Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Self Publishing on 800 Bucks

Last week I announced my intention to self publish a collection of stories called The Eight Fingered Criminal’s Son. Going by the comments on my little blog proclamation, I can safely state that no less than twelve people are now aware that my book will soon be published.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re right. Baby, this thing is big.

In case you missed the announcement, a book store in Thailand has agreed to carry the book. Yeah, The Eight Fingered Criminal’s Son will be available soon at a book store near you, if you happen to live in Bangkok, Thailand.

The book will also be on my web site and from the trunk of my car. I just think it’s cool that my first book store is in Bangkok.

Here are my latest moves:

My budget is 800 bucks. I spent 14 bucks taking my Indie filmmaker to the Village The film guy thinks he contracted food poisoning, Nice start, huh? I have 786 dollars left in budget.

Somehow, I convinced a couple of independent filmmakers to help me shoot a 45 second promotional video this week. Watch for the video on Face Book, You Tube and Blogger.

I used to say I wouldn’t self publish anything unless it was edited by a pro with a legit track record. Come to think of it, I also used to say I’d never self publish. The point is I did a little research on genuine editors with legit track records and I learned these people cost a lot of money. I do not have a lot of money; therefore, I’ve enlisted three friends; a technical writer and two outstanding teachers to give my stories the once over for glaring typos or errors I may have missed.

Several people have steered me to Lulu. I’m having trouble getting concrete prices from these people. I spent a few hours researching printing and book publishing companies. The cost of a hundred books seems to range from five hundred to several thousand bucks. There are several printers within driving distance of my house; working with one of these outfits would save shipping costs. I don’t plan to print until late October, so I’ll take my time on this the most expensive aspect of publishing and printing my first hundred books.

Watch for the epic promotional video and I’ll keep you posted on the process. Many of you have shared information and advice. Thank you and please, keep the pointers coming.

If you’re thinking of self publishing you need to check out this article.


I dug up this sketch in an old journal. I'm thinking it might serve as a rough draft for the cover.


Susan R. Mills said...

I can't wait to see the promo video. You have a good start here. I hope you are able to stretch that 800 bucks as far as it needs to go.

David C. said...

I wish you the best of luck. I think your approach of going in with a definite budget is a good one. It also helps if you realize that the chance of selling books goes from tiny with the traditional publishing route to infinitesimal with self-publishing. But..hope springs eternal. Go for it!

#167 Dad said...

Thanks for the encouragement.
I'm really looking forward to making the video. I guess we'll see how far 800 bucks goes.

#167 Dad said...

Do you mean to say there's a chance I won't become a world famous author???
Did I mention the book store - in Thailand?
Did I tell you three people have already put in orders for the book?

Dave said...

W.Z., you've GOT to use Lightning Source directy - at least if you have the ability to typeset this baby yourself in OpenOffice or MS Word, and work up a full cover design. The cost for me was $100, not including buying the ISBN number (which you need to do in your resident country).

LS Print-On-Demand is available in every Amazon store and worldwide via TheBookDepository (though that took a bit longer to show up). I started writing the "how to" articles here: http://daviddouglasbooks.com/node/49

I am totally happy with everything except my front cover pic. Might change that eventually, which will cost me a whopping $35.

Total cost for you: $100 plus whatever an ISBN number costs. And dinner+drinks for your editing friends.

Jason said...


Exciting! Hey - if you have them (or some printed) Oct 16-23, I will be in Chandler. If you buy me a beer or 5, I might just handle free shipping back to the store in Thailand!


congrats.i may need to refer to you to ask some questions about the process of publishing a book

Bluesfrau said...

Yay! You go, Dad! I fully believe in you, and I wish to see you rocking the book world. Have fun with the video shoot - fun is very important when shooting a video! :))
Bangkok sounds like a cool place to start at (the global connection). ;)

#167 Dad said...

This is great news for my $800. budget. Thank you.

#167 Dad said...

A beer - or five in exchange for shipping? You've got a deal!

#167 Dad said...

ask away. I'm learning fast. I'll know a heckuva lot more next week than I know today.
And I want to see you run up that hill, man.

#167 Dad said...

Thanks for the good mojo.

italgalmm said...

Maybe you could start a donation fund.. you could call it something like..

"Take a Stand.. Help a kid with an Eight Fingered Hand!"

You know... make it sound like a good cause.

I mean in a way it's not really false advertising ... It WOULD be for a good cause..

Tell you what if this works.. When you become all rich and famous with your book deal...maybe you can get me tickets to the Oprah Show?..
If not... you could always join the FB page my daughter started.. Let's get Marcy to the Oprah Show.

Good Luck !
( To both of us !! )

#167 Dad said...

when it comes down to it, all kids have eight fingers - and two thumbs
i'll have to ruminate on this one.
let me see if oprah's still on my roledex. maybe i can give her a call for you.

beFrank said...

Are you taking investments? I got some walking around/overtime money burning a hole in my pocket.

#167 Dad said...

Thank you. We will surely talk this over.

Guely of Sweden said...

Twelve people? I think it's a veeery promising start. Don't you remember Jesus? He started with a crowd of twelve! Well... he ended up nailed but you have to look at the Big Picture man!

#167 Dad said...

You are the man, G-Man. I dog the Biblical allusion.
Wait 'till you see the video. It's epic.

Momma Fargo said...