Friday, July 02, 2010

True Artistic Freedom (II)

I finally printed my novel The Defenseless. I finally did it.

Publishing date will be July 21.

The novel Your Own Fate is also printed and will be released August 21.

So it begins.

It feels beyond great.

I’ve printed at and am publishing through its extensive network of distribution partners, retailers and wholesalers.

I’m quite pleased with Lightning Source so far. Quite frankly, when I read what they had to offer, I thought it was too good to be true, since when something sounds too good to be true, it very often is. But I found them to be very much on the level. They’re non expensive and fairly easy to use, and they have that great collaboration with those retailers and wholesalers around the world. Their costumer support isn’t that good, especially not the technical part (they don’t offer technical support). LSI is a printer with inherent distributor abilities. You need to know what you’re doing (they assume you do, that you are or/and have the ability and know-how of a publisher and staff), but I found it much easier then I had expected. Some of the information on their website is outdated or invalid or inaccurate for my purposes. I make a color cover and a black & white «bookblock» interior and for that you need to be able to use only two applications, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat Pro. That’s all. And in Acrobat you only need to use one single function, namely the creation of a technically correct PDF file.

My previous experience with Pre-Media, digital printing helped me tremendously, though, made it easier to understand the technical stuff. You need to read all the technical instructions on their site, but don’t despair too much while doing so. It’s easier than you fear, even though it takes time, and you should take your time learning the craft of modern printing.

You make the cover with a template provided by Lightning Source in Adobe Photoshop, save it as a PDF, following the instructions on their site. The cover to The Defenseless turned out, in real life to be exactly as I imagined it in advance. I write the content in Microsoft Word, set the desired book size and save that, too, as a PDF, using Adobe Acrobat Pro, using the easy to follow instructions at the Lightning Source site.

That’s it, really. That’s all there is to it. It works tremendously well for me. I could have made several covers a day, if I had wanted to, and it gets easier every time I’m doing it. Saving the Word-file in PDF takes a minute (five or fifty the first time, while you’re rechecking the technical specifications to be on the safe side).

If you want to make books, magazines and stuff with colored interior you’ll have to use Adobe InDesign Pro or Quark Xpress. That isn’t my department, even though I’m learning.

Costs for setting up one title are between $100 and $200, depending on your preferences. After that you pay only $10 a year for that title to remain in their digital catalog, «storage» and No More, for anything (except if you want to buy physical copies from them). From then on they just give you money for each new copy you sell. I paid about $1500 a year seven years ago for storing physical copies of each of my titles. The difference is staggering.

I should point out that I haven’t sold a single copy yet, but everything is in place. In a three weeks' time my book will be available all over the planet, for anyone wanting to buy it, and that fact alone is great beyond imagining.

This is my current publishing schedule:

The Defenseless - July 21, 2010
Your Own Fate - August 21, 2010
The Slaves - October 31, 2010
Night on Earth - December 10, 2010
Amos Keppler Collected Poems 1989 - 2003 - February 29, 2011
Birds Flying in the Dark - April 30, 2011
Dreams Belong to the Night - June 21, 2011
ShadowWalk – August 21, 2011
Alarums of Reality - October 31, 2011
At the End of the Rainbow - December 10, 2011

Afterglow Dust - February 29, 2012
Amos Keppler Selected Essays and Articles - June 21, 2012
Black Dragon - October 31, 2012
Lewis of Modern York - February 29, 2013
Thunder Road: Ice and Fire - June 21, 2013
Season of the Witch - October 31, 2013

Amos Keppler: Secrets - A collection of poems 2003 - 2015 - October 31, 2015

It will probably fail at some point (it usually does), but this is a fair approximate at this point…

I'm a man with a plan, and it's great to have a plan.

This calls for a GREAT celebration (and it will be). History will note the shaking of the Earth.

The story so far:

Firewind - my stories, art and poems on the Web

My writer «CV»

The Janus Clan

Read also these articles:

Reading it again

The chores of an independent author/artist

My fifty cents

True artistic freedom

Labeling and genre writing

Alarums of reality

The difficulties in describing a complex storyline


Anonymous said...

That's a pretty hectic schedule!

Amos Keppler said...

It is. I get the advantage of years of no publishing.