Saturday, December 16, 2006

This is probably my final design for the front cover of The Book. The inside title page is still Augustine being pulled up to G's red carpet, as shown on the Dec.4th post below. I'm at the sleepless/foodless/legless stage now. The plan of having the book printed before Christmas was unrealistic: everything grinds to a halt during this season of enforced merriment and nobody nowhere is interested in one's silly deadlines. The earliest my baby will come rolling off the presses is end of January/early February. That's okay, it's been a year in gestation, why hurry now?

The meticulous care and boring know-how required when you're doing all your own pre-print production, is one reason why self-publishing isn't the Holy Grail. The HG is having a publisher and his minions take all this sweatshop labour off your frail shoulders while you sit back and contemplate the six-figure cheque which is your well-deserved advance. On the other hand, the efficient self-publisher has the advantage of total control. Nice, but who needs total control? Wouldn't you rather have minions running around doing things for you? And be able to tell them off when they do it all wrong? Self-publishing a novel or a book of poems is a doddle - yes, a doddle, I'm telling you (I don't mean the writing of it but the technical production process). Self-publishing a book which is 99% graphics in full colour is a tiny bit insane, especially if you're aiming for as near visual perfection as the medium allows. Not to mention (but I will) having to work out in excruciating detail what it will cost and how much you need to earn from sales in order to break even or, possibly, make a small profit.

To tell the truth, I really hate this process and having done it several times in the past, I hope never to have to do it again. Maybe this time (da da di dah) I'll be lucky and my prince publisher will come along and fit the crystal shoe to my foot when he/she sees what a gem this little self-published book is, and then I'll live happily ever after while minions take care of all the production/printing/promotion/selling/packing/sending, and millions await the latest newest God interview which I'll be churning out in uninterrupted gleeful flow.

If it would be useful to those of you who may be thinking of self-publishing anything, I could go into the nuts and bolts of the stages in publishing this particular book, right up to the day of its launch into the world. Leave a comment if you're interested in my posting a sort of journal of the process. And also, it would be great if I had some idea of how many people are actually going to order the book when it's ready (haven't worked out the price yet). No need to fork out any money yet, just send me an email with the subject line: "I want the book" and you might mention how many copies you will order (for you, your family, your friends, your cat, your dog, etc.). Thank you.

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