#88 – BIG UPDATE! A short lesson in self publishing.

I have not posted since April! YIKES!  I have been busy busy!  So here is a big recap!

Appliqué Animals A-Z is published! 

This was a really BIG lesson for me and it might be useful to you if you might want to someday author a book! The story started out last spring when I had the idea for a baby animal book. I submitted the proposal to my publisher and it was accepted. I got to work writing the book and patterns right away. I had a due date of March 2012 from the publisher. Just a few weeks before the final copy was due I received a letter that they changed their minds about the book. Of course my first emotion was disappointment and sadness. That lasted about 2 hours and of course it lit a fire under my tushie! I decided to publish it myself. I started by looking tirelessly on the internet for printers. I talked to many quilt designers about their experiences. I  was able to use my pattern printer to create a 54 page saddle stitched book. I had to find a printer that could print a small number of copies for a reasonable price. I used Docucopies online at http://www.docucopies.com. They are great. My first run was 100 copies. I am so happy to say that we vended in Hershey last weekend for the first time ever and sold 35 copies!  That is AWESOME!!!! So even though it was a long learning process I will be making much more than the industry rate of “a buck a book” – and sometimes less than that!

Self Publishing- the whole story

If you want to self publish a book here is what you need to do. First you need to write the book. Once you do that you need to create all the patterns and samples. Once all of that work is done you must have your book laid out in a graphics program. I am a graphic designer and I used In Design by Adobe. I followed the layouts of my first two books – Blocks Across America and Blocks Around the World. I had laid those books out myself two years ago. It is important to develop a style sheet for the entire book. You pick a font and size, color and weight and you use that throughout the book. Titles might be larger and in a different color. Chapters might have yet another type treatment. By keeping consistent throughout the book looks professional and orderly. Once you have your book laid out you need to drop in photos. I took my own photos. Most are very good – some could be better. I am planning to look into a photographer to help me out next time around. Then you need to obtain an “ISBN” number. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products, such as audiobooks What is the purpose of an ISBN?The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.

Then you  need a UPC barcode.  Booksellers prefer to use a machine readable or scannable version of the ISBN number in their systems processing. The Bookland EAN symbol is the most widely used barcode format in the publishing industry as it encodes the ISBN number and can also include the price.The largest book retailers, as well as many book wholesalers, require books to display the Bookland EAN barcode graphic symbol which carries the ISBN. At the point of sale in a bookstore, the ISBN is scanned and all related information about the title is accessed in their sales system — identifying the price correctly and subtracting a copy from their inventory etc. The Bookland EAN Barcode is an essential component of booksellers handling of the book.

Last, I included a QR scan. What is a QR Scan? QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of four standardized kinds (“modes”) of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, Kanji), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data. My QR code takes you to my website store. The ISBN number cost 250.00 for 10. The barcodes are 25.00 each. These can be obtained from http://www.isbn.org. I purchased my UPC there as well. You also need to register with the library of congress however there is a huge wait for that – as the LOC is full. Not sure what that will entail.

It was a challenge to pick the type of book I wanted printed. If I chose a perfect bound book then the pages would not lay flat. (perfect binding is the flat glue bindings) But Perfect bindings allow for a title to be on the spine. Spiral Bound books are great – but no title on the end and it is quite expensive. So I opted for a saddle stitched 54 page book. This way the pages lay flat when quilters copy them. I used premium gloss heavyweight page stock and a heavy cover. They came out great! Go to my website to see the books for sale on my online store.

Inside the book

Inside the book you get the entire pattern for the cover quilt plus 26 animals. You also get full directions on how to raw edge appliqué the Zebra Patterns way with NO TRACING and NO REVERSING! Also included is a full gallery and a fun funky alphabet. It is a great book. I am very proud of it! Lokk at the picture above to see all the animals included.

I am working on Animals on the Farm for Book Two now! And then we must not forget the little critters in the woods – book three will be wilderness animals!

Stay tuned much more to come!




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sewwritecreations
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 21:03:49

    Congratulations on producing your baby! Amazing how creative we can get when we want something done, isn’t it? You took quite a journey getting your patterns & book done & out!


  2. Anne Marie Troy
    Aug 02, 2012 @ 03:06:04

    Congrats, Debra!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: