To say that the book market has gone soft is a woeful understatement. Like so many other industries, the Internet has all but killed the hardcopy publishing industry. It is harder than ever to sell and get your book published.

Book formats available at Blurb

Book formats available at Blurb

The problems with self publishing, or “vanity press,” (paying somebody to print and bind the book for you) are many, including:

  1. Cost – In order to┬ápay a reasonable price per book, you have to order a good quantity of books, about 5,000, which can cost thousands of dollars.
  2. Distribution – when you self-publish a book, you usually have to sell it yourself, which takes time and money. Even if you find a good channel for the book, such as, say, the Internet, you have to package and ship each order, which is not fun.
  3. Frankly, without a full-time effort, you probably won’t succeed.

Blurb to the rescue. Blurb (www.blurb.com) allows you to layout your book and order small quantities, even as few as one copy. You can even sell the book from the Blurb bookstore.

However, this approach has a few caveats. First, the website requires you to use their book layout software, which, if you use Adobe Indesign or some other layout software, can be a drag. Second, the printed books themselves can be pretty expensive, as much as $48 for a 300-page, small 7″x7″ softcover book. There are some volume discounts, but they are not nearly enough to allow you to price your book at a competitive rate.

This is a cool idea, but it is still vanity press. Unless your topic and book is an absolutely must have, this really is not a viable avenue for publishing a book you want to sell.

A good idea but expensive. I found this story at the following link:

http://cultofmac.com/blurb-the-latest-word-in-desktop-publishing/7301

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.com

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