Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dottie Goes to Print

Six months ago the first book in our Let's Write a Story series was published as an e-book on Amazon. Seven Ways to Plot was an introduction to various plotting methods, and it was aimed at helping aspiring authors to figure out the best plotting method for them and their books. It was a good beginning, but now, our baby has grown up! It is available in print as well.

After the birth of an ebook, it takes a bit for the baby to become an adult print book.

How long? Well, it depends.

While that might seen like a wishy-washy answer, it really does depend on many factors. The following three are the basic items you need to consider in order for your print book to make it into the real world.

Carefully consider:
  • Back cover
  • Formatting
  • Finance
Let’s take ‘em one at a time.

Back Cover

In order for a “print” book to develop, especially if the contents have first been an ebook, there has to be a back cover and a spine.  

Covers and spines are needed if the book is to be bought by libraries, carried in book stores and easy to physically handle if viewed and used by a reader.

Of course something has to go on the back cover. Because in a bookstore, the consumer will, after picking up the book, flip it over and read what is on the back cover
The problem is what to put there. A blurb about the contents, an image of the authors, and of course, a bar code will be needed. Who is going to get the bar code? Who will supply the ISBN which all print books must have.

Does the author want her picture on the cover? Or perhaps a bit about how the book came into existence?  And should there be a short review of what’s in the book, because now, the potential reader in a bookstore will likely turn the book over and read what it contains.  Well, after a lot of work -- here is how it turned out:


    Getting the file ready for printing means a “new” formatting has to be done, as the formatting for an ebook is different from the formatting for a print book. And someone has to do it.
    Neither of us know how to format. I suppose we could learn, but we simply don’t have the time, the energy or the desire to take a class on formatting.
    Getting back to setting up the book for printing, formatting is different from formatting an ebook, so you need to be careful in finding the right person who has experience in this area. A good formatter costs money.

  • Of course everything cost money in self-publishing.
    • the Bar Code usually costs about $25 but the ISBN number that goes on the bar code also costs
    • someone has to do the layout of the back cover. This also costs money, usually around $100, but this varies greatly
    • more formatting. Once again someone has to do this. This cost usually is figured by the number of pages depending on the expertise of the formatter.
    Becky and I are proud to announce that our “baby” in the Let’s Write a Story series has left the ebook nest and has joined the “print” world. It seems like no matter how much we enjoy writing and finishing a book and getting it published, there is still nothing quite like holding that printed version in your hand and knowing it will be put up on someone's bookshelf soon.
    Seven Ways to Plot  is available in ebook and print at and we will soon be publishing the next in our Let's Write a Story! series -- Creating Memorable Characters.  It will also start out as an e-book and then progress into print.