If there is a book in you, it's important that you get it out! Truthfully, it doesn't really belong to you; it belongs to the world. You are the safekeeper for it until an appointed time when the world is supposed to receive it. Now may be the time. I know that the prospect of creating your book can be overwhelming. I've been through it. I learned things the hard way and it cost me money. But that's OK, because now I can help you avoid some of the hardships I experienced. Following is a clear-cut listing of the major components of the self-publishing process and what I charge (indicated in bold red type) for my help to complete them:
First, is writing the book. I would strongly suggest using Microsoft Word since the format is so universally acceptable in this industry. Remember to keep the typing simple. Twelve-pont Times New Roman or Garamond font is good enough. Resist bolding and other things. Chapter headings indicated with all-caps is fine.
Next, is editing the book for grammar, punctuation, spelling, hyphenation, word usage, numbers and references. All of these things fall under the term "copyediting." I strongly recommend having this done since you may not be an expert at all the elements of writing. Keep in mind that there are several types of editing. Copyediting has nothing to with modifying the content of your work. I can do the basic copyediting of your book for a charge of one cent per word. Simply multiply your book's word count by .01.
Next, is preparation of the book interior. By this I mean you have to set up and center the title and copyright pages, include table of contents information, adjust the paper size from letter to 5.5 by 8.5, etc. There are two paths you can take here. You can give your document file to an on-demand publisher who will do all this with a page layout program like QuarkExpress or PageMaker. This can be expensive. The on-demand publisher I was with charged me nine hundred dollars for this. Then they would not give me the QuarkExpress source file which assured that they would get more money out of me every time I wanted to change something! The other path one can take (and which I did) is to have someone, or yourself, set up the page layout structure in Microsoft Word or Publisher. If done properly, an acceptable and marketable output file can be created which can be used for printing books. This modified file (or the output from the QuarkExpress or PageMaker for those who went that path) must then be converted to Adobe PDF format. If you choose path two, I can modify the original manuscript data file to the proper book format and convert it to Adobe PDF for a charge of one-half cent per word. Simply multiply your book's word count by .005. Click here to see an example of what this would look like. When I make the modifications in Word, I will gladly give you back the manuscript source file. You can then change whatever you wish and give it back to me or whomever you wish to convert it into PDF format again for printing.
Next, is book cover preparation. Though fancy covers can be created with high-end graphical software programs like Illustrator and PhotoShop, very good covers can come out of Microsoft Publisher. The key thing to remember is that your background artwork and any photographs should be of at least a 300 dpi (dots per inch) quality, otherwise known as "high-resolution." This graphical output file must then be converted to Adobe PDF format in order to be used in the print process. I can create a very good book cover for you and convert it to Adobe PDF for a charge of $150 per book. Click here to go to the main page for viewing my available cover images through the Book Cover Gallery link.
Next, is ISBN number preparation. This ensures that your book can be uniquely identified in the Books In Print database. This database is where many book retailers go in order to make shelf-space decisions for your book. The ISBN number can also be placed in barcode form (called EAN) on the back book cover and it appears on the copyright page of the book interior. The main issue with these numbers is that they must be purchased in bulk from the ISBN agency. The smallest quantity you can buy is 10 for $225 (as of 7/2003). These numbers are usually purchased by publishers who are consulted when someone queries the Books In Print database to find out how to order published books. If you're not interested in purchasing these numbers in bulk for your book(s), you can use one (or more) of mine. Just be aware that such usage will direct all Books In Print queries to Regenerated Life Publishing. I will provide you the required ISBN number(s) and appropriately place them in your interior and in the Books In Print Database for $50 per number. The external barcode-style ISBN is usually provided by the book printer. An example of ISBN number placement can be seen in the book interior and book cover samples provided above.
Next, is printing. You have to submit the interior and book cover Adobe Acrobat files to a capable printer who will produce the book in the quantity you desire. This is the part of the publishing process where you must put on your accountant hat. The bottom line is that the more books you have printed in a run, the less each book will cost. This per-book cost figure is important because you must use it to determine the book's retail price. For example, if it costs you $1,000 to have 100 books printed, you are looking at a per-book cost of $10. This means you must have a retail price greater that $10 in order to make any money from book sales. The name of the game here is to shop around till you get a printer who will give you the most books of the quality you desire for the lowest possible price. The mistake I made at this part of the process was not realizing till late that my on-demand publisher had full control of my book's pricing. Built into this pricing schedule for ordered books was a piece of pie for THEM on top of the cost for the printer. This way they make money from anyone who wants your books from them, including YOU. It is also why the retail price set by the on-demand publisher is so high, often higher than the market is willing to pay. After shopping around for a while, I found a printer who does great work at reasonable rates. My production cost with him allows me to set a retail price on my books that is twice my cost and still quite acceptable in the marketplace. If we do business, I will put you in contact with my printer so he can give you direct quote information. I don't want a piece of your pie from book production. I will add here that you should get ready to spend about $1,000 to $1,500 for your first book run with my printer. There are a lot of variables with how the book will be physically structured in printing, but I think its safe to say that this price will get you at least 200 books.