and then take their cut? It's almost sc..."

Bill, books are single-spaced. I printed one of my novels with 1,5 and it looks awful (and pricey! ;-)), luckily I ordered my copy and corrected the spacing before putting it out there! :-)

JAC - I've been told of the "espresso machines", but the whole process seems so complicated with LS! ;-)

Patti - ISBN is only one of the many tracing numbers for book. You don't really need it (except for some distributionchannels on Smashwords) - not on Amazon or other places.


message 27: by Patti (new)

Patti Roberts | 123 comments Barbara wrote: "Bill wrote: "So, through Create Space I can make my book available in print without coughing up anything up front? Amazon just produces a printed copy when one is ordered and then take their cut? I..."

Thank you for that Barbara.LS looks tricky compared to Create Space. I'm not sure if i should bother with it??


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi, I just wanted to comment on a few things.

First, here's a link to an article called "Self-publising a book: 25 things you need to know." It's a bit long, but it helped me quite a bit when I was working this stuff out. It has links to various POD companies.

http://reviews.cnet.com/self-publishi...

Postage

CreateSpace is in the US, so for anyone in the US using them, postage when buying your own book is MUCH cheaper and faster. Internationally, it's much worse. Likewise for customers buying your book from Amazon - if they're in the US, they pay much less for postage.

CreateSpace costs

Bill, there isn't any up front cost when you use CreateSpace to sell your book - people will buy it from Amazon (or wherever) and they print it, take their cut, and you get a royalty. The size of your royalty depends on where people buy it from.

There are only really 2 costs for CreateSpace, when putting together your book:

1. The cost of the proof. You need to see at least one, but I think if you make changes to it, you don't need to order another proof - you can just submit new files and make the book live. I wouldn't recommend that, but that was possible a little while ago.

2. The ProPlan (about $40). This means your book will be available in other places than Amazon, automatically, and your royalty is much higher. This may not matter to you, but it is a lovely feeling to see your book available in other online stores! But really, Amazon is the main place you want to sell the book in. It's up to you.

ISBN and Library Deposit

An ISBN comes free with CreateSpace. This is very important, as it's so much easier for your book to be listed in other places with an ISBN. I'm not sure if all print copies need one, but bear in mind the "legal deposit" legislation for the National Library, and your state library, in your country.

In Australia, I had to send a copy of my book to the National Library and my State library, and they put it in their system. I think the same rules apply in other countries, but obviously you'd need to check this.

BUT, if you use the CreateSpace ISBN for free, the publication country is technically the US. If you're an international customer, and it's important to you for the publication country to be your own, then you'd need to buy an ISBN. That way you can list your own country as the place of publication. Regardless of the country of publication, I think you still need to submit your book to the libraries in your country.

Thanks, Mona


message 29: by Barbara (last edited Nov 20, 2011 12:40AM) (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Patti wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Bill wrote: "So, through Create Space I can make my book available in print without coughing up anything up front? Amazon just produces a printed copy when one is ordered and then t..."

I wouldn't bother with LS! ;-) The "Think like a publisher" workshop suggests the use of Create Space - but then, that's for American... so if you're not American you have to explore the other options! :-)

And for everyone:
You don't need to register your book with the US Copyright office unless Hollywood gets close to it! ;-) (I'm not registering my books in Italy because they're written in English, but I have considered using the e-Copyright site in the US)

ISBN
It's a private company who has monopoly of tracking book system. It's a tracking number some use and some don't. You can use the same ISBN number on all your books if you want. It's inventory tracking and it's not used much anymore. DO NOT spend money on them!

You're the publisher, make your own rules and take responsibility. Experiment while you're ahead of the curve. Choose looks, formats, whatever.

More infos on
Think Like a Publisher
(you can read if for free on Dean's blog @ www.deanwesleysmith.com)


message 30: by J.A. (last edited Nov 20, 2011 01:51AM) (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Hmmm. I can only speak for the UK but if I saw a book without an ISBN I'd know it was an amateur attempt. The advantages of listing it with Nielsen in the UK are partly that it's easier to order and their catalogue goes to libraries as well (I think). Also if you buy your own, you're the publisher of record, whereas if you use a CS one, they are.

I think it depends on what you're planning going forward. If you just want to make it all available and that lot seems like so much pedantry, then the CS version will be fine (bear in mind that you'll need an ISBN to get it into the Premium Catalogue at Smashwords, but can purchase one from them).

For me, once I've got the hang of all this and my own stuff's ticking over, I'd like to branch out and become an indie publisher myself, publishing other people's stuff. That's a long way in the future but means it's worth going the whole hog now.

Copyright - as soon as it's in print you have copyright of text, but I think registering it in the US gives you added protections which, as Barb say, you probably don't need unless you're really lucky!

Mona and Barb - some good info there, thank you! Off to read the article now. Wish there was more UK-based stuff on the net though!
JAC


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone

Copyright protection is automatic, however the "legal deposit" with your National library of a book in print, is a requirement in the US and the UK, and other countries. Having an ISBN, from whoever, will certainly help with that. I don't know about the US, but in Australia I have to submit my book to the National and State library, or I'm going against their policy.

Here is what I found on Wikipedia:

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 states that one copy of every book (which includes pamphlets, magazines and newspapers) published there must be sent to the British Library; five other libraries (the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Library of Trinity College, Dublin and the National Library of Wales) are entitled to request a free copy within one year of publication.

United States

In the United States, any copyrighted work that is published must be submitted in two copies to the United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. This mandatory deposit is not required to possess copyright of unpublished works, but a copyright registration can give an author enhanced remedies in case of a copyright violation. The Library of Congress does not retain all works.

Other countries are listed on that Wikipedia page too. Here is the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_de...

Thanks, Mona


message 32: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) You guys are so full of... Information!!!!
Thanks again for sharing!!!!


message 33: by Bill (new)

Bill Talcott (billtalcott) | 80 comments Wow! Now I'm really frightened. lol I appreciate everyone who has come here with all of this info. Jenn mentioned her respect for us Indies. Thank you. We put a lot of work into what we do but at the same time I've begun to understand what goes on in a publishing house and have earned a whole new respect for what they can do for an author. But, until some big publishing house gives me that pat on the back and picks up anything I've done, I'll continue to forge ahead with everyone else out here. ;)


message 34: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Bill wrote: "Wow! Now I'm really frightened. lol I appreciate everyone who has come here with all of this info. Jenn mentioned her respect for us Indies. Thank you. We put a lot of work into what we do but at t..."

I LOVE indie authors. Y'all do so much and get so little recognition.
It's hard to fight against both slush writers that give indies a bad name not to mention going against pub houses.
I believe indies will change the way things are done in the future .


message 35: by Nerd-Light-Books (new)

Nerd-Light-Books (nerdlightbooks) | 28 comments Thanks so much for all the info! This is a FABULOUS group! I'll admit I'm a little overwhelmed. I was just the editor on the last book. The author handled all of the publishing details. I think I'm going to pass this along to Rebecca, so she can soak it all in.


message 36: by Annetta (new)

Annetta Ribken (msnetta) | 34 comments It is overwhelming at first! I've published two book through Createspace, and it's been a real learning experience both times. I figure by the time I'm on my tenth book I'll really know what I'm doing :)

I purchased my own ISBN for the second book and am my own publisher (I went ahead and applied for the DBA as well). The most difficult part for me was formatting. What a PIA of the highest order. *sigh*

I think you have enough info to go on in this thread -- what a great community. Good luck!


message 37: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Just one final warning: do NOT go with Penguin for self-publishing! Here's an excellent post on why you better stay away from their offer, in spite of the Penguin logo: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/20...


message 38: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments Yeah, Barbara, that has gotten a LOT of negative comments in the indie/self pub corners of the internet since it was announced.

Sometimes, the desperation authors might feel gets exploited.

Splitter


message 39: by Bill (new)

Bill Talcott (billtalcott) | 80 comments C.S. Splitter wrote: "Yeah, Barbara, that has gotten a LOT of negative comments in the indie/self pub corners of the internet since it was announced.

Sometimes, the desperation authors might feel gets exploited.

Sp..."


That is why I appreciate the support everyone gives each other here at Goodreads.


message 40: by Jenn (new)

Jenn  (Greeneyez2012) Totally agree!
This is one supportive group!


message 41: by Vered (new)

Vered (vered_ehsani) About the ISBN thing - getting a number is not complicated or expensive (and I'm in Kenya where everything is complicated or expensive!), and I agree with someone's comment above that it just makes it look that much more professional.

And yes, we are very supportive *pats herself on her back*


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