My self publishing experience part three-Turning it into a book.

 

Mrs. Garnett Cobb enjoys the book

Mrs. Garnett Cobb enjoys the book

The editing proceeded. Make changes, submit for editing, correct the manuscript, make more changes. I called the process polishing. I realized that when the final draft was completed and printed there would be no going back for changes. The funny thing is that in the final draft of Requiem for a Redneck,- the one that was printed- there is a glaring mistake. I never told anyone about it and only a few people noticed but I knew it was there. Can you find it?

To read part one of this series CLICK HERE

To read part two of this series CLICK HERE

 During the editing process, I was doing a lot of research trying to find out just what a “publishing company” was. I had pictures in my head of big offices that rose over a printing press. I read the offerings of a number of print on demand (POD) publishers that promised me fame and fortune if I just sent them some money and a manuscript. These companies make some mighty fine sounding promises, too, but something about them didn’t seem quite right and so I continued my research, looking for the overall concept. I found it, too.

 I found that I could use my personal computer as my publishing company. I just had to put everything together. I studied it some more. Dekie studied it with me and we realized that we could set up our own publishing company to produce the book. This turned out to be a really good move in the long run.

 My son, J.R.Schulz is a gifted graphic artist and I asked him to do the book cover for me. J.R. is the one who introduced me to the word “formatting.”

I asked, “What does that mean?”

He replied, “That means producing a pdf that is print ready. Everything has to be the right size for the book and laid out just as you want the inside of the book to look. You must select the best fonts to use and take such things into consideration as indents, headers, footers, margins, and more. Everything must be just right.”

I learned that just submitting a word document would never work. The document had to be fine tuned using a program named Indesign that was developed for just this process. J.R. and Dekie worked on the cover, formatting and other considerations needed to get the book print ready. The research continued. Here’s an example of the formatted interior:

spread scan for Requiem for a Redneck from Indesign format

spread scan for Requiem for a Redneck from Indesign format

 We needed an ISBN or International Standards Book Number, a registered copyright and a Library of Congress Book Number. We needed to find a printer. Over a period of time all of the considerations were taken care of.

 J.R. finished the book cover and we were all delighted. The book cover had to be formatted to exact dimensions so that it would fit the book. The part I found most interesting was the manner in which the spine width was determined. The spine width, of course, would change with the number of pages in the book and had to be accurate within thousandths of an inch.  Here’s what the cover looked like when it was formatted.

Requiem cover, formatted to exact specifications

Requiem cover, formatted to exact specifications

 I studied print pricing and found that the price of each copy goes down as the number of copies is raised. My research told me that the best price break came when quantities of 3,000 or more copies were ordered, so I decided to order 3,000 books. I know that sounds like a lot of books-and it is-but I had confidence in my product and in myself. Everything has worked out well in the long run.

 The formatted book was next sent to a printer. A proof copy was sent to me for approval and then the print order was completed. A couple of weeks later, boxes and boxes of books were delivered to my office. I eagerly opened one of the boxes and removed a copy of the book. I will never forget the feeling of wonder and pride that I had as I held that book in my hand for the first time. That feeling was followed later by one of, “What happens next?”

 The book was well received and even though I made many marketing mistakes, I feel that I have done rather well with Requiem for a Redneck. People sometimes asked me about my marketing plan and I thought about it. The marketing plan became:

“Write a good book, learn how to publish it, learn how to market it, and then write another book knowing what you didn’t know from the first one.”

 This would be similar to going back to school-to a school of one-a school based on self reliance. It seems to have worked so far. Now, I have finished writing the second part of what I will call “The Redneck Trilogy.” The book is titled Redemption for a Redneck and it is a love story. I plan to end up with a multi generic trilogy which will consist of a tragedy, a love story, and a mystery.

 Has my writing career started? I don’t know, but the process has become interesting and fun. I have developed a following, even if it is a small one in the grand scheme of things. People ask me every day when they will be able to read the next book. I have had a good time.

 After the production of the Requiem, we found that there are lots of people who want to self publish a book without getting ripped off by the big guys and Dekie has been busy taking care of several of these.  You will find the website for Wheredepony Press if you CLICK HERE

 You may ask, “John, did you make a profit on the book?”

And I will answer, “I sold close to two thousand books which I understand is pretty good. I covered costs and turned a dollar profit, but it turned out that money wasn’t the real profit.”

 The real profit from my book came in most unexpected ways.

I got to meet a lot of nice people.

I got to go to a lot of wonderful and enjoyable events.

I became known as a writer and as a humorist.

There are more ways I profited from the book, but the main profit is related in an article that I posted on this site last April.

In case you missed it, it is titled “A Thank You and a Love Story” You may CLICK HERE to find it.

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

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