Self Publishing Options.
Dachshund Luke goes to Spain by Karen Larson
Experiences in getting a book printed.
For me the book idea was easy. I am currently living in a little Spanish village with time to reflect and get to know some of the locals including the group of English ex-pats and their families. It dawned on me how strange it must have been for some of the children to leave behind their friends and all familiar to them.
This prompted me to write this little book. It is a true story about Dachshund Luke and his move from Florida to Spain. It follows his experiences as he travels on a plane and arrived in a country that not only smells different but also the humans make different noises. His life changed again when his ‘only pet’ position was challenged, and a small kitten was adopted into the household. Despite his initial misbehaving due to jealousy to his surprise, he learnt to share and made a new friend.
My hope is that this little book will be enjoyed and just possibly help with a child adjusting to new places.
Dachshund owners will love Dachshund Luke goes to Spain with over 70 color photos mostly of Dachshund Luke.
Interested in reading the first 15 pages? Click here
The hardest part was how to get the idea into a book.
Google searches produced a total head spin of choices and I tried to narrow it down to what would fit my needs. I ended up with three possible options.
Option 1 Book publishers
Follow the traditional path.
I could go with the old-fashioned way, send my book to publishers, and hope one of them actually reads it. I entertained this idea for a long time but to be honest was put off due to the amount of photo’s I had included in my story. Without them, it just was not the same. The publishers that I researched only wanted to be sent text and some even wanted to use their own illustrators if they considered it a children’s book. I really did not think a publisher would ‘get’ my idea without the photos and it is a perfect children’s book.
I am busy writing a more serious book and desperately wanted to see a finished product to keep my spirits up. The thought of sending my text to publishers and waiting what could account for months for a reply might distract from my current work. I needed a fast fix for my desire to see something with my name boldly and permanently printed on it.
There are way too many publishing houses to list and most seem to specialize on certain genres. Just Google away and in seconds you will have more than you need to choose from.
Option 2 Book Printer
Find your own printing company
I entertained this idea for a long time and am keeping it in the back of my head for the future. Provided you have had your book edited and ready to print then this is a good way to go. I contacted a few companies by email, but again my photos were causing me a problem due to the cost. Also being a total novice to the whole thing I got confused by the format required. I only had the programs my trusty computer came with so could not fathom a way of putting the photos and text together in the exact format they wanted. This turned out to be PDF files that I now can deal with but at the time it was all a bit WTF to me. I was very scared of sending it in wrong that I backed away. I would also have had to order their minimum run total (which varies in quantity and price). I was not about to fork out a handful of cash to end up with 100 books that I didn’t like due to my own lack of knowledge.
Option 3 Print on Demand
This got me excited.
Print on demand is exactly that. Books printed one at a time (all thanks to lovely computers). Again Google search and there seems to be more P.O.D.’s (yep I am getting hip to all the initials out there now) popping up all the time. A lot of them have add-on services that range from editing, ISBN included, to promotion of your book. The costs vary too however most were a little too expensive for what I needed. I again contacted a couple and got over eager responses from their agents trying to up sale. This put me off a little however I persevered until I narrowed it down to three companies that I felt I could with my limited knowledge actually use.
This company appeared online numerous times in the searches. It had many good points including the ISBN issue, promotions and linked with Amazon. However, I still needed a simpler route again due to my photos pushing the cost and learning curve to high. This is one is being considered for a text only but would love to hear from Lulu uses on how their books turned out and final costs involved.
A couple of writer friends recommended this company and to be honest I really liked them but again felt hindered by my stack of photos and the cost involved. It is another company that I will give serious consideration to for my next book. I am in the process of researching them further.
Also is a popular site on the web. I checked it out and loved its ease of use. I downloaded the program, put the pictures where I wanted them (within the restriction of the templates), copy and pasted my text from word. After tweaking around for a while I finally pressed the download button, off my book went, and promptly appeared on their web site. I then had the option of purchasing a book – who would not want too? Also, make the book public so that it appears in their bookstore. The books are printed to order so I do not have to order what I think will sell instead let buyers of my book determine the print quantities.
This is how a book looks on the blurb.com site.
The downside is that blurb currently does not issue ISBN’s. This is required if you intend to sell in bookstores or on the likes of Amazon.com. I of course could have purchased my own and blurb.com would print it on the back of the book, but I decided on my first book to go the easiest way. Since there is no contract as such with blurb.com and I still own all rights to my book I can (and most likely will) go ahead and purchase 10 ISBN’s and either reprint with blurb.com or choose one of the above options. For now, I will keep it in the blurb.com bookstore. For me this was the quickest, simplest, and easiest way to go with a book with so many photos. I used blurb.com as my test and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Blurb.com finished books have the same professional quality you would expect from a store brought book.
Looking for more information on Self Publishing?
I have also written an article on how to sell your self published book – all for free, so before you spend money see how you can promote your book yourself!
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