Congratulations to Thomas Caulfield, author of Ephphatha: Growing Up Profoundly Deaf but Not Dumb in the Hearing World, a basketball memoir that is about much more than basketball.
This is a beautiful story about a father and his son who overcame many obstacles to find success both on the basketball court and in the classroom. I’m proud to have served as the developmental editor on this project. Read about it here:
Perfect Bound: Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro, Revised Edition, released August 26, and on August 29 it was the #1 New Release in writing guides on Amazon!
Amazon even put a banner on the Perfect Bound book profile page, which was great to see:
I won’t tell you how many books I had to sell to reach this milestone. Thirty copies? Three copies? Who’s counting? All I know is, with all the work that goes into making a book, it really is a treat to see the accolades.
Get your very own copy of the Amazon #1 New Release and find out what all the fuss is about. You just might discover it’s worth all hype!
I am happy to announce Perfect Bound: Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro has been updated and revised! This has been a long time in the making, and I’m thrilled to be able to provide my readers with the most current information possible.
The 2019 edition of this multi-award-winning guide features:
New exercises for choosing your path to publication
Condensed and updated guidance on e-book companies
Updated cost information and new resources to explore
In-depth discussions of hybrid publishing, Instagram, and barcodes
A new interview with Janell Robisch, a designer and e-book formatter
And so much more!
Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know when it publishes!
This January marked my 20th year working in publishing. Things have changed quite a bit in that time. I learned how to copyedit with paper and a red pencil, and for the first five years, I edited nonfiction books exclusively. Today it’s electronic editing supplemented by software and online dictionaries, with fiction and nonfiction, corporate reports, and journal articles all mingled together.
I will always be grateful to the people who set me on this path. From my first copyediting teacher in college, Mr. Witte, who pulled strings to secure me an internship at one of the few trade book publishers in the Chicago area, to the team of production editors at NTC/Contemporary who took me under their wing, I truly would not be here now if not for them.
When I was a new editor, “lightbulb” was two words. So was “videotape.” Now, not only has the spelling changed but those two objects hardly resemble what they were in 1999. You could probably say the same thing about me. And I couldn’t be happier.
June 26 was a good day at Hop On Publishing and its parent company POP Editorial Services. That’s when we learned that Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro had taken the gold in the Writing category in the 2014 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.
Four excellent guides had made it to the final round, and Perfect Bound won top honors. In addition to the silver award from the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, this recognition from librarians and booksellers across the country has been astounding.
I have to admit, I never thought we would win. Chris Pickett was the force behind selecting and entering the competitions. “I always knew we would win,” Chris said. “I had complete confidence in the book and I thought it stacked up well against the competition.”
With each success for Perfect Bound, we are reminded that we did not do this alone. Heartfelt thanks go to the 11 publishing professionals featured in the book for their generosity in sharing valuable insights. And a warm thank you to Susan Moore (copyeditor), Sue Hartmann (designer), and Sharon Honaker (proofreader) for their work to make ours an award-winning book.
Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro has been named a Silver award winner in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards!
April 10, 2015, I traveled to Austin, TX, to attend the awards ceremony, and it was a terrific experience. My friend, colleague, and contributor to Perfect Bound, Kathy Clayton, was my guest for the evening.
Our table of ten was filled with finalists and industry notables. Having chosen our table at random, we were thrilled to be seated with three other finalists. Also at the table were Sonia Marsh, who heads the popular Facebook group Gutsy Indie Publishers, and Brian Jud, executive director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS; formerly SPAN).
Two of the finalists at the table won Gold Awards. Rita Gardner won for her memoir, The Coconut Latitudes, and Shea Henderson won in the crafts and hobbies category for her book School of Sewing. We all joined the fun.
Perfect Bound took Silver in the reference category. Although it would have been nice to win the Gold, the book has done well. Over the past two days both the print edition and the ebook have landed on Amazon bestseller lists, and for several hours yesterday the print edition was on two bestseller lists concurrently.
It is constant conversation among writers as to whether these awards competitions are a good investment. Some can be quite expensive. The strategy at Hop On was to choose two awards where we valued the opinion of the awarding body and where we thought our book would fit — and possibly win. For us, it has been a terrific experience and a whole lot of fun. Besides being recognized by an industry-leading organization, we are also reaching more readers, and that is what the publishing adventure is all about!
Thursday, March 12, at 4 p.m., Foreword Reviews announced the finalists for its 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards and Perfect Bound made the list. We are one of four finalists in the Writing category. You can see our listing and read more about the contest here: https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2014/writing/
We will have to wait until the end of June to learn our final standing in the INDIEFAB Awards. However, I will be in Austin, Texas, for the IBPA awards ceremony April 10 to learn whether Perfect Bound was awarded a Silver or Gold Medal.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the book, whether with interviews or reviewing early drafts of the manuscript or editing and design.
As you can imagine, we are absolutely thrilled at this good fortune. We have always been proud of Perfect Bound, but with so many other books published each year, it is an honor and a joy to be recognized. Now let’s hope we can turn that “Finalist” status into Gold Medal Winner!
Lightning Source Inc. (part of Ingram Content Group) and Create Space (part of Amazon) are the two most prominent options for print-on-demand in the United States. They are each enormous and come with their own pros and cons, making it difficult for self-publishers to choose between them.*
For my book, I went through Lightning Source because the print and binding quality are said to be better, you can set your discount rates, you are automatically listed with Ingram’s distribution (good if you want to be in bookstores), and further, I am not a fan of Amazon’s business practices.
But I was asked recently, if I were to choose a print-on-demand option for my book today, would I do anything different from just a year ago when Perfect Bound went to the printer. I had to answer yes, yes, I would.
Things did not go as smoothly at Lightning Source as I had expected given its reputation. It took three proofs before we were satisfied with the interior print quality. Perfect Bound includes some screens (i.e., shaded boxes), and the screens were uneven or blotchy. Apparently our proof was the last book off the press before they changed the ink (seriously). I was not impressed.
The cover printing, the binding, and the paper were all very good, however. Once the interior print quality issues were resolved, we were happy to continue with Lightning Source.
Over Christmas 2014, new information caused us to reconsider our choices. That’s when we learned that Amazon was taking longer and longer to get our books to customers. One customer reported having to wait three weeks! I had heard this might happen; because CreateSpace and Lightning Source are direct competitors, Amazon has incentive to make Lightning Source books difficult to get. To make matters worse, Amazon started saying our book was out of stock. We feared that might cost us sales. Who wants to take a chance on a book that’s out of stock?
After much discussion, we finally decided it was in our best interest to work with CreateSpace. I wasn’t thrilled with that because, if Lightning Source has print quality issues, what is CreateSpace going to do? Most people order from Amazon and therefore the books would be coming from CreateSpace. I didn’t want my readers getting crummy-looking books. But, I felt I was over a barrel, so I signed up with CreateSpace.
Turns out the print quality at CreateSpace was better than at Lightning Source, and we had nothing to worry about there. It is clear to someone who is really looking closely that the binding is not as good, and the color match on the cover isn’t exact, but only we would notice that. The paper is a little creamier than I would have wanted, but I prefer it to the stark white that is the other option from CreateSpace. Lightning Source’s paper is a very pleasant light cream; CreateSpace’s is a little darker but still OK. Also, CreateSpace charges less per book, by about 50 cents in our case. When you’re selling a high volume of books, that makes a difference.
Right now I plan to keep both accounts — one with Lightning Source and the other with CreateSpace — but I do wish I hadn’t waited so long to sign up with CreateSpace. I despise that Amazon controls so much and that the company leveraged its size and reach to coerce me into working with it. That is a huge drawback. But with the quality of printing I saw and the cheaper per unit price, I came to terms with it.
Depending on the type of book you are publishing, I would definitely consider using CreateSpace. Lightning Source still offers better binding, better paper, and ways to get into bookstores. But with CreateSpace you can sign up for free and get a proof for about $4 (plus shipping). If you hate it, you can move on to Lightning Source or Ingram Spark. Or do as we did and sign up with both. (As an aside, if you do go with CreateSpace, consider getting a matte finish on your cover. I find the glossy from CreateSpace to be too shiny.)
So there you have it. I never thought I would endorse CreateSpace, but it turns out there are benefits to this behemoth.
UPDATE: Wednesday, February 25, the Independent Book Publishers Association held a webinar with representatives from Lightning Source. One attendee asked about the “out of stock” message and how to correct it. The official response from LSI was to get an account with CreateSpace without signing up for expanded distribution. Why the reciprocation? It seems LSI does some printing for CreateSpace. See this article from Aaron Shepard for more.
* IngramSpark is another print-on-demand company from Ingram Content Group that caters to micro-publishers. Given its close relationship with Lightning Source, the drawbacks I mention here would likely be the same for IngramSpark.