Let me design your book, restore your photos, or print your art . . .  
UL Corner
12/14 Small Logo 12/14 type lines for logo
UR Corner
L Edge Art
12 on 14 Links logo
12on14 Book Design Logo
Thoughts on Self-publishing by Walton Mendelson

I assume you've just finished your manuscript. Bravo! Now the next part of its journey begins: it must become a book.

I have been where your are: I have written books, fiction and nonfiction, and made art and books. I have had them published and I have self published. I understand the joys and frustrations ahead.
The publishing world has changed. A group of editors and publishers on the Charlie Rose show were asked, "If you received a first book over the transom that was as good as anything you've ever read, what are the chances of its publication." To a man, "Zero." Publishers have laid off mid-level editors, and spend millions of dollar in advances for the next block buster. Those millions represent hundreds of first books that will not be printed.
Agents are now often required to produce manuscripts that meet house style and fully edited with the same 15% commission. But the average first book earns about $1500, $150 for the agent—not much for all the work now falling on the agent's shoulders. And then consider that of all the first books published, one way or another, 70% of the authors never publish a second book.
So between the blockbuster, the lack of mid-level editors, the pressures on agents, self-publishing looks more and more attractive. The publishing industry abhors self publishing/vanity press as do bookstores. But the history of book publishing is centuries of just that: authors paying to have their works published. I know a photographer who had several books of his work that had sold out. He approached his publisher with the idea for a third (or fourth) book. They were enthusiastic, but only if he paid the production costs! So even having a good track record is no guarantee of anything. (And if you're Mr. S. King, you're not reading this page.)
One good argument against choosing to self publish is the lack of marketing. Consider, however, that some 60,000+ books will be published this year. How many will be advertised in newspapers or magazines? How many will be reviewed? Most books, regardless of the type of publication arrive in this world unheralded, whether published by Random House or you.
So if you are considering self publishing, and your manuscript is edited, your next step is designing and typesetting—even for ebooks.

Can you design your own book? Yes, you can, and you can do it in Word. Do I recommend that? No. There can be hundreds of decisions building a book. And although Word gives you more control over type than you would have had a dozen years ago, it is unstable for book design—the hours you spend removing widows and rivers, or creating an index, can disappear in a flash when Word decides to repaginate, and it will. Likewise, you can design your own cover.

There are many companies that will design your book, and offer you good, better, best pricing. But if you read carefully, you'll see things like "up to ten hours of design," or "with this plan we give you six choices interior page design." But if you have foreign words, slang, unusual glyphs, tables, legends, etc. you just might find them missing. After all what do you get for "ten hours"?
I worked on one book where the author had paid for the premium package—"we'll do everything." It took three editors to undo most of what the first had done (for example: changing the pronoun "he" to "she" to be gender neutral, when, however, the "he" referred to a male character). All of the italics for foreign words, emphasis, and reverie were stripped out. Rather than permitting him to resubmit the original manuscript, they continued to work on the altered one: over 1700 hours of his time later, and after coming to me for help, he had a book.
Whatever you choose, print-on-demand or standard offset lithography, I'm here to help you walk your book through the self-publishing maze.
If I work on your book, when it is done, when I hold a copy in my hand, it is my feeling that "I made that." I don't want to be disappointed, so it is my goal that you are not disappointed either.
Before you send off your files, I will send you a comp: a one-off, fully printed, trimmed, and bound copy of your book. Don't you want to see it before you're surprised? (It is easier to catch errors from a hard copy than a monitor image. So there's one more chance to get it perfect.)
If you just want to publish your own booklets or microbook using your desktop printer, click Templates.
Let me design your book. Prescott is an email away—contact!
Thank you, Walton Mendelson
LL Art
Links Logo
LL Corner 12on14.com logo LR Corner
Copyright © 1982-2008 Walton Mendelson, except as noted. All rights reserved.
Link to 12on14 Terms and Conditions page Link to 12/14 Gallery page Link to 12/14 Links Page Link to 12/14 Site Map page Link to 12/14 Contact Page Link to 12/14 Quote Page 12/14 Link to Glossary Intro Page Link to 12on14 Home page Link to 12 on 14 Terms page Link to 12 on 14 Gallery of Book Covers page Link to 12 on 14 Links page Link to 12 on 14 Sitemap page Link to 12 on 14 Contact  page Link to 12 on 14 Quote page LInk to 12 on 14 Glossary of Technical  Terms page