MARKETING INDIE BOOKS (Part 4 of 5)

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Welcome back to my Marketing Indie Books series. On Feb 2nd, I discussed how complex and sometimes frustrating Formatting eBooks can be. If you haven’t read the post, I invite you to check it here. Then, hurry back here. Go on! we’ll wait!

Today we’ll talk about – PRINTING YOUR BOOKS. The post will be briefer than the previous ones. Not because it’s not important, on the contrary. But because this aspect of the indie publishing industry is much easier than it might seem.

Before I became a writer, I had always been an avid reader. I would read almost anything I could find. Granted, if the book was really awful, I wouldn’t finish it. Still, I would try to read it. I revered the printed pages of books to the point of being unable to write on them, to make notes on the margins, as some of my friends would do when we were teens. (Yes, I’m old. I grew up reading books, not Kindles!!! LoL)

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I viewed printed books as precious things. As I grew older, I learned authors worked hard before getting a break and being published. I discovered how expensive it was to print book. And heard about the minimum number of copies a publishing house needed to print a book. This information added to my previous idea about the rarity of the printed words.

Consequently, when I started toying with the possibility of writing my first short-stories, I didn’t dare consider printing them. I pushed that thought to the furthest corners of my mind and forgot about it. Until one day I didn’t remember to forget it. LoL

There are many companies offering ‘print-on-demand’ services – if you’re not familiar with the term, it means they will print and deliver books as customers buy them. I won’t discuss here the pros and cons of each one of them or the good and bad points of this method of printing books. I will just say that, in my opinion, as an indie writer, if the greatest advantage of printing on demand is the cost, the biggest disadvantage is the price. Meaning – indie authors can’t usually afford the traditional way of first printing books in large quantities and then selling them. On the other hand, printing-on-demand a 400-page book will make your selling price go up to the stratosphere if you want to keep a sizeable margin of profits.

Having said that, I must confess that I chose to offer my books in print, with a very small margin of profit, mainly because it fed my ego. There, I said it! But in my defense, I had my reasons. You see, that little girl I used to be, who spent hours in the neighborhood library gawking at the endless shelves of precious books, still lives inside me. She jumped around and somersaulted countless times when I held a printed copy of my first novel. I told myself I had decided to sell printed versions of my stories because many people don’t like reading eBooks. Although that might be a fact, little Liz Gavin is the real reason. She is saying, “I’m a ‘published author’ now. I ROCK!” 😀

Like I said before, there are various companies to choose from when you decide to sell your stories in print. Personally, I stuck with CreateSpace because I thought it would be easier to work with a company in the Amazon group, since most of my titles are published exclusively with that online store.

Regarding the ‘how to’ part of using their services, I initially had problems with the formatting much as I described in my prvious post about eBooks. I won’t bore you repeating it. You can read it here, if you’re curious. I’ll just say that, although they don’t have a guide ready to be downloaded like KDP does, there are plenty of files you can access from their ‘Help’ tab, which address specific formatting issues. It took me a while to go through them and get the hang of the set-up. Once I did, though, I created a template-file and saved it to my computer. After that, I copied and pasted the following story to the template-file and saved as a new one. I repeated the process with all the other books. Voilà. I could finally sell my stories in print.

Thank you for visiting today. Please leave your thoughts below and stay tuned for more on Marketing Indie Books! Next post will be about ‘SPREADING THE WORD’ and it’s filled with priceless promotion tips.You don’t want to miss it!!