The Long and Winding Road

To quote Welsh super-crooner Sir Tom Jones, those of you who Try to Remember, will probably recall what happened to Gina, our resident blogger, deep in December. But if not . . . . see the Dec 5th post.

We have been trying to return to the old blog, but it’s been difficult. Turns out, getting back on your feet after breaking a leg is rather a long journey! However, starting in July she’ll be attempting twice a weekly post from her new office . . . .

Lookin’ good, Gina!  Keep that typing hand free.

In the meanwhile, check out this recent AP article on Lighting Source’s Espresso Book Machine, which we’ve been telling authors about for 3+ years, and how well some self-published authors are fairing through its direct hard-copy (paperback) sales.

And, if you are thinking of starting a publishing house to have your revenge, keep control, or make money, you might as well start with the 12 step program

For anyone thinking to become a publisher (ie, start a legit publishing house) here is your 12-step to-do list:

  1. Pick a name (stop by a library, look at Writer’s Market, and use Goggle to make sure no other US publisher is using that name)
  2. Get a .com web address in your company’s chosen name.  (.com will make your life way easier, don’t purchase anything else or any other web addresses with the same name but a different extension, it’s a waste of money)
  3. Register the name to yourself. ($7.00)
  4. Put up a webpage (Use if you want a good, reliable easy to use, fully functional, loaded with extras, exceptionally priced host with great customer service — $50/year)
  5. Rent a PO box for deliveries/submission
  6. Apply for a business license. . . ($35-50)
  7. Run a DBA (Doing business as) advert ($25)
  8. Get a Board of Equalization reseller license (free)
  9. Get an EIN from the IRS  (Free, over the phone!)
  10. Establish your business account at a bank (free)
  11. Once you have your bank card . . . .
  12. Purchase a block of ISBN’s, probably 10 or 100  ($250-525), from Bowker.

Now you are set up to do business as a publisher in the eyes of your city/state/country and other publishers . . . .  But, there are additional steps to embark on — because you still don’t have a book to sell.

  1. Purchase Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat) to create your books, logo, etc.
  2. Design your logo and Vista Print some business cards. (optional)
  3. Apply to the Library of Congress to join the PCN program (free).
  4. Set up your BOE account and go to a class so you are sure you understand how it works (free)
  5. Set up with LSI, that’s Lightning Source International.  To handle your printing and distribution services worldwide, including digitally.
  6. You will need separate contracts to deal with Amazon and iBooks.( Barnes & Noble works with Ingram, LSI’s parent.)

Now you can work on the book.

  1. Format the book out with your software.
  2. Create a cover template using LSI’s cover generator (this will include barcode)
  3. Get a LoC Control number (through the PCN program) and be sure to include it in the book.
  4. Set up your title with LSI & Upload (total cost, $75, plus $12 a year for catalog)
  5. Do a short print run, say 5 copies ($40).
  6. Have people read them, and correct any errors. ($40 to re upload the entire corrected book, or cover, so worth it)
  7. Set up the book as an ebook. (separate ISBN)

Not really done yet . . . .

  1. Do a short print run, so you can mail 1 copy to LoC PCN program (required) and 2 copies to LoC Copyright office.
  2. Set up an account with the copyright office (free),
  3. Submit your copyright claim ($35) and mail them the books
  4. Update your website & BowkerLink showing your book is for sale.
  5. Decide if you are going to allow it to be on Google Books (Free)
  6. Create another version for Amazon Kindle (with another ISBN)
  7. Make sure your accounting (Quick books is good) is kept up to date because the IRS and the BOE will care.

If you’re thinking holy crap, yeah . . . that’s what it’s like. And we’re not even talking about marketing here or contracts you have with authors, editors, designers (because we’re going to presume you’re doing it all with the help of concerned family and slightly tech savvy friends.)  But we want to be honest with you  —  This is just the bare bones basics of getting a book to market.  If it sounds overwhelming, it can be.  But basically it’s just step by step, slow and steady.

If you want to put your book into an audio or pod format . . . that’s for another day.  We just want to talk books today.  And if you walk away with no other useful piece of information, remember the name Lightning Source.  There’s a lot of steps to publishing, but if you can’t make and deliver a product, you’re out of business. Basically LSI gets you into hardback, paperback, and ebooks, with a low overhead. If you have the guts and the passion, LSI lets you turn into a real publisher putting out real books on a small scale, or a very large one, all over the world.

We really recommend that if you are going to become a small publisher, you think about going with LSI for 3 main reasons:

  1.  You can start from the ground up, and learn to do it all over time.
  2. You never have to shell out for a book you won’t use.
  3. You have instant access to a host of services that make your life way easier.

We meet a lot of people who start up a company to publish a book (usually their own), only get stuck with a bunch of ISBNs they’ll never need, and worse, a bunch books they paid for but can’t shift that now take up storage space. Basically printing books you can’t sell is money you’ll never get back.  That won’t happen with LSI because you can go POD, until you hit some bigger orders. And sadly, many of these publishers don’t even recognize that if they do get themselves into this horrible situation . . .  it’s still not the end of the world.  There are book overstock and remainder resellers, who will take those unwanted books off your hands so you can then write them off as a loss.

Any here’s a brief list of what LSI does. . . .

Print to Order

  • With this service the publisher sets the retail price, wholesale discount and return policy.
  • We send the data out to our Distribution partners (including leading distributors such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, and others).
  • They capture the demand from booksellers, libraries and consumers and we print to fill the order.
  • We collect the wholesale price, deduct the print cost and pay the publisher the balance.
  • The price for this service is $12.00 a year per title. Just one dollar a month.
  • B&N purchases through Ingram Book Group.
  • As you know Lightning Source titles are listed in the Print-to-Order program – an exclusive service that allows Ingram to display 100 copies on hand at all times. As part of this arrangement, and to avoid book buyers from having to backorder, we at Lightning Source guarantee books ordered by Ingram will be printed and returned to their shipping dock within 8 – 12 hours, generally in time to be included in the book buyer’s regular order.

Print to Publisher

  • With this program we fill orders placed by the publisher and ship them in any quantity to any location. That can be one book to a reviewer or 5,000 to a warehouse.
  • As part of that service we offer Offset printing on paperback quantities of over 2,000 or hardback quantities of over 750.
  • Turn around time on digital printing is days, turn around time of offset is about 7-10 days depending on the books specifics.

Offset printing

  • Offset printing isn’t a component of Print to Order.
  • We also offer traditional printing services for titles that require large print orders.

Pretty amazing. At their site, you can read over various contracts, get a grip on what happens in production, what things cost, learn about print/distribution/marketing . . . . and we recommend you do all that if this is the route you want to go.

Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbie, Mate — Print on Demand server Lightning Source makes for the Land Down Under

For anyone that missed the news . . . . Ingram is already reaching out to publishers regarding the Australia plant’s opening in June 2011.

Ingram Content Group expands global presence with Lightning Source print-on-demand operation in Australia

NASHVILLE, TN – Ingram Content Group Inc. today announced it will expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific market by establishing a full-scale Lightning Source print-on-demand book manufacturing operation in Australia.

“The expansion of our Lightning Source global print solution into Australia is a significant step in the ongoing mission of Ingram Content Group to help content reach its destination swiftly and efficiently to retailers and readers worldwide,” said David “Skip” Prichard, President and CEO, Ingram Content Group. “This expansion of Ingram’s global presence, from the United Kingdom to France and now Australia, provides publishers with expanded market reach and sales opportunities, as well as makes thousands of books available quickly and affordably to booksellers and their customers.”

Mr. Prichard continued, “Our Lightning Source operation in Australia will build on our already solid relationships as a leading retail and library supplier in this market. We now look forward to offering our customers an in-market print-on-demand model and introducing the benefits and flexibility that virtual inventory affords.”

Locating a print-on-demand book manufacturing facility in Australia gives publishers options to reduce or remove the need to warehouse local inventory and reduces transportation and potential stock write-off costs. For publishers that currently take advantage of book manufacturing and distribution from Lightning Source, adding expanded distribution to this new market will be seamless and straightforward.

Publishers can take advantage of a virtual inventory model through print-on-demand to dramatically increase the number of titles on hand in the region and drive additional sales, a benefit not only for the publisher but also for the entire supply chain. Publishers located in Australia can drive additional sales through the US and UK Lightning Source retail channels.

The Lightning Source plant in Australia will be Ingram Content Group’s fifth networked book manufacturing facility. Lightning Source North American facilities include its headquarters in La Vergne, Tennessee, and a plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Lightning Source international locations include a large-scale operation in Milton Keynes, UK, central to London that serves the European region and a facility in Maurepas, France, a joint-venture with Hachette Book Group.

The new operation in Australia will manufacture both paperback and hardcover black and white interior books. With a digital library of over 4.4 million books, Lightning Source has printed and delivered over 99 million books on behalf of publishers around the world.

Ingram Content Group’s Lightning Source facility in Australia is expected to begin operation in June 2011.

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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