How hard is it to publish and produce your own book?
December 17, 2003 11:01 AM   Subscribe

How hard is it to publish and produce your own book? Do you know of any small run press situations where you can vouch for the quality? Someone suggested CafePress, but it seems dubious and probably not much better than a copy center like Kinkos.
posted by agregoli to Writing & Language (13 answers total)
how small of a print run do you want? i would suggest going to small local presses and getting estimates -- i published a 100 page lit magazine once, probably 250 copies, for less than $1500. going into the press will actually be a good idea -- they may have extra runs of paper, etc, that you can get a good deal on.

but overall it wasn't difficult. the hard part was actually putting it together, checking galleys, etc.
posted by sugarfish at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2003

the cafepress books look pretty good. you can order lance arthur's new book here.
posted by judith at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2003

I can do layout and editing, if that helps.

Depending on the size of the book, I recommend InDesign or Ventura. InDesign if it's heavy on graphics and weird font tricks; Ventura if it's more like a textbook.

There are a few presses in town. Canuckbuck costs. I can find out more about costs if you provide details.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 AM on December 17, 2003

Response by poster: It would be more like an art book, probably, but small. I like the ease of doing it online, and being able to electronically send my art and text...any links for me? I'm in the U.S. too, and would prefer a U.S. thingy.
posted by agregoli at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2003

Response by poster: Oh, and it would be a print run of under 500.
posted by agregoli at 11:36 AM on December 17, 2003

You might find the info at No Media Kings useful.
posted by dobbs at 11:36 AM on December 17, 2003

I posted about previously. You'd find people there who are knowledgeable about Print-On-Demand and self-publishing. The printing part is probably easier than the distribution part. It's a lot of work to get your book into stores and/or to get enough press to create sales. Good Luck.
posted by theora55 at 1:12 PM on December 17, 2003 (Kevin Kelly) published a nice coffeetable book, and describes the process in detail on that site.
posted by mecran01 at 1:23 PM on December 17, 2003

Response by poster: Do you know where he talks about it? I've been searching the site but can't find it. Sorry to be so hopeless.
posted by agregoli at 1:47 PM on December 17, 2003

Response by poster: Is InDesign a home program? That's the only thing I could find online.
posted by agregoli at 2:16 PM on December 17, 2003

As I have never personally used the service to print anything, please do not take this as an endorsement, but you may want to explore iUniverse. We have a number of books printed by them in our library (I work at the US Holocaust Museum, and a lot of Holocaust survivors self-publish their memoirs), and the quality of the books they produce seems good. Plus they have some sort of distribution deal with Barnes and Noble, I think.
posted by arco at 2:34 PM on December 17, 2003

InDesign is for page layout.
posted by furiousthought at 2:37 PM on December 17, 2003

Although I haven't given it much beyond a glance, Lulu seems good. Bob Young from Red Hat is involved if that lends it any credibility and they seem to be quite involved.
posted by ODiV at 8:56 PM on December 17, 2003

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