Last week, I opened up a carton of my latest book, Ride Lake Superior, and began packing books into a suitcase to take to the Twin Cities Book Festival. As I dug into one of the stacks, I came across a book that didn’t quite belong to me. It had my words, but someone else’s cover. I emailed the author of the other book to let him know that he may have had a similar mis-match. He thanked me and said he’d check his shipment. I contacted CreateSpace and they sent me a new, correct copy. Such are the perils of self-publishing.
I got into self-publishing because I had an idea for a book, but it didn’t seem like the kind of a book that traditional publishers would take a chance on. I had had books published before. I received a $1 royalty for every book sold. If I published the book myself, I’d be able to keep more of the profits (if there were any). That’s how Ride Minnesota: 23 Great Motorcycle Rides in the North Star State came about.
There are a lot of companies now that help you publish your own book. They offer complete services, including editing, cover and interior design and printing. All operate differently. There are local companies here in Minneapolis. I chose to go with CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, because I didn’t have to order a truckload of books. The books are printed on demand, so I can order one copy or 100. I’ve also been able to set up a distribution network so that my books are shipped directly to Harley-Davidson dealers around the state, the invoices sent to me, and I add my upcharge to them and take my profit.
One of the hardest things about book publishing is the design of the book. I didn’t want a generic cover. I turned to a designer with whom I’ve worked for several years, Lisa Marek of Fat Cat Art Studio. She helped me get the look and feel that I wanted for Ride Minnesota, Ride Lake Superior and An Anniversary to Remember.
I trusted CreateSpace for the interior design of Ride Minnesota. I still cringe at the incredibly poor typography. So I turned the guts of Anniversary and Superior over to Lisa, too. It’s been a learning process for both of us.
I learned something from the mis-matched cover: I don’t like the feel of the matte cover. Glad I stuck with glossy.