Monday, May 16, 2005

Uh, help? Maybe?

Has anyone ever self-published anything before? Cafe Press or any of that mumbo-jumbo? Heard of it? Used it ever? What’s the 411 on these shmoes? I have a little project I’m working on, a piece for the sake of sentimentality if you will (nothing I would consider forwarding to Random House or some shit). I have a plan for it, and it requires decent binding, easy delivery, and some cover art. It’s personal-ish, but I want it to be nice. It deserves to be nice.

So, unless I can pull off something pretty professional looking over at fucking kinko’s (if that’s possible, and you know how, let a brutha know), I’m going to need the aide of some professional types, preferably in the binding/publishing/whatever industry. Where do I go if I want to publish something on my own? Some one-off kinda shit?

Man. After checking out that Cafe Press website, it occurs to me that MANY people actually publish their blogs. I am having a bit of trouble understanding this trend. I mean, it’s already published, right? For free? Out on the interweb? So… what’s with the hard copy? Are people buying these things for their coffee tables or what?

Weird.

I can understand the publishing of stories, fact or fiction, which just happen to be on a blog. But to just publish the same shit that got posted out in blog land, in chronological order? Like THIS entry? That’s… an awful idea.

I might publish a book that is entirely made up of pictures of my toes. From all different angles. Some black and white, some color. Filters over the lens. Perhaps some drawings or paintings of them. Photos of interpretive dance, designed to represent the digits of my feet. It will be marketed in Burma, and Burma alone. I believe they need my toes.

Any word on the self-publishing thing? You got some knowledge to drop or what?

12 comments:

Sara said...

Wish i could help. years ago i was gonna have a book made of my poetry and drawings and give them out to friends and family, purely for vanity. I wish i could remember the company that was gonna do it. but i think they wanted to print a minimum of like 16 books or some shit. i decided against it.

Truecraig said...

Yeah. This would be something similar to your project, but it would be just one story. Preferrably with images embedded in the text. But, I could do with text only.

I wouldn't mind a minimum order, as long as the books weren't a billion bucks each.

Sara said...

Don't know if you've tried this already or not but I googled "book printer gift" and got lots of listings. Most of them give free quotes and will print as few as one.

Truecraig said...

Coo'. I'll check it out.

846 N. 18th Street said...

Cafepress is the best way to do it, if you don't want to put up money upfront. You don't make much though and you have to charge excessive prices if you want to make even the slightest profit. They do a great job and deliver a great product though.

Bella_by_Barlight said...

How many pages?

Google "self publish or perish". It's good for a laugh even if you don't find the information you're looking for.

Anonymous said...

i think you should start a company specializing in publishing independant artist you like, like Gallager, and The Big O, and Ray Ramano. Now That's a spicy meatball! Or you could use the profits from your book to buy Ramshit a speek and spell. In fact if we all pool our money maybe we can get him a whole new education that way we can teach him to count too.

-Jeff

Girl With An Alibi said...

Hey Craig, I don't know if this is what your looking for but if you want a self publisher for the purposes of selling to the public. Check out http://publishing.booklocker.com/ they are the same people who do the writersweekly e-newsletter and they have alot of great support services for writers. I plan to use them for a book of short stories I'm doing.

Girl With An Alibi said...

I meant "what you're looking for" not "your looking for" -- Damn I type too fast sometimes.

Truecraig said...

846: I saw your book “Two Years In Electric Form” out there, while I was researching for my own project. I put in an order for myself, just to check out your work, and to see what their production looks like. I’m glad you decided to publish non-blog material. I’m a bit confused as to why people do that.

Bella: I plan the project to be approximately 100 pages, about 10 chapters total. Nothing earth-shaking, just a personal project that I would LOVE to see in print. That’s all. Very narcissistic, I know. But that’s okay because I have no shame. I like the whole ‘self publish or perish’ search. Good times…

Anon Jeff: Do you mean Ray Romano? The sitcom guy? And which Gallager are you talking about? The fruit crusher? I would love to work with The Big O, but he’s busy with a really good documentary idea at the moment. If I ever got into publishing, I’d bother him to write though. Don’t knock Ramdung unless you are either a) a friend who knows him well enough to do so, or b) Ramdung himself, in which case, you continue to make you laugh you gamblin’ fool! Ramshite, you do need an editor man. Like, almost as bad as me. And that’s not… good.

GWAA: I will definitely check out the booklocker site if I ever plan on producing anything for mass consumption. This project is a one-off kind of deal. More personal. I’d probably offer it up for sale to the public, but not in the form that I want to produce it right now (too personal for that, probably). Thanks for the advice, and let a brutha know what’s going on with your short stories! (it’s always more interesting to read the works of someone you’re sorta-kinda already introduced to, rather than a complete stranger, know what I mean?) Word.

Sean said...

You might consider publishing a series using the Street Performer Protocol for compensation.

Put the first chapter/book out there for free. Then put your virtual hat down and demand it be filled with $100 before you release the next chapter. Repeat, and up the price each time if you can.

Truecraig said...

Sean - actually, this really is just a one-off project. This isn't one of my longer pieces of fiction or anything. It's a special case.

I just want it to look nice when I'm done. Like my mix CDs and shit.