10. Print and Perform
The words and the pictures are done. You know the output – eBook and or print – and you have already put a great deal of thought into your book launch and hopefully, beyond.
Printing a book is a stage requiring your focus for a moment. The single determinant is your budget. How much are you prepared to outlay right now? It could take years to recover the costs unless you are working on sales full time, so make sure it is either unallocated funds in your budget or you can afford the outgoing with the incoming return effectively on the ‘drip’.
It is useful to have already sought quotes from various printers, both locally and overseas. (I am assuming you are reading this entire document at first sitting, then going back to set one!) For local printers, I strongly recommend sourcing from your own immediate backyard. The shipping costs for books can be astronomical simply because of weight. For overseas printers, buyer beware! Once the books have left the factory and are loaded on a ship, there is no way to return the product if it is faulty. An agent is useful to say the least.
Aside from a printer, a graphic designer is your true friend at the moment! If they are worth their weight in gold, they will be able to take over the conversation with the printers to ensure the internal pages are set up correctly to accommodate ‘bleed’ and the cover is a separate document. You will have to specify paper stock, binding method and soft or hard cover. Don’t panic about any of this – simply ask questions if you don’t understand a question or a request for information. All the printers and graphic designers I have ever worked with have been amazingly patient with a ‘newbie’.
The graphic designer will also set up all the pages and text as you wish. This includes the imprint page, cover and blurb at the back. Be prepared! I suggest setting up a DropBox file (or other file sharing tool) and add a folder with illustrations – scanned or photographed to the highest possible quality. A second folder with a sample of the imprint page, including business logos, photos, ISBN and copyright qualification statement AND your storyboard! Finally, add a third folder with a copy of the manuscript. This file sharing will be invaluable as your designer will be able to upload a PDF draft of your book in construction for you to approve!
And then the file goes to the printer – and you wait…
Not time to rest on your laurels though – this is the PERFECT time to do a tonne of administration stuff to get organised. Think of yourself now as marketing and PR manager! Remember you had to finalise plans for the book launch? The book release venue has been contacted again to confirm your intentions and you are shopping any moment now for the catering. How about now writing press releases to send to media outlets? You can have teacher resources considered and a social media platform you have been priming for the launch. Remember your SWOT analysis though? You have already decided your skills and weaknesses and these will heavily influence your plans at this point.
Let’s jump right to the point when the books arrive…
You have planned for this moment! I can nearly picture you crying as you hold your book in your hands. It is incredible, overwhelming, exciting, intimidating and humbling. A cacophony of emotion and you’ve earnt every one of them.
Well, You did it!
You are a published author. I told you that you could do this.
Who knows what glorious things await you after this point…