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      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2009 edited
    me at lulu
    my wife at lulu my wife's site for independently published authors / musicians / comic creators
  1.  (4781.2)
    As an adjunct to the P-O-D discussion, I'd like to ask folks if they are also formatting files for sale at Amazon's Kindle.

    I am setting up my own publishing house using Createspace and have signed deals with a known author whose book series has been out of print. Sorry for the lack of detail, but we haven't issued the press release yet.

    We are resetting all the text, adding new content (interviews, pics, etc...) for the print versions and keeping the Kindle versions as clean as possible. Kindle is for the "gotta have it now" types and the print versions (2 novels per volume with extras) is for the collector types. Both will be priced accordingly and are being designed to appeal to those comic / pulp / series paperback fans out there. It all came about when I couldn't find some paperbacks from my youth. Checking around I figured I'd have to spend way too much on EBay to get the stuff I wanted. That seemed wrong - especially since the authors weren't making any more money on these titles either.

    Bookakke - love the company name, your aesthetic, and your publishing model. You make an excellent looking product. We aim to follow a similar path.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    The endgame (beyond making money at it) is to embrace the pulp publishing model of "low cost, high volume, high concept" via the web. We will be using every free web tool out there to drive sales and publicity for our books and other media (yes, eventually we will be handling films, web serials and so forth).
    Thankfully I can do all that from my laptop.

    I can say that this guy is doing the covers for our first series of books - a full year's worth of content. I have other artists and graphic designers working their magic for a piece of the pulpy pie on other books for which we have deals. Again, sorry for the lack of info.

    So, getting back to my original thought: What do the Podders here think of Kindle?
  2.  (4781.3)
    Cinexploints: I think that a few posters earlier in the discussion mentioned also having Kindle editions, but this again comes down to why you would be PODing in the first place: Because you want to put a physical product in people's hands. It does seem that some of the people here are offering free downloadable versions of their wares with the option to buy a POD version (I suppose to stir up interest...). Just keep in mind that a book can be given to anyone, but not everybody has a Kindle machine... but if it's not costing you anything more to do it, I can't see the harm.

    Also, I love your concept of trying to use the pulp publishing model. I feel like comics could do well to try and go back to those roots; having a fast and cheap and easily distributable, low-cost product up front, with nicer "deluxe" trades to follow. Could work for some titles, and Warren and Matt Fraction certainly have started an interesting idea with Fell and Casanova...

    Finally, love that artist that you got for the covers. Can't wait to see what product you put out. Hopefully when you get everything finalized, you'll post here again with an update.

    (And for my money, I'd love to see Fredrick Pohl's books from the 70's and 80's get put back into print. They're great, and really still quite topical. It's easy to find TONS of his old stuff at used bookstores, but at Borders or Barnes & Noble? Forget it...)
  3.  (4781.4)

    Yes, Rob Kelly rocks. He gets what we're trying to do and brings his best to the table. I have a couple of other artists and writers who I can't announce yet, and who are very pulpy in their own way.

    Our model has been to always use the free services and devices at hand instead of paying for services out of pocket. It follows our pulp model which will eventually (fingers crossed) grow into original series books like the ones that inspired us in the first place and who we are republishing.
    We want to become the "Hard Case Crime" of horror/scifi/pulp adventure.

    You can't have enough good cheap fiction!
  4.  (4781.5)
    I've attempted to go through POD printers for the print collections of my webcomic, and my experience hasn't been terribly encouraging. I tried Lulu first, and the books do look great, but they're expensive, and because they're in America and I'm in Northern Ireland, the postage is pretty steep. Added to that they tried to change the terms of the deal unilaterally after the proof stage, which I thought was a bit shoddy. I then tried Ka-Blam, and they were a bit cheaper, but were less flexible in terms of page size, and were very bad at replying to my enquiries. In the end I went to a UK-based digital printer a friend recommended who, while not strictly POD, could do short runs at prices affordable enough that I can go through small press distros that take 50% of the cover price and still make a small profit. Early days yet, and I'm only publishing on a very small scale at the moment, but I'm hoping to step it up when I have a better idea what I'm doing.
    • CommentAuthorpaladinb
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2009
    So as some of you know I mentioned in my initial post that several branches of Waterstones have agreed to stock copies of my Pod book Fallen Heroes. Anyway for those of you in the uk my signing is due to take place in the Milton Keynes branch of Waterstones between 11-1 on sat 28th Feb!

    So anyway I'm excited about that news and then I check my availability today and I discover that another Waterstone's over in Banbury now has copies in stock!(I'm slowly making my way through every single waterstones in the country to try and get them to stock the book)

    So when Milton Keynes get there copies it will take the grand total to 8 branches of Waterstone's now stocking the book!
  5.  (4781.7)
    I put out a short story collection through Lulu.
    The PDF version is free, so you can have a read of it and then buy the printed one if you like it enough.

    I'm also putting together some novellas that all link together, looking to do that by the end of the year, with each one costing about £2.

    My short story collection
    A review of the collection
  6.  (4781.8)
    I'm getting ready to approach the bookstores in my area to stock my book (I have a case of books to distribute by hand). I've read up on some different ways of doing this, but I was curious to how some of you approached it. Any words of advice?
    • CommentAuthorpaladinb
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2009
    @ Puff Chrissy I couple of thing I did

    I did my own press release to go with the book and attached it to my initial email. If you can find a hook for the book be it similar book or movies so they know straight off how they can market is something I did. I was lucky last year as I was able to use the new Indiana Jones movie to hang it off which worked really well. I used used the dresden file book and the heroes TV show. I also attached an image of the cover as I knew it was pretty striking so I hoped that would help (which it did). I also had an eye catching title for the email (I thought newspaper headline) so they wouldn't just delete it without opening it. I think I had something like "Indiana Jones meets Heroes in new novel Fallen Heroes by Barry Nugent' I know it sounds cheesy but it worked.

    Once I got it into one store I change my covering letter and press release to cover my success and I change each subsequent press release and email.

    Best of luck and I hope some of that rambling helps.
    • CommentAuthorWidgett
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2009
    @Puff: What paladinb said and also if you're from the area, make sure you play up the local authors angle. The big chains usually have local author sections, the smaller independent stores as well. Depending on how friendly they are, you might ask about doing a reading or signing. Once you've got the book in there, make sure you let people know it's there as well, using your e-mail distribution list or what have you. Good luck.
  7.  (4781.11)
    Thanks for the advice. Some of the short stories are set in the city I'm living in (Wroclaw, Poland), so I think that will help as a hook. However, as an American living here, I'm limited by the bookstores that carry English books. Still, I plan on working my ass off to make it happen. Thanks again, this thread has been great.
  8.  (4781.12)
    I have written a brilliant novel which transcends genres and scares publishers so - naturally - it is available POD. It's available on Amazon etc. - the only problem is that it's too expensive. Please have a look at my website that explains more. I used and found it fine until the prices went through the roof following the recent financial situation - nuff said. If you'd like to read it and can't afford $11.95 - contact me and I'll send you a pdf. I have had quite a bit of interest from around the globe so I would recommend POD if you struggle to find a publisher.

    The greatest conspiracy of the 20th Century is revealed by chance. The discovery of a devastating method of mind control leads to a desperate race through the history of cinema. A portrait of a disintegrating mind, confusing reality with cinema as the world cracks apart.

    DARK WINDOWS or the Death of Godard by Neil Coombs
  9.  (4781.13)
    The price doesn't seem terribly unreasonable, but it seems like a bit of a maze to get to a page that actually tells you the synopsis of the book. Up until that point, everything sounded exceptionally vague and self-important...

    Your websites are quite pretty, though, and despite your oddly uncredited and basically meaningless quotes (" important work."? What the fuck does that mean?), the story sounds like it could be interesting, especially to film historians (for those who didn't go find what the book was about, it seems like a Dan Brown thriller with foreign movie history instead of biblical history to provide the background info of the mystery.).

    All in all, the Google Books preview is a nice way to generate interest, even though it was somewhat hidden amid all the other links on your site. Also, just the first chapter would be enough; there seems to be much of the book on there, but with the Google-norm random pages missing. Finally, for some odd reason found myself wishing that Douglas Adams had written another (finished) Dirk Gently novel...

    Oh, and the use of the "play" and "pause" buttons, etc., between paragraphs is really quite brilliant. Perhaps will peruse the book further, later. But I would say that the VCR buttons are a real attention-getter, and if I go back it will most likely be because of those. If I sound at all like I'm giving you a disinterested review, it is because while I enjoy films quite a bit and have HEARD of Godard, I don't think I've ever seen anything by him, and therefore feel excluded from the get-go by the very title of the book! Just me, though...
  10.  (4781.14)
    Thanks for the interest I'm pleased that you had a look (sorry it's taken me so long to respond) - I take on board your points which are interesting and I'm glad you like the buttons between paragraphs - it's only a minor element but it sort of fitted the content. I hope the title doesn't put too many people off and you're right about the uncredited quotes on the website (they are pretty meaningless but I guess that the publishing industry is full of rent-a-quotes and I'm just doing likewise without paying - the quotes come from customer's feedback e-mails and I didn't feel I could use their names to any effect).

    The Google Book preview is generated through Lulu and I don't get any control over the amount of content displayed. But in the final analysis, it's my first novel and you've got to start somewhere (maybe I should have left it sitting on my hard drive). I could be really self-critical here but I'm trying to feign some sort of literary confidence based on the mostly positive feedback that I've had to date from readers.

    The problem with the Lulu pricing is that they add a hefty charge for postage and for some reason and the unit cost rises to £14.95 if I buy more than one for myself. The USA price has recently risen from $11.95 to $25.95 - again I'm not sure why but I assume that it's some sort of adjustment due to costs/exchange rate etc.
  11.  (4781.15)
    I'm bringing this thread back for two reasons. One, I'm now offering my book Empty Rooms Lonely Countries in PDF for $5.00. You'll save $10 off the cover price, PLUS, there are 5 more stories not included in the print version. Just go to my website and find the PayPal button at the very bottom.

    Also secondly, how about the rest of you, POD writers? How did you all do with your books since February? Any new books to share?
    • CommentAuthorcussedness
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2009 edited
    I'm a small indie publisher using POD. We use Lightning Source. The initial set up fee can be a bit pricey for some ($105 altogether), but the per copy cost comes way down compared to other places (like lulu), the print versions are good quality, and the distribution works well for us.
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2009
    I used blurb for a book that went public yesterday. This is the 3rd time ive used blurb and probably the last, theyre just too expensive and gouge shipping like madmen.

    heres the book.

    ill be trying magcloud to put together a fun coloring book thing in the near future though.

  12.  (4781.18)
    I know what you mean about shipping. I'm an American writer in Poland, so it kills me to ship a case of my books here.
  13.  (4781.19)
    Well, I am finally offering my last year's webcomic in a print edition.

    din krakatau cover

    Amen City Chronicles: Din Krakatau is a manga/digest sized trade, 136 pages, full color... and I know it's kinda pricey, but that's the cost of color POD trades.

    It can be purchased from Indyplanet, or, if you're not certain, you can read the entire thing for free over at DrunkDuck

    I know that the art on early pages isn't great, but the story is entertaining, and any sales made from this book will help me finish my b&w sketchbook AND my future comics, all of which will be drawn MUCH better.

    Future stuff will look something more like this, most likely:
    cursed blade
  14.  (4781.20)
    Haven't used POD yet, but we're planning on releasing 36 page floppies to promote the new web comic at shows and such, so we're looking around. Who does the best floppies?