Blogs Into Books

February 4, 2010 · 8 comments

in Self-Publishing

I am a senior in college who is working on her capstone project. For this project I want to take some of my writing (blog entries) and make a book. I don’t know what is involved in the process of getting a manuscript ready to print, so I was wondering if you could tell me what the process is.

From your website I’ve been able to glean that there are the following stages involved:
Graphic design, layout, typesetting, other areas of pre-press work (I don’t know what this covers, getting files ready for press

Could you explain this process either to me or on your blog?

Also, could you recommend anyone who could perhaps mentor me through my project?(please, please, please?)

Thank you for your time and attention.

One option is to explore the various companies that are set up to turn your blog into a book. I haven’t used any of them myself, but I know some bloggers who have done it. Just Google “blog into book” and you’ll find lots of information.

If you want to go the self-publishing route, the stages of publishing are:

  • Write the book, rewrite, polish
  • Have experienced readers take a look at it and give feedback
  • Rewrite more and make it as good as you can.
  • Editing—get a professional (see more here)
  • Typesetting—this includes layout, internal design in a REAL typesetting program (not Word); getting ISBN, LCCN (if needed)
  • Book cover—cover design and layout (there are specific dpi and image types to use for press)
  • Proofing final files from a print copy
  • Preflighting—getting files ready for the printer
  • Sending book to printer (POD or traditional printer)
  • Press check—making sure the files are correct
  • Print book
  • Sell book (if applicable)—distribution, marketing, promo, etc.

Those are the basic steps. Only they’re not really “basic” as some of them require unique skill sets that take time and training to develop.

As to finding someone (or several someones) to help you with this, readers? Chime in again, please.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 8 comments }

Katya February 4, 2010 at 7:23 am

Is an LCCN available for any old book? I'm familiar with the CIP program for academic presses, but I know that self-published works aren't eligible for that program. How else would one get an LCCN?

Moriah Jovan February 4, 2010 at 8:58 am

It's not an LCCN. It's a PCN (Preassigned Control Number). Most people don't know the difference, so it looks just as official as an LCCN.

B10's books all have one and they all have a cataloging block on the copyright page, which is the only reason we bother to get one. I figure, if we go all out for the customer, we should probably consider librarians and library patrons our customers, too, and make it easy to find.

Moriah Jovan February 4, 2010 at 8:59 am

Oh, and this is where you get one of those PCN thingies:

http://ecip.loc.gov/pls/ecip/pub_signon?system=pcn

Katya February 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

Very interesting–thanks!

Marny February 4, 2010 at 11:47 am

I do book design if you need help with that. (Too bad you are doing it this semester and not next—you could take my Print Publishing class.)

Marny February 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

CIP is not available for self-publishers. A publisher must have published three books by someone not the publisher before they qualify to apply for CIP. However, PCN is available to everyone.

Marny February 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

One other step that should be done (either during or after typesetting) is to get quotes from a number of printers. Different printers have different equipment and may print a job more economically than another printer. Some printers specialize in books. Most printers won't turn down a book job, but they may subcontract it to someone else and charge a higher price. Some printers in the Midwest can give better quotes including shipping than local printers. It pays to shop around. A good resource on asking for printer quotes is at Aeonix's Web site.

Th. February 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm

.

Here's a related question for when the contest is over.

Does selling serialization rights affect selling the book as one piece either positively or negatively?

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