Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oct. 7 - Oct. 13, 2012 Discussions

Last week, there were no 11th anniversary news stories about the anthrax attacks of 2001.  Nor were there any updates about the Syracuse hoax letters.  So, my comment on my web site for Sunday October 7 was all about the progress I've made on my new book.

I received another rejection from a literary agent last week.  It was another form letter, but it was in response to a query I sent out on August 1.  So, it took the agent 65 days to respond.  That was the only response I received, so it's looking more and more like I'm going to self-publish.

One thing you need to do if you self-publish and don't want to hire "professionals" to do all the work for you, is to design the cover.  I think I've pretty much settled on the cover art for the book.  For the moment, I'm still keeping the title confidential, but here's what the combined back and front covers will probably look like:

I decided to publish the book via Create Space, which is owned by  It's "print on demand" company, which means they do not publish a truckload of books and send them to you to put in your garage or in a warehouse somewhere.  It means you do not have to fill the orders for books and incur the shipping costs to get copies to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.  In theory, the print-on-demand company just prints a copy whenever anyone wants one, and they take care of the shipping.  (In reality, they probably print a small supply and reprint when the small supply is gone.)  That makes the production costs for a single book much higher, but it also means you won't end up with a warehouse full of books you cannot sell.

Click HERE for Wikipedia's explanation of what print-on-demand is all about.

I have lots of other chores to do before they can start printing.  I need to get a Library of Congress Control Number, which goes on the page after the cover page of the book.  When I have that, I need to upload a single pdf file to Create Space that contains the entire book.  They run some kind of program that checks for typical errors in the pdf file.  If there are no errors, we then go through a process of doing "proofs" to see what the printed book pages will actually look like.  Those "proofs" are shipped to me to look over.  If everything is okay, they then tell me how much it will cost to print copies.  That tells me what the retail price needs to be.  That enables me to put the price on the back cover and obtain the UPC scanner code for the bottom of the back cover.  That lets me finalize the cover art.  And, again there's a "proof" process.

Then I'll probably have them print me 30 or 40 copies, which I'll give to members of my family and to sources who helped me with the book.  I may also send copies to journalists and scientists who might write reviews for me.

So, the end is in sight.  I'm still hoping that an agent will want to represent the book, but if no agent has asked to do that by the time I've received the 30 or 40 copies and had a chance to look them over, I'll tell Create Space and to put the book on sale.


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