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and life along the winding road

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Self Publishing - Part 2

Printing - There are many Print on Demand (POD) publishing houses and most of them use Lightning Source for their printing. When I purchased books from Dog Ear Publishing Lightning Source was the return address on the package.

One thing I recommend when choosing a POD publisher is to read the contract thoroughly. The following are my experiences with some of the publishing houses.

Lightning Source - You can use Lightning Source to print your book, but they will only deal with publishing houses. You would need to set up a company with a company/fictitious name ending with "Publishing" or "Press". For more in depth detail about setting up a publishing company read The Complete Guide to Successful Publishing by Avery Cardoza. Formatting the book and cover can be difficult, or costly if you hire someone to do the work, and you will also need Adobe Distiller to convert the manuscript. The publishing guide on the Lightning Source site is very informative. Note: You will also need to purchase your own ISBN for each novel printed by them.

See POD publisher comparisons on the Dog Ear Publishing site. More information on POD publishers here

Outskirts Press - Outskirts at first seemed a good choice. They offer several different price levels, but some of the drawbacks are that they require an annual fee to keep your digital file for future printing. On the lower scale plan their choices for cover templates are minimal. The one thing that finally stopped me from using their services were the words "as is" in the contract. While their salesperson assured me in an e-mail that they had never had a problem with keeping customers happy, nevertheless those two little words mean they can put out a product with errors made by Outskirts and the customer would have no recourse. If they are confident in their product they would remove those words. More information about the Outskirts contract on the Book Making Blog here. Also, check the complaints on the Better Business Bureau site. However, I have known authors who have been happy with their experience with Outskirts and one of the advantages I found was that they offer an author web page where it is easy to purchase both a printed version of the book and e-book.

Self Publishing Part 1
Self Publishing Part 2
Self Publishing Part 3
Self Publishing Part 4

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