Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Beta Runs Before the Wind

Yes, I had to tinker and
make a beta cover. 
I submitted Veil of a Warrior to a few beta readers in 2010. Though I liked the response, I realized eventually that there was more to do and the story was not ready. Back to the drawing board and four years later its off to beta one more time.

The book is ready to fly and in my excitement to finally publish, I had to hit the brakes. None of this round of beta readers uses an e-reader, so I had to look into my print options.

I don’t own a laser printer and quickly found that printing a 692 page behemoth on an inkjet to be a really bad idea. So,
I checked Staples’ print center and they wanted $30-something per copy. (Initially they said $70 — and my heart stopped — then they rechecked their math.) My local book megastore, Powell’s City of Books, larger than life and even cooler than you might think, has a print on demand machine that can crank it out for $15 per pop. Pass. I turned to, saw the price would be $10.74, but checked just to make sure and saw it was lighter by a buck-sixty.


But then, as I dived deep into CreateSpace, reading the fine print, formatting and uploading the work, setting up a cover, I hit bottom with a thud. CreateSpace is thoroughly setup to print for publication and NOT for a couple prints kept private. Presumably (based on a forum post) it’s possible, but first you have to go through a review process that can take 24-48 hours.


So, back to Lulu. Thankfully, I only wasted a couple hours on CreateSpace. No biggie.

*Grumble, grumble.*

After an hour with Lulu I got it done and printed, finally... However, shipping prices are abysmal for the couple copies and the wait will be annoying (3-5 days just to print).

Follow-up: I get home tonight, check my e-mail and see the review process from CreateSpace is done. So I click over to see what the price would have been if I had waited for them. Minimal right? No big deal, right?

Wrong. I could have saved $4/book! AND gotten the book faster. Color me bummed, disappointed and wishing CreateSpace had put the info upfront.

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