Print on Demand Books

I have to say, the Espresso Book Machine is cool!

When I win the Powerball lottery, after I remember to buy tickets, I’m getting one of those.

Having gone through the process of producing a POD book, I am very impressed by the quality of the finished product (I used CreateSpace). I am impressed with the cost. Especially the part about only paying for copies I needed right then, and not having to worry about warehousing. I think one of the things I like best about POD is the frugality of it. Waste hurts my heart. When a publisher does a print run of 10,000 copies, and only 6,000 sell, that means 4,000 copies end up pulped. What a waste.

And one must not discount the sheer pleasure, the wonderful thrill, of holding in your hands an object you’ve created.

Where does one manufacture a print on demand book? The three biggest companies are CreateSpace, Lulu, and Lightning Source. (I’ve used CreateSpace–user friendly, relatively painless process) Before you decide which one to go with, do your research and weigh the distribution options.

What do you need to make a print on demand book? A cover file and a book file and some time.

I’ve had several people query me about formatting a print book file, and I’ve had to say no. Print layout is a whole ‘nother animal from ebook formatting. Having screwed around with templates from CreateSpace, and thoroughly muffed them and made big messes, I realized that templates or no templates, there is a learning curve. So learning how to make professional looking print books would take some time. Time I haven’t had time for.

Now! I can stop stressing over it. Now I have Jayne.

pod batf sample

pod batf sample2Meet Jayne. A talented designer with an eye for typography and layout. She can do covers, too, including taking an existing ebook cover and turning it into a cover for print.

(If she gets annoyed by me standing over her shoulder, watching her work magic on the computer, repeating, “Oh geez, how do you do that?” well, she is much too nice to mention it.)

Random pages from a book, just to show them off because they look very nice, don't they?

Random pages from a book, just to show them off because they look very nice, don’t they?

pod sfa sample2Not only is Jayne wonderfully talented, she has the same philosophy about book production that I do. She loves books. She loves beautiful books. She’s proud of her creations and wants the authors to be proud of them, too.

It’s fun working with her. We’ve done some projects where she does the cover and I do the ebook. (In the above samples, she modified the existing Beauty and the Feast ebook cover for print, and did the original for the Spirituality For America ebook and print cover) It’s much easier to do a cohesive package when the two of us can consult on font choices and tone and images. (Added bonus, she’s a terrific proofreader–and that’s a chore I don’t mind sharing in the least!) Below is a sample of a cover she created and the graphics I made based on her work for the ebook interior.

pod dample3So, if you’re thinking about print on demand, and wish to discuss your project, give us a shout. I no longer have to say no.


Book Templates From the Book Designer!

This isn’t an ad–it’s a public service announcement. Joel Friedlander aka the Book Designer has launched a new service for indie publishers. It looks like a good one.



If you don’t know who Joel is, pop over to his blog for a minute and look around. Not only does he post interesting and informative articles, he also does the monthly cover awards–open to all–AND he does the Carnival of Indies, a monthly round-up of the best blog articles for indie publishers.

His new service offers templates to help you create a professional looking print book using Word. Yes, that bane of the formatter’s existence, MS Word. What makes these different and better than the templates offered by CreateSpace is the heart and mind of an experienced, artful book designer behind them.

If you are interested in DIY print book formatting, you should at least check this out.