Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Interview With My Print Book Creator Cheryl Perez

"Ebooks will replace print! Print is dead!"

Lots of people attribute that quote, and that perspective, to me.

They're mistaken. I've never said that, and don't believe it.

Print will always be around. It just won't be the dominant reading format anymore. Ebooks will.

That's not to be said there still isn't money to be made in print.

Now, I don't believe signing a legacy deal is a smart thing to do. They can certainly exploit your print rights better than you can on your own, but as print accounts for a smaller and smaller portion of the market, and as more readers gobble up ebooks, it makes no sense to sign a deal for what will ultimately become a subsidiary right.

But that doesn't mean you're ebooks shouldn't be in print. They should.

I use CreateSpace.com for this. So far this month (March 23 at 6:00am) I've made $2531 on my print versions of my ebooks. That averages out to over $41,000 a year.

I price these 9" x 6" trade paperbacks at $13.95, and on each Amazon sale I earn between $3 and $5.

On bookstore sales (these books can be ordered by bookstores and libraries) I earn between $1 and $2--which is about the same royalty rate I'd make on a trade paperback with a legacy publisher.

I believe anyone who has an ebook that is doing well should also offer a print version to fans.

The problem is, it's a huge pain in the neck. Even if you have the cover art and the manuscript formatted for Kindle, you need to re-format it as a print pdf, and create spine art and back cover art.

This isn't easy. Which is why I hire someone to do it.

Cheryl Perez has formatted and designed ten of my CreateSpace books. She just finished two more for me (Suckers and Banana Hammock) doing the interior formatting, spine art, and back cover art, for a very reasonable price. She took the cover art I already had (done by Carl Graves) and extended the design to make an entire book jacket.

So if you already have cover art and an ebook, Cheryl can do the rest.

If you've never used CreateSpace before, it is similar to Amazon's self-pubbing program for Kindle. You set up an account, add your book information, and can begin selling print copies through Amazon.com and other retail outlets as quickly as a few days later. CreateSpace is free to use, but I opt for the Pro Plan ($39 per book, which gives me higher royalties and lower costs if I buy copies to sell on my website.)

I asked Cheryl to do a quick Q & A, and she also said she'd hang around to answer extra questions in the comments section.

Joe: What is your design background?

Cheryl: I have been a graphic designer for more than 15 years. During that time I have created materials as vastly different as a ten-foot long trade show mural, festival posters, and full page magazine ads. I’ve designed books for smaI’ve also designed the print versions of Shot of Tequila, Jack Daniels Stories, Trapped, Origin, Endurance, as well as Shadow Walker by L.A. Banks, My Soul Fainted Within Me by Shonda, and Draculas, by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson. I am also currently working on books for a number of other clients.

Joe: What things do authors need to be aware of if they want to use a print on demand service to publish their books?

Cheryl: There are a many book sizes available for POD, so look at trade paperbacks, and choose a size that works best for your manuscript. I don't do any editorial work. So make sure your text is ready for print, including checking your spelling, grammar, and punctuation, as well indicating obvious chapter breaks, before you submit it to be layed out.

Joe: What should writers be looking for in a book designer?

Cheryl: Someone with experience in layout and design, who understands how the final product should look. A general knowledge of publishing is also helpful. Over the past several years I've spent a great deal of time around publishing and have worked with authors is various capacities. As with any business, good communication is obviously a key. I work with the author to establish a clear sense of what they’re looking for, then keep them informed during the process of preparing their work for publication.

Joe: What are your predictions about the future of publishing?

Cheryl: I see publishing moving more and more into ebooks and print on demand. There will still be brick and mortar stores, but the retail model will shift away from the big box stores that have dominated the market for the past two decades. A majority of authors will be able to control their careers to a far greater extent than ever before. Authors who establish a presence now within the fast-expanding ebook market will have a significant advantage down the line.

Joe: How do interested authors get in touch with you?

Cheryl: You can email me through http://yourepublished.blogspot.com. I’m pretty good about responding the same day.

70 comments:

Kathleen MacIver said...

What about the license on images used on the cover art? I'm a website designer whose looking to move into cover art...but I know that images from places like istockphoto have a limit to the number of times they can be put on a PRINTED object...which would obviously apply to cover art for print books.

Cheryl...do you automatically purchase an extended license and pass that fee on to the client? Or do you have them purchase the stock art? Or do you tell them how many copies they can sell before they'll have to go back and purchase an extended license to cover the extended print run?

I'm a bit concerned that newbie cover designers aren't paying attention to this, and successful authors are going to get a nasty surprise when someone sues them for illegal use of their images...and I think that authors should check on this with their cover designer before they pay anything.

Heidi C. Vlach said...

This post is much appreciated! I've been thinking about when and whether physical copies of my book are worth the trouble.

Joe, have you ordered many of your own books through Createspace (for events of any kind)? Or is it another passive sales service you set up and forget?

Heather Hildenbrand said...

yay, I commented awhile back that I would love a post on CreateSpace and/or paperback publishing. So thanks Joe! Much appreciated.

www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com

JaxPop said...

I was thinking about using CreateSpace for my 2nd (YA) book. I advised, via email, that my MS was formatted & the cover was done & was surprised when they quoted me a price of over $700 to take on the project. Confusing.

My ebook versions are doing pretty well, considering I've done zero promotion & I do believe that paper versions are worth the effort. Several stores in my area (a tourist town) carry my 1st book & say they'll take on the new one (they usually only buy 2 dozen copies at a time, but that's okay). The appeal of CreateSpace was the cost per book for the author (in my case under $4) - which is about 1/2 of what I pay now, meaning I only make about 2 bucks on each copy sold in stores. I'd still consider CS but the $700kinda bugs me. I have to pull the trigger soon - have been dragging my feet trying to decide.

Looks like Cheryl does a nice job & her price is in line. Of course, after guesting on this blog - she'll be too busy to take on new clients.

Angela Perry said...

I'm very interested in the answer to Kathleen's question too.

Also, what are the standard rights that are licensed for cover art? Does the author have permission to reproduce the cover art for marketing and promotional material, or do additional rights need to be licensed for that?

Thank you!

Rebecca M. Senese said...

Thanks for this post. I love learning more of the business aspects of publishing. I too would be very interested in hearing the answer to Kathleen's question about image licensing.

Thanks to Cheryl for coming here and "talking" to us!

Mike said...

Just curious: Why the choice of CreateSpace over Lightning Source? For a $13.95 list price, your margin would be $6.36 per book, given a 300-page length. Is there some specific benefit that CS offers that LSI doesn't?

Robert Burton Robinson said...

The Standard iStockphoto license covers 499,999 book cover impressions, so unless you are going to sell over a half million books, the Standard license will work just fine.

I do my own formatting and cover design for my paperbacks, but it took hours and much pain to figure it all out. There are so many ways you can screw up the formatting, believe me. I think most people would do well to hire it out.

... said...

I have done two non-fiction and one fiction book with Create Space, and it took me about a week each to format the non-fiction books. The fiction book was a little easier (no table of contents, art boxes, etc.) If it is at all affordable, I'd definitely recommend hiring out both the formatting and the cover (Banana Hammock looks great, BTW) Good to know about you, Cheryl!

Also, I'm curious-- when you design the cover art for a print book, do you also do an e-book version?

Joe Konrath said...

It's my understanding that iStock images only need an extended license with over 100,000 sold copies. Very few people are in danger of that happening, at least for a few years.

Cheryl did the spine art and back cover art, matching it to the front cover art that Carl Graves already did.

As for CreateSpace vs. Lightning Source, hopefully Christy Pinheiro will chime in here--she's done comparisons.

bowerbird said...

joe said:
> "Ebooks will replace print!
> Print is dead!" Lots of
> people attribute that quote,
> and that perspective, to me.

um, joe, i don't believe anyone
said you originated that quote.
do you?

i'd also guess that only the most
retarded among us would fail to
grasp that quote as hyperbole...
do you?

-bowerbird

Megg Jensen said...

Oh a great cover artist is key. I used Robin Ludwig Designs. She created my cover art and my paperback art. Without her my book would have been a mess...

Megg
www.meggjensen.com

Kathleen MacIver said...

Okay....both of those numbers are higher than my (faulty) memory was giving me.

To "..." who asked about e-book covers:

Obviously I can't speak for Cheryl, but I know that it doesn't take much to turn a print cover into an ebook cover. Print covers sometimes have to deal with full-bleed, and wrap-around, and they have to be extremely high resolution images. e-books on the other hand, don't have any of that. So to change a print cover to an ebook cover would just entail reducing the size, possibly re-entering the text (if the designer only had rastor versions of the file saved, since text as rastor images gets fuzzy when you reduce it down too much), and possible cropping the bleed off.

On the other hand...changing an ebook cover to a print cover would essentially entail creating it from scratch, since you'd have to purchase much higher resolution stock, etc. The only thing you wouldn't have in that case is the time spent on consultation and the design process.

Sooo...if you think you might want both images, start with both. Don't start with the ebook and then add the print order later, cause that will probably cost you more.

Christy Pinheiro said...

As for CreateSpace vs. Lightning Source, hopefully Christy Pinheiro will chime in here--she's done comparisons.

Hey! My ears were burning.

I used CS and LSI this year for my entire series. I don't have a lot of feedback yet, but so fat, here's the detail:

For LSI, you need to have someone who knows how to create an "LSI Cover" and an acceptable interior file. Otherwise they will reject it, and not tell you why. LSI will NOT hold your hand. Period. I used Joel Friedlander of Marin Book Works to create the LSI cover and convert the interior for me. He's fantastic-- and super reasonable. They also charge about $75 to set up the book and $30 for a proof. Any time you make a change to the interior file, they charge a fee.I set up my books with a 40% discount on LSI, just like the automatic discount at CreateSpace.

But LSI's print quality is really great. Better than CreateSpace. The books look spectacular. No quality issues.

Now, CreateSpace is easy-- and free if you know what you're doing. CreateSpace will also sell you "author's services" but you can bypass all of those and do it all yourself if you want. I was always able to create my own interior file and cover for CreateSpace without any issues.

Createspace will not charge you every time you change the interior file, but you will be required to order a proof (the cost of the proof varies by your page count, and the interior (B&W or color).

I am using CreateSpace for Amazon distribution and LSI for everything else. So far, the CS books are selling at a rate of 10 to 1 Vs. LSI. But that's just the first month. I've already earned back all my set-up costs, so I'm already profitable.

Christy Pinheiro said...

but so fat,

*far!

Total Freudian slip, there.

I went to the gym last night and was huffing and puffing next to a bunch of 20 year olds. My old ass is tired.

Cheryl said...

JaxPop - $700 is a very high cost if you already have your cover art and manuscript finished. I'd be happy to chat with you off line and get your book ready to sell.

In response to a lot of the cover art comments, the author is responsible for the artwork. In about 90% of the books I've worked on, however, the cover images have been original.

And Kathleen is exactly right when she says that a print version of a book needs to have a high resolution image. It's different than an image on a website.

Thanks for the questions.

Robin Sullivan said...

Please, please, please don't underestimate a good graphic designer on interior book layout. I can't tell you how many "self pubed" books I've seen with bad fonts, bad spacing, crappy headers. The list goes on and one.

If nothing else...Steal - and by that I mean find your favorite book and match it for spacing between lines, margins, font size, font type etc.

It can really make quite a difference in the "quality" of your books.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

Merrill Heath said...

I can't tell you how many "self pubed" books I've seen...

Self pubed? I'd stay away from those if I were you. :)

Merrill Heath
Bearing False Witness

Michelle Muto said...

Thanks for this, Joe. I'm no where near needing print copies yet, but I can't devour information like this fast enough.

I'll definitely email Cheryl when the time comes.

The Book of Lost Souls

Mike said...

Christy, thanks for the reply regarding CS vs. LSI. I've used LSI for my 7 books so far, but I was wondering if I was missing out on anything. :)

And I absolutely agree: LSI doesn't hold your hand at all!

Merrill Heath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.A. Paul said...

I have been working with Cheryl for a little while now and I can attest that she has great communication and works diligently to get things correct. It has been a learning experience for me and Cheryl has been very helpful and understanding.

I will work with Cheryl again when the time comes for my second book to come out.

Thanks Cheryl!

Merrill Heath said...

I published Consequences through CS. Although the cover looks like it was done by a rank amateur (which it was), I thought the interior formatting to be pretty straight forward.

I've actually found the formatting for ebooks to be more challenging than for print books.

Merrill Heath
Consequences

Jason said...

Joe, I'm curious why you chose the $13.95 price point for your self-pubbed trade paperbacks.

Was it to match industry standard trade paperback pricing? Was it so you could earn a certain amount of profit per book? Some other reason?

Sounds like they're selling pretty well already, but I'm wondering if you could greatly increase the amount you're making on these paper book sales by lowering the price to something like $9.99. Or even $7.99. Less profit per book made up by a vastly increased sales volume...

It would be interesting for you to experiment with this pricing too and see what happens.

Maurice said...

I went through CS for my book as well. While I had to do some research on the definition of trim and other print jargon, the process was pretty straightforward. This is a good article for those who haven't done it before, though. I wish it had been around when I was going through the process.

Christy Pinheiro said...

I published Consequences through CS. Although the cover looks like it was done by a rank amateur

Yes, that's unfortunate. I used to use the CS cover templates, and I don't any longer, because Amazon is rife with them. It's a big red flag. I noticed that you did not change the stock color or the stock font, either.

Now, an option is to use a CS cover template and completely change it-- there are a few CS templates that allow you to completely upload an original image for the cover, as well as manipulate the cover font. If I were to use a template again, that's what I would do.

If I have to create a cover for a book and I am trying to keep the costs down, I typically use BookCover Pro software. It was pretty easy to learn.

Merrill Heath said...

I've done draft covers for my next 2 Alec Stover mysteries using MS PowerPoint. It has some good text and graphic effects you can use. And you can save it as a jpeg with good compression. I haven't tried BookCover Pro. I'll have to look into that.

Merrill Heath
Bearing False Witness

Selena Kitt said...

Self pubed? I'd stay away from those if I were you. :)

*iced tea spew*

I do my own CS covers - some better than others. It was a big trial and error the first time. I think I ordered five proofs? But once I had a template sort of down it was easy.

Oh, and CreateSpace DOES give you something Lightning Source doesn't - free ISBNs. Which can be cost-prohibitive if you're not buying a bunch at once.

Renee Pinzon said...

Cheryl,

Thank you so much for adding your expertise to the conversation! (thank you Joe!)

Please think of this question as more of a hypothetical since we are not yet sure what we want to do regarding a backlist book that we co-authored. But... if we decide to offer it as an ebook, and as a print book, I'm wondering if there is any possibility of keeping the original cover.

The publisher went bankrupt and shut it's doors about 16 years ago. The only access we have to the cover art is the few copies of the book that we have in our possession. Am I supposed to scan it and send you the file? Or send you the book? Obviously, you would have to remove the now defunct publisher's name, etc. But the main point of my question is regarding good quality resolution.

Jessica Bradshaw said...

Joe - you said $39 PER BOOK for pro on CS............please tell me you meant per novel and not per item??? I'm terrified of all this enough! :)

Donald Wells said...

I used Createspace for six novels and have had no major problems with them. They are very fast (I usually receive my Proof Copy in less than a week.)and they do a great job.

Donald Wells said...

@Jessica Bradshaw
The $39 Pro Plan is per project, not per book and is worth every penny.

Christy Pinheiro said...

Does CreateSpace charge $39 PER BOOK?............Is that per novel and not per item???

Answer: The cost to set up a book with CreateSpace is essentially nothing. Well, you have to pay for the proof, and that's it. However, if you want nationwide distribution, (of course you do) and cheaper copies, you have to pay $39. That's called the "Pro-Plan."

You can choose to do everything yourself (by uploading an interior file that is print-ready, as well as the finished  cover), OR CreateSpace will do it for you-- but you will have to pay a fee. They also do Kindle Conversion for a fee (not NOOK, though).

I did publish a book in 2009 (with a co-author, Nick Russell) about the CreateSpace publishing experience. It takes you through the process in baby steps.

Publish With CreateSpace

Cheryl said...

The only access we have to the cover art is the few copies of the book that we have in our possession.

Renee -
It is possible to scan in a high resolution, and get a pretty good image to work with. Depending on the complexity of the cover, it might also be possible to recreate the cover, or a close proximity of it.

I was also going to point out the CreateSpace issues an ISBN number for your project at no cost. That really helps for new authors who haven't gone through the process of trying to secure one.

Christy Pinheiro said...

I was also going to point out the CreateSpace issues an ISBN number for your project at no cost.

Cheryl is right. Usually I'm staunchly against using another company's ISBNs, but CreateSpace even gives the author the option now to designate their own "imprint" while still using a CreateSpace ISBN. I think it costs $10. It's a nice option for authors who want to create their own little publishing empire with almost no investment.

jeroentenberge said...

Istock offers a standard licence option on their stock, allowing up to 499.999 impressions. They also offer extended licences for runs higher than 500.000. My guess is other royalty-free stock outfits use similar numbers.

Extrapolating on Joe's estimate of a 100.000, we should start to worry around 2022. Then again, one would assume that successful authors selling that many copies would have updated and changed their covers well before than.

jeroentenberge said...

I need an edotir.

...well before then.

Mike Gerrard said...

After reading about Cheryl a while ago on this blog, I asked her if she would do the full cover design for my own book, for CreateSpace. I'd just like to say that I think she did a fantastic job, her prices were fair, she was pleasant and professional to work with, and the artist who designed the front cover was really pleased with the way she extended it to the spine and the back cover. So was I.
http://tinyurl.com/4fv32zf

MS said...

I've actually found the formatting for ebooks to be more challenging than for print books.

Me, too, although I think that's because 1. I used to work in tradpub, and 2. there aren't a million different formats to worry about--if your PDF looks good, with CS, your book looks good. Period.

I don't want to flog my own blog (rhymes!), but I did do a couple of posts on formatting a hard copy that might be helpful: http://bit.ly/gqfpLq http://bit.ly/hW4yF3 http://bit.ly/gdNTR6

I'm wondering if you could greatly increase the amount you're making on these paper book sales by lowering the price to something like $9.99.

You have relatively little flexibility with pricing with CS, because you can't sell at a loss with them, and your base price is going to be higher if you want to sell to libraries and bookstores other than Amazon. That said, the $39 Pro Plan does greatly reduce your base price--which is why I did it for my large-print edition, even though I don't plan to sell it beyond Amazon.

cp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cp said...

For those of you having trouble formatting eBooks, I found that Literature & Latte's software Scrivener ($40) made it very easy to export my stuff into all eBook formats, including MOBI and EPUB. I use Mac, but they just came out with Scrivener for Windows, so if you use PC you might want to download a trial version first to make sure eBook formatting is available on that version.

cp said...

I've used Createspace for my last three books and have been very happy with the results. Occasionally I will receive a copy that is subpar quality, but they are quick to send a replacement. I can't find anyone to beat their prices.

The only problem with CreateSpace was that I was downloading trial versions of Adobe InDesign and Photoshop each time I was ready to begin layout & design, so I had to make sure I had print-ready PDF files done, proof ordered & reviewed/revisions made/repeat until I was satisfied with the results all before the trial period expired. I finally had to give in last month and buy the software.

Lundeen Literary said...

"So make sure your text is ready for print, including checking your spelling, grammar, and punctuation, as well indicating obvious chapter breaks, before you submit it to be layed out."

Oh, I cannot stress enough the importance of this. I've had some customers who go back and change things endlessly, tinkering after the book is done and finalized… and it costs them a LOT of money. Don't do this; have the book ready before you hire someone like Cheryl or me to do your book interior, or ebooks for that matter. Paying someone to re-do them because you didn't like your comma usage is an expensive proposition.

Jenna
@ lundeenliterary

Lundeen Literary said...

Robin said:
"If nothing else...Steal - and by that I mean find your favorite book and match it for spacing between lines, margins, font size, font type etc.

It can really make quite a difference in the "quality" of your books."

Everyone, PLEASE listen to her. For god's sake, don't put your book in Comic Sans. (yes, I've seen that) Be sure to look at "Real" books to get an idea of what to aim for.


@Renee Pinzon

Many goof imaging labs can do a very high quality drum scan of a cover. You'd have to rip it off the book, but it would be worth it for high quality. There are scanning services - I'd suggest outsourcing this for best quality.

Also, a photoshop artist will be needed to correct the previous cover's information. Depending on the cover, it may just be more cost, quality, and time-effective to contact the original artist for a copy of the image. Easier said than done, but you might try that. I'm pretty sure Cheryl can knock it out of the park for you, no matter what route you choose.

Jenna
@lundeenliterary

antares said...

Compliments, Joe.

I respect you for trumpeting the work of those who help you put out books. I mean people like Carl Graves, Rob Siders, and Cheryl Perez.

You promote not only your own work but also the works of other. You are generous.

Live long and prosper.

Andy said...

Seems like a good place to recommend the designer I hired for my first ebook The Girl with the Bomb Inside.

He's done a great job on the cover and people are raving about it. Lovely designer, based in the UK like myself, which shouldn't be a problem for you in the USA as we never met face to face on this project, it was all done by email.

I sent him instructions on what I wanted it to look like, gave him links to covers I like, Dropboxed my photos of the models, and he came up with a load of designs and we gradually ironed it out to the finished thing.

It's his first ebook design but I knew he'd be good because he does a lot of design work for me on my swing jazz club and designs a beautiful monthly arts magazine over here.

His rates are VERY competitive and he gets the job done quickly (I'm not getting a cut for this, honest!).

His name is Pete Bradbury and I think he's going to make a very good living out of ebook cover design. I just hope he's still got time for all of mine!

If you need a stylish ebook cover done at competitive rates, drop him a line. pete@digit64.co.uk

Andy Conway

Diana said...

Last week I just re-released my novel, Ninth Lord of the Night, through Create Space and it was a terrific experience. I'm happy with the turn around time, the quality of the book, and the free ISBN. Plus, they linked the trade paperback and the Kindle versions on the Amazon pages.

I also like the pricing structure that CreateSpace offers. My publisher priced the book too high at $16.95, but with the re-release through CreateSpace I was able to drop the price to $9.99 - where it belongs.

Sheri Leigh said...

Does anyone know someone who formats for LuLu or Lightning Source?

cp said...

My business, Centerpiece Press, offers formatting for CreateSpace and Lulu. I've never done Lightning Source so I'm not familiar with the file requirements. Shoot me an email if you'd like to discuss it.

Penumbra Publishing said...

My question concerns getting your books into bookstores. We have been told by Barnes and Noble that the only way our books will get into their bookstores is with a 'Bookland Bar Code' which includes the ISBN plus the retail price. When we asked Createspace about this, they said they don't put the retail price in the barcode because then new artwork would have to be uploaded for the cover each time the price changed, and that would involve another proof and approval process. So ... do you use your own preprinted barcode from a barcode production agency? Just curious.

Moses Siregar III said...

Zoe Winters had a great post about why she uses Lightning Source/LSI over CreateSpace/CS.

I don't even understand why there's any debate. True, CS is easier to use, but LSI allows you to set a short discount of 20% that DRASTICALLY increases the amount of money you can make per book.

IOW, with a $10 CS book, the short discount is 40%. That means they pay you $6 minus the cost of your book.

With a $10 LSI book, the short discount can be 20%. That means they pay you $8 minus the cost of your book.

Depending on your cover price and costs (book size), that means you might make as much a two or three times more money with LSI.

The advantage of CS is that it's easier and you can change the file more easily. I've also heard CS is good for ordering copies of your own books. But you lose a lot of money going with CS. As long as you're going to pay someone to do the book cover and interior, I don't see why you'd take 60% minus cost when you could get 80% minus cost.

Moses Siregar III said...

The other issue is that you won't get into any stores with a 20% short discount (LSI), but I think most of the people reading this blog are focused on online sales.

rbt said...

I have a question for Joe and the others who are doing print versions of their ebooks:

With print book sales dropping fast and indie bookstores going out of business every week and B&N on the critical list and ereader hardware sales increasing exponentially, does it really make sense to devote the required time and effort to getting an ebook into a paper version? It sounds like print sales from converted ebooks are maybe 5% of sales in native format. Is that really worth the opportunity cost, in time and money, to get those books into paper form? Wouldn't you be better off devoting your resources to getting another ebook finished and posted for sale?

Christy Pinheiro said...

But you lose a lot of money going with CS. As long as you're going to pay someone to do the book cover and interior, I don't see why you'd take 60% minus cost when you could get 80% minus cost.

I've considered this, Moses, but there are a few huge benefits to using CreateSpace. (I am using LSI and Createspace this year)

1. The author's copies are cheaper
2. There's no set-up charge to change an interior file or cover, and you can switch at any time.
3. And perhaps more importantly, I happen to believe (although I have no direct proof, other than my own experience) that Amazon will put a deeper discount on a book that is published through CreateSpace. My books are regularly discounted 38% (which is incredible). I make a lot on volume sales, and I think that the discounts make a big difference when buyers are comparing my books to a competitor's. That's my hunch.

I am using both services and I'll see how it goes.

Christy Pinheiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bowerbird said...

createspace and l.s.i. have
different customer-bases,
so you _should_ use both...

***

penumbra said:
> does it really make sense
> to devote the required
> time and effort to
> getting an ebook
> into a paper version?

i haven't wanted to interfere
with the promotion of people
who can help a self-publisher
by doing formatting and such,
because i'm sure these people
are _worth_ what they charge,
and take a load off your mind...

but i'm coding an app that will
take your text-file and create
a .pdf you can use for p.o.d.,
_and_ an .epub for the stores
that want that format, _and_
a .mobi for the amazon store,
all with a simple button-click.
there's no need to think of all
of these as different processes.
(in fact, whenever you do that,
it becomes unduly complicated,
because you have to make the
same changes in several places.)

i have a standalone app version,
and i am working on a web-app
as well. so if you don't feel you
have the money to pay a pro,
don't despair. help is coming...
not tomorrow, nor next week,
but it will arrive soon enough...

-bowerbird

Cheryl said...

Does anyone know someone who formats for LuLu or Lightning Source?
Sheri - I've formatted for both Lulu and Lightning Source as well. As long as the designer knows what the publisher's parameters are, they should be able to meet their requirements.

Morgan Mandel said...

After hearing that publishers are already into 2013, that was another good reason for me to go the self-publishing route again.

I agree it's a pain to do the cover and book block yourself. I'm trying Create Space on my next book instead of Lightning Source, which I used last time.

Morgan Mandel
http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel

Lundeen Literary said...

@Sheri

I format for Lulu and Lighting Source. I also do ebooks and covers. :)

Jenna
lundeenliterary@gmail.com

Lundeen Literary said...

.....hate....blogger.... 4th time posting this one.


"I'm a bit concerned that newbie cover designers aren't paying attention to this, and successful authors are going to get a nasty surprise when someone sues them for illegal use of their images...and I think that authors should check on this with their cover designer before they pay anything."

You are so correct on this! It is important to check the licensing requirements of each image. Fair use applies if a large amount of work is done to the image, but the laws on that are still in limbo. When I do covers, I tend to look for CC licensed images or else I do custom photography. Custom photos are the sure thing - you won't get sued if your cover artist took the base photos themselves. You won't get problems from model releases, either. Sometimes photographers don't get those from the models before they upload the stock image. Bad for everyone when that happens.


@ Angela - there isn't really what you could call a standard - every company operates differently. Most have some level of web-only licensing, then in-print , in-print and web combined, all usage, and sometimes exclusive rights to the photo (meaning no one else can use it). Most will also have a number of uses that you can license at once. If you get the big, all-inclusive license to play the CYA game, it costs you. Big time, and up front. Those stock photo sites can be a really slippery slope. Best to get a cover artist who can navigate all that, and either take custom photos, draw custom art, or offer some assurance that your ass won't be the one in the sling if the deal goes sour.


As a note about creating a paper book cover from an ebook cover (or vice versa), try to get them both done by the same person. Failing that, be sure to hire 2 people who can work together. I personally design all ebook covers at the minimum requirements for print, which is 300dpi resolution, in a 6"x9" image size; this way, if a print cover is needed, it is much easier to do, since a high quality image is already in existence. Most people seem to be choosing the 6"x9" cover size for their paperbacks. It is easier to go from print-quality to web quality by far.

Jenna
@lundeenliterary
www.lundeenliterary.com

Robin said:
"If nothing else...Steal - and by that I mean find your favorite book and match it for spacing between lines, margins, font size, font type etc.

It can really make quite a difference in the "quality" of your books."

Everyone, PLEASE listen to her. For god's sake, don't put your book in Comic Sans. (yes, I've seen that) Be sure to look at "Real" books to get an idea of what to aim for.


@Renee Pinzon

Many goof imaging labs can do a very high quality drum scan of a cover. You'd have to rip it off the book, but it would be worth it for high quality. There are scanning services - I'd suggest outsourcing this for best quality.

Also, a photoshop artist will be needed to correct the previous cover's information. Depending on the cover, it may just be more cost, quality, and time-effective to contact the original artist for a copy of the image. Easier said than done, but you might try that. I'm pretty sure Cheryl can knock it out of the park for you, no matter what route you choose.

Jenna
lundeenliterary.com

Kendall Swan said...

@bowerbird - that will be a really cool app. Can't wait.

FYI: It's official. Amanda H signed with St.M for 2 million (amount unconfirmed).

Would Barry have turned down 2 million??

Kendall Swan
NAKED Parent Teacher Conference

Rick said...

What are your thoughts on Word Clay?

Mark Asher said...

"FYI: It's official. Amanda H signed with St.M for 2 million (amount unconfirmed).

"Would Barry have turned down 2 million??"

The article said it was more than $2M.

I wondered the same thing about Eisler. My guess is he would have taken the money. It would be hard not to. Even if you think you could make more on your own, it would be risky to pass on a contractual $2+ million.

Plus, Hocking will not get her books exposed to a new market, the people who haven't switch to ebooks.

Sheryl Gwyther said...

Thanks for the post, Joe and Cheryl. Fascinating subject! It's made me aware that I didn't think enough about my digital rights on a (mainstream) publishing contract like I should have been.
I will from now on!
waving from Australia
Sheryl

Eloheim and Veronica said...

4th try

Cheryl did the interior formatting of my first book and she was wonderful to work with. My proof from LSI is on its way as I type this!!! I am thrilled.

My genre is Spirituality and I have plenty of people asking for the paperback version. I plan to order 180 of them as soon as I can and I have orders for 100 already. I am selling the PDF on my website and the ebook on Az, B&N, and Smashwords as well.

I think that the demand for paperbacks can be very dependent on genre.

I signed up for http://www.ibpa-online.org/benefits/LightningSource.aspx

Members receive these LSI discounts:

IBPA publisher members qualify for a 50% discount ($37.50) on standard digital title set-up fee of $75 per title, and a 25% discount on scanned title set-up fee of $75 ($56.25) plus $.25/page (actual discount depends on number of pages).

IBPA members also receive increased volume discounts on their initial and reprint orders for new titles: 25-99 units ­ 10%, 100-249 ­ 20%, 249-499 ­ 25%, 500-999 ­ 30%, and 1000+ a 35% discount.


I am so grateful to Joe for offering this blog and his experiences. I wouldn't be a published author (!) and running my own micro-press (!!!) without his example.

THANK YOU!
Veronica

The Choice for Consciousness - Vol. 1

praetorian75 said...

Good post. I should note though, that I contacted Carl Graves about doing a cover for me about a month and a half ago, then again early last week to follow up.

I still haven't heard from him. I don't know if it's just that he's busy, or doesn't want to take my project, or what, but it's hard to do cover art with someone who won't return your emails. :(

Still, my book is done, and that's the big thing. :)

Odyssey said...

Have you seen this goofy opinion?

http://www.aimeelsalter.com/2011/03/part-i-why-i-dont-believe-self.html

Eloheim and Veronica said...

Yesterday I tried four times to leave a comment. No luck. I hope this one goes through as I just received my paperback proof from LSI. Cheryl did the interior design and she was a delight work with. I am thrilled!!!! Off to approve my proof at LSI!!

Thanks Joe for the inspiration.
Veronica
The Choice for Consciousness, Vol. 1

Rick Chesler said...

Very helpful post, thanks. The print side of self-publishing in the e-book era is oft-ignored. And I think I lot of readers still do want that print book option.

Celie said...

Great information from all thank you. I am going to check the rights on my image used for the cover of my book. I just assumed as I had bought it, that would be that. Maybe yes, maybe no. Checking right now. Thanks.