August 15th, 2020

inverarity

POD printing of Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle

I now have the final draft of the manuscript and cover for Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle, print version! I am going to order my own personal print run in the next few days, which will go out to my beta testers, friends and family, and a select few others.

The PDF can be found here.

Here is the cover that a select few of you will get:

Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle

Everyone else will have to use their own cover. (Yes, you could probably blow up that reduced image if you want to, but I wouldn't expect it to look very good.)

Anyone can print a copy for yourself at the POD service of your choice. Here is some additional information for those who want to do this.

Printing instructions



You will have to create an account at the POD service you choose (see my recommended choices below), and then create a project for "your" book. They will ask you to upload the PDF document (above) and a cover file. The PDF is formatted for a 6" x 9" trade paperback. You want softcover, perfect binding, cream paper. (Not white - white is for photography and textbooks.)

Cover dimensions are fiddly. Whatever you use for the cover will have to fit their template, which varies from printer to printer, and depending on whether you try to create a single front cover or a full front & back cover like mine.

Where to print?



There are a lot of POD printing services (Google "Print On Demand".) But most of them are pretty expensive and require minimum print runs. After getting quotes from a variety of vanity/self-pub printers, I found that the biggest and most well known ones are, unsurprisingly, the only real affordable options. So here is the short list. You will probably want to use one of these, but let me know if you find another option. Also, apologies to non-USAians, but I don't know anything about international options or whether Lulu or B&N is available overseas.

Kindle Direct Publishing - I'm only listing this one so you know not to bother. It turns out you can't print copies for yourself via KDP. Or rather, you can, but only after your book has gone "live" on Amazon's site. In other words, it has to actually be for sale. So KDP is a no-go.

Barnes & Noble Press - Print copies are $9.75 each, but you have to submit your manuscript for "review" before you can actually order a print copy. I've already submitted my project, and will let you know how long the approval process takes. I'm afraid the reviewers might notice it's Harry Potter fan fiction and reject it, however. (B&N doesn't appear to require that you actually offer your book for sale before you order it, but they do assume that's your intention.)

Lulu - Appears to be the easiest and most painless option. I was able to immediately upload my files and go to checkout. You can order a single copy, or any number of copies, for $13.30 each. I haven't actually placed the order yet, because I am hoping I'll get approved by B&N, which is cheaper. But I am going to print at least a few copies from each to compare print quality.

BookBaby - The most expensive option. I'm not likely to use them. You can order a single proof copy of a book for $39, but otherwise, the minimum print run is 25 books for $890.