12.03.2009

Behind the Scenes: Publishing a Print on Demand Book (POD)

Personalized Your Story Charm Jewelry,
Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
print on demand book from Lulu.com


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

Promises Message from a Dove Chocolate...dark chocolate of course :)

I wrote step-by-step computer instructions for a living, so it's no wonder that when opening a box from Ikea I first study the manual and sort out the supplies. I'm a planner, organizer, instruction reader, and big picture thinker.

So don't ask me why I threw every piece of common sense out the window and dove in head first when self-publishing a book. Call me over excited, but my little book project took twice as long, caused a good deal of hair loss, and an opportunity to being again with a little more intelligence :)

In this Behind the Scenes moment, I'm going to share my experience self-publishing a book that acts much like a portfolio and showcases personalized Hint Jewelry charm story jewelry. Most people find deeper connection with Hint Jewelry by reading my charm stories, so I published this book to be part of the display at the Face Body Soul show in October. I wanted a way for people to meet me, even when I'm not physically present. My idea was to take my Etsy web site and transform it into a book. I loved the idea of having a book that is actually a portfolio of all your past and current work.


Personalized Your Story Charm Jewelry,
Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
copyright page for print on demand book from Lulu.com
Before choosing Lulu.com as my vendor for my book, I did do some research regarding self-publishing, print on demand, and different companies. Here are some links that might be helpful:

Self-publishing for fiction, photography, poetry, cookbooks, etc.: Lulu
For people who are serious about self publishing and selling a book on Amazon.com: BookSurge
Good self-publishing for arts, photography, and craft related books: Blurb
Publishing through CafePress: CafePress's Publishing Learning Center
Software for people that really want to get into publishing and uploading to Blurb: Adobe InDesignComparison of a mini book publishing experience (excellent for comparing brands): Greenchairpress.com
Publishing On Demand (POD) defined and list of potential publishers: PublishOnDemand.net
25 Things You Need to Know about Self-Publishing a Book
Self-Publishing vs. POD Publishing
Warnings and Cautions for Writers of Print On Demand Books

After making my grand tour of print on demand books, I decided to try out Lulu.com because they had a format I liked, were relatively easy to use, and since I'm not distributing this book it seemed like the simplest solution. Lulu.com is a good place for that book of family photos, recipes, kids drawings, and poetry that you've always wanted to turn into a lasting memento. In the past I had used iPhoto on my Mac to create a family album as a gift, so I was pretty confident that I would enjoy the results from Lulu.com.

I really wanted to use Blurb because they have some beautiful hardcover formats, but unfortunately in order to design a book, I had to download their BookSmart application, which didn't run at top speed on my Mac -- I'm talking huge lag time between uploading photos and processing the design. It looks like I may not have had enough memory to run this application. Everything on Lulu.com is uploaded directly to their web site but designed in another application on your computer such as Microsoft Word.

If you are going to publish a book, and leave it out in the world, be sure to include a copyright page. Here's a example of the text I used for my print on demand book.


Copyright © 2009 by Beth Hemmila

Cover and book design by Beth Hemmila


All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any
electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval
systems, without permission in writing from the author.

Beth Hemmila
www.hint.etsy.com

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing: September 2009


I can't tell you if this copyright is legit, but hey it makes me look professional and again I'm not distributing this book and saw it as a way of indicating that the text has some ownership. If you are really serious about registering your book, visit the copyright faqs section on Lulu.com for more details.


Personalized Your Story Charm Jewelry,
Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
print on demand book section page

Okay, I can't stress this enough...READ THE DIRECTIONS :) This is where I started merrily skipping all the details and diving headlong into my project. I didn't take the time to read through the Step by Step Guide to the Lulu Publishing Process.

A couple things that were nagging at the back of my brain, but weren't kicking in until I was 90% complete, was choosing the correct format for my file and font type. In my gut I know serif fonts are the best to use for printed material, but I was so utterly hooked on this cool Optima font that I couldn't let it go. This caused a lot of headaches with my upload, sleepless nights where I wondered if every letter would be blurred, etc. So before you put your fingers to the keyboard and start typing your book, read this section on acceptable fonts if Lulu creates your PDF file. Needless to say I was powering on through, making my own PDF files and didn't read the fine print that I would have to embed the fonts in the document before uploading. Don't ask what I did to correct it by waving my magic wand, just pick the right font from the beginning like a nice, easy going, reliable 12pt Times New Roman.


Personalized Your Story Charm Jewelry,
Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
example of text and pictures for print
on demand book from Lulu.com

Why was I creating my own PDFs, you ask? I had this clever idea that I would make my book in Adobe Photoshop where I could easily format text and pictures alongside each other. Because of the Guidelines feature in Adobe Photoshop this seemed like an easier method for making text and pictures line up neat and tidy. This meant that each page of my book was one file. So with 35 pages I had to upload 35 files individually. This was super inefficient and converting my jpeg files to PDFs was even more insanity. Nevertheless, with all this added hassle my book turned out pretty decent and my worrying over distorted text was wasted energy.


Personalized Your Story Charm Jewelry, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry):
cover of softcover print on demand book from Lulu.com

I will be redoing my book though. One of the features of the sassy, glossy Lulu.com softcover books is that they don't lay flat. The cover curls up and bugs the perfectionist printer inside of me to no end.

Because I'm going to reprint my book as a hardcover, I have to switch formats and redo all text and pictures for my manuscript. Yes, I'm a little bummed, but this gave me the perfect opportunity to find new solutions. Here is what I am going to do differently the second time around.

1. Read through all the instructions!!!
2. Use a hardcover book format instead of softcover.
3. Pick a serif font that Lulu.com likes such as Times New Roman.
4. Create a file template in Microsoft Word that matches the dimensions of my book format.
5. Create a multiple page document in Microsoft Word so I have one easy file to upload. This also lets me see how the pages will flow together.
6. Use tables in Microsoft Word to format my book so that text and charm pictures are easily aligned.

Hopefully, I'll have this baby published in 2010 so as to share the results of my second time around :)

Check out my whole Behind the Scenes blog series for information on making jewelry and running a business.

8 comments:

  1. Beth, this is so very wonderful that you are sharing. My company (read: day job) is a publishing company. We have just been informed that next year we will not be publishing the printed versions any more and will be switching to possible POD editions. I have been given the task of researching some of this and you just made my job (read: boring place I spend my daylight hours) a lot more productive! I will be checking out your Behind the Scenes more in depth and all the links you provided. You are such a bright light to us Beth! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the day! Erin

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  2. wow. i totally want to make one of these. but i fear that I don't have a whole heck of a lot to say. usually my designs don't really have a theme/thought process involved. kind of, but not really. but it would still be cool to have something with photos, all in one spot.

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  3. Thanks for showing us the stuff that goes on that we take for granted. So you have to redo the whole darned thing. . . it's better and easier the second time around.

    Emanda

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  4. Thanks for sharing all of this information...
    I have been researching a lot about publishing a book, and I have one book that I got that I was using to get me ready, but I got overwhelmed, and now you kind of set me straight and I feel aligned with all the lingo and wow- all your trial and errors are such valuable lessons for us. I love how you write! So clear and to the point... You are a teacher indeed, sharing knowledge and experience so beautifully:)

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  5. I always learn so much when I visit your blog! Thank you!

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  6. Erin, how cool that my post helped you at your job! I love that coincidence :)

    Lorelei, your designs would look lovely in a book. Especially the new photo layout you are using. I think just a portfolio of pictures without any words would be simply stunning. Your designs speak for themselves! It would be like your own museum gallery of work :)

    Emanda, thanks so much for enjoying the journey of this post.

    Lauren, how cool you have book you want to move forward on. Glad this post helped and is bringing focus. I think what I ultimately, learned is that diving in and doing something a second time isn't so bad after all. So I hope you go for it. One copy is fairly inexpensive and the learning experience goes beyond practical -- it's empowering :)

    Leslie and Barbara, so good to hear from you and I'm glad these posts are fulfilling!

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  7. Thanks for sharing all of this information...
    I have been researching a lot about publishing a book, and I have one book that I got that I was using to get me ready, but I got overwhelmed, and now you kind of set me straight and I feel aligned with all the lingo and wow- all your trial and errors are such valuable lessons for us. I love how you write! So clear and to the point... You are a teacher indeed, sharing knowledge and experience so beautifully:)

    ReplyDelete

I'd love for you to share your ideas and stories on my blog! Please know that I may not always be able to e-mail you a direct response, so be sure to check back to my blog and continue the dialogue. Many blessings for connecting with me through word and image :)