Monday, December 27, 2010

Reading and Research. Experimentation.

4 X 7 template on screen

by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Reading and research are important. Before I go ahead with POD publishing I want to know as much about it as I possibly can. I have located templates for word documents and have been experimenting with a 4x7" template. (Google 'templates Instant Publisher.')

It seems to work fine, as long you paste .txt into it--a .doc brings its own formatting and size with it, apparently.

The initial impression is that I have to use 8-point or it looks like a kid's book.

The really big question is how it will look. What will the final product be? I wish I could visualize it for myself, rather than taking chances with my time and money.

The letters in the pocketbook I am using for reference are certainly less than one-eighth of an inch.

I went into the Wordclay site, which is another free POD publisher. This is a site where you can learn a few things and watch small slide presentations, (two to five slides, only five pages,) and I didn't have to sign up. What struck me is that there appeared to be only three sizes available, the closest to what I want being 5x8.

Ultimately, I don't want a 5x8, however, other reading indicated that some sizes are shall we say, 'more easily profitable in very small print runs.'

That is indeed a consideration: with Lulu or Wordclay, or any other POD/free publisher, you can never really get a discount for volume, as long as customers are essentially ordering one book at a time. I can't honestly say I've read everything in there, but the Terms of Service are long and tedious...but similar to others I have read.

In order to get a discount, you have to order so many books. A cost/price of $10.00 per book drops significantly when you order a hundred or a thousand. Okay, that's obvious. But apparently the 5x8 is more popular...with the publisher? And those guys don't care what's on the page. They're selling ink and paper, in the final analysis.

That ink and paper must have some mark-up, or why do it?

The problems of being an author are entirely my own.

So now I have to calculate the odds of ever placing a big order, and what impression both I and the customer would get from a funny sized book. At a mark-up of a dollar a book, am I really doing this for money?

That 4x7 template works out to 731 pages, so there is something funny going on there too. The story is 104,000 words, as I recall. It's better not to just wing it. I am at least learning what questions to ask.

But that can't be a 731-page book. It can't be.

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