CONSIDER: Are you sure you want to publish a print book at all? Or right now? Many authors these days are going go ebook only, because it’s so much more viable. They do print only when ebook sales have give them cash-flow and a reasonable predication of what they might sell. This also gives them a chance to make sure they have fixed up any last errors that may have found their way into the ebook, before committing to print.
COMPARE: If you decide you do want to publish a pbook, then, it generally makes sense to go with POD as the first option. See this infographic for a good comparison of offset printing vs print on demand.
PLAN: 1. What size will the book be? 2. Will you have images? 3. Do you have an ISBN? (You will need a different ISBN to your ebook). 4. What professional services do you need? 5. How will your front and back matter differ from your ebook version.
DESIGN: Whichever way you print, for best results, it’s recommended to hire a book designer for the interior as well as the cover.
TEMPLATES: Joel Friedlander offers great free resources (see comments for link) and some book templates here — and answers questions about interior design here.
TRIM SIZE is the size of the book once it’s been cut out of the paper stock. A mass-market paperback in the US is usually 5.06 x 7.81; trade paperbacks 6 x 9 (all sizes in inches) Size can affect your distribution options, as only standard sizes can be set for “expanded distribution”. More information on sizes, particularly for Createspace, is available on CreateSpace’s Trim Size pages. Createspace's website is packed with good information about publishing in print.
IMAGES: Use print resolution images or you’ll get blurry or pixilated pictures.
PROOF COPIES: Order two and when they come, check one carefully and get a good proofer to check the other. Yes, even if it has already been proofread. Things can — and too often do — go wrong in the process.
Do you have any more questions (or advice) about publishing in print. Let us know in the comments below.
There isn’t a POD option with CS or IS for 5.06 x 7.81 with cream paper if you want to expand distribution. You can have this standard size if you just want to distribute via amazon through Createspace, but not if you intend to expand through CS or IS.
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Ooops, sorry Joel! Now rectified in the post. Thanks for all the great free advice you do give — and the great templates too…
Joel Friedlander’s resources are invaluable, and he offers some great free material on his site and the Book Design Templates site, but the actual book templates are not free.
Thanks, Jordan, I was just about to say the same thing. One free resource I would recommend for anyone considering a print book is our Book Construction Blueprint, a PDF that offers detailed information on the nuts and bolts of putting a book together, and it’s available here: http://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/guides/
The price of a printed version of my book was a major deal-breaker. It seemed CreateSpace couldn’t produce the bok for less than about $15 and if I wanted to make any profit on sales of the books I would have to sell them about that figure. I gave up at that point. I looked at other POD companies, like Lulu, but couldn’t find one that offered a print book at a reasonable selling price and with some profit left for me.