Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Print on demand

Finding the Right Kind of Espresso in Paris


Actually the kind of espresso I’m talking about can also be found in Sacramento, California.

Espresso Book Machine

Writers can publish their own books using the Espresso Book Machine at the MSU Library.

Or, New York City or Darien, Connecticut or many other places

This espresso won’t make you jittery or power an all-night reading session.

But, it will print books

I wrote about it in my past post, Should We All Self-Publish A Book?

And, I only thought about it as making self-publishing more accessible.

Now, though, it’s helping a very small bookstore in Paris prepare to offer an astounding number of books

It’s the Espresso Book Machine.

And, Publishing Perspectives let me know that Paris’ PUF Bookstore Reopens With Print-on-Demand.

Excerpting from their article:

“In 1999, Les Presses Universitaires de France (PUF), the 95-year-old publishing house specializing in books on human and social sciences, closed its bookstore located on the Place de La Sorbonne.

“Now, the Associated Press reports, the store has reopened, with a remarkable 3 million titles available for sale in a space of only 72-square meters, or 775 square feet).”

PUF general manager Frederic Meriot says:

“It is a model for the future, a model in which digital and paperback books can work together.”

And, he goes on to say:

“But also in terms of costs for us. We could not have afford[ed] to rent a 600-square-meter (6,450-square-foot) shop like we had in the past.

“With the Espresso Book Machine, we don’t need warehouses to stock the books, we don’t spend money to pulp the already printed that didn’t sell, and it’s also a low-carbon way of making books.”

So, not only can libraries and drugstores and universities help folks self-publish, on the spot—so also can a publisher create a tiny bookstore of their own and offer folks 3 million books, on the spot

Time to watch this special Espresso do its thing :-)


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Something Any Aspiring (or, other kind of) Writer Should Consider . . .


Writers have more ways to publish then ever before.

FastPencil Publishing

Image courtesy of Tracy Olson ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/designkryt

Not that long ago, I wrote a post called, Are There Too Many Ways To Self-Publish?

It can get complicated, quickly, when a writer begins considering how they want to publish.

If you’re a writer who wants to stay away from the traditional route, I recommend checking out the company I use—FastPencil.

In just a bit, I’ll give you all the basics about what this Publishing-Aid company can do for writers; but, I first have to add two factors that my past posts about them didn’t cover, because they hadn’t yet happened.

FastPencil Receives 2014 Innovation Award from the International Digital Publishing Forum at BookExpo America

And

On Demand Books Launches SelfEspress

That last link is about FastPencil teaming-up with the folks that make the Espresso Book Machine technology, which is well-explored in my past post—Self-Publishing from A Drug Store?

Now, in order to give you all the important facts about why I think all writers should consider working with FastPencil, I’m going to reproduce the post I did May 6, 2013:

FP

Check out all my posts about FastPencil

FastPencil is Software in the Cloud – so you don’t have to download anything to your computer. It’s the fastest and easiest way to write, publish and sell books and ebooks—anywhere!

In one past post, I summarized the FastPencil experience this way:

*Write a book on their site,
while inviting BetaReaders or editors to work with you
—> Free

*Revise, edit, check multiple proofs,
upload a cover, work-out front and back matter, etc.
—> Free

*Publish and have the book distributed to
Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Ingram

(Print & E-book editions)
—> $300

As a matter of fact, if you want to sell your book only on the FastPencil Site (with a very cool sales widget you can use on your own WebSite or Blog) it costs just the printing price of one book, before you add your own royalty—In my case that would have been around $5

But, I went for the $300 package :-)

If you’ve decided to go the Indie route but want a company behind you that can help you distribute your book, FastPencil is, imho, the BEST!

Watch these videos for a complete introduction to their services:

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Are There Too Many Ways To Self-Publish?


Ever since digital publishing was created the options have been proliferating like rabbits.

Library

Image courtesy of Odan Jaeger ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/danjaeger

Then came Print-on-Demand and paper books’ ways of getting to readers increased.

Naturally, when a method of production becomes easier, the charlatans arrive

I feel extremely lucky I found a reputable and flexible Publishing-Aid company.

And, since I found them, they’ve only gotten better :-)

I have 26 posts here that mention my Publishing-Aid company, FastPencil, but there are 5 posts I want to specifically mention.

FastPencil ~ Funny Name, Dynamite Publishing-Aid Company

That post is a fairly comprehensive look at FastPencil’s benefits but let me list the main values:

Write a book on their site, while inviting BetaReaders or editors to work with you—>Free

Revise, edit, check multiple proofs, upload a cover, work-out front and back matter, etc.—> Free

Publish and have the book distributed to Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks, and Ingram

(Print & E-book editions)—> $300

* Have FastPencil collect all the royalties and pay you quarterly.

There’s also a series of videos on that post.

Self-Publishing On A Poverty Budget

That was a post that details how I reduced my upfront costs

How I published my book for next to nothing and what you can spend money on, if you want

That post lists all the extra help you can buy at FastPencil.

My Favorite Publishing-Aid Company Has Become An Even Better Choice

That post featured a major improvement to the value of working with FastPencil.

One quote from the post: “through Courier’s recent acquisition of FastPencil, thousands of self-publishers also stand to benefit by gaining access to capabilities previously reserved for the top of the industry.”

FastPencil may have been “acquired” but it still operates independently.

Publisher Helps Local Libraries Become Community Publishers !

That post was about FastPencil partnering with Auto-Graphics to bring their publishing tools to libraries.

And, just the other day, Good e-Reader had an article mentioning FastPencil that I’ll excerpt from:

FastPencil and Recorded Books have just signed a landmark distribution agreement that will put self-publishers books in the library. FastPencil’s powerful technology provides libraries with an end-to-end publishing network that helps authors write, manage, convert and distribute books and eBooks. With access to robust management capabilities, libraries can also ingest, store and post library content to patrons.

“‘This unique service is a game-changer in the publishing and library industry’, said Rich Freese, Recorded Books president and CEO. ‘FastPencil for Libraries removes the hurdles that inherently come with traditional book publishing, making it possible for authors to collaborate with their local library to write and prepare their own books for publication.’”

That link to FastPencil at the beginning of the excerpt is Good e-Reader’s own review of FastPencil’s services

Certainly, there are other good ways to self-publish; but, now you know why I think FastPencil is the best :-)
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Cleaning Out The Closet ~ for Readers, Writers, and Publishers


If you blog five days a week like I do, you have ways of storing blogging ideas for later use.

Sometimes, it’s good to empty-out the list :-)

Back in January, I wrote Is A Book Ever Finished? but I only used one source to highlight issues about the ability to forever change a published book in a digital edition.

Another interesting article about the never-finished book is, Books That Are Never Done Being Written, from the Wall Street Journal.

Then there’s Anonymous Was A Writer from the Los Angeles Times. You might be quite surprised to find out which famous authors chose to leave their names off certain books

The last link I’ll clean out of my blogging closet today is from ConsortiumInfo.org. There’s a series called, Adventures In Self-Publishing, and Chapters 3, 4, and 5 are about Print-On-Demand Publishers.

The only thing missing from those articles is a mention of the P.O.D. publisher I use—FastPencil

Stay tuned for another closet-cleaning, down the road a piece :-)
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Writers Becoming Their Own Publisher


I’ve written a lot about “self-publishing” and I need to, finally, clear up a misconception.

I haven’t actually “self-published”; I’ve used a Print-On-Demand publisher rather than a Traditional publisher.

Right now, the grades seem to be: Traditional, Independent, “Aided”, and Self-publishing.

Pure Self-publishing is done through places like Smashwords and Amazon; “Aided” is through companies like FastPencil (what I use).

But, the ultimate gig for highly industrious writers is to Be their Own Independent Publisher

This is something I will never do; and, the man I’m going to point you towards has enough experience to prove that only the most energetic writers are capable of being their own full-blown publisher.

It’s one thing to use Amazon to publish an e-book; it’s quite another thing to produce print and e-books and distribute them yourself to Amazon as well as other Web companies, then go on to distribute to bookstores, handle returns, and a thousand other tasks.

Dean Wesley Smith, according to Wikipedia, “is a science fiction author, known primarily for his Star Trek novels, film novelizations, and other novels of licensed properties such as Smallville, Spider-Man, X-Men, Aliens, Roswell, and Quantum Leap.” And, according to his own Bio: “Over his career he has also been an editor and publisher, first at Pulphouse Publishing, then for VB Tech Journal, then for Pocket Books. Currently, he is writing thrillers and mystery novels under another name.”

He’s created his own WMG Publsihing House as well as chronicled all the considerations and tasks necessary to be one’s own publisher in the series, Think Like A Publisher.

Here are the various sections:

1… Early Decisions

2…Expected Costs

3…Projected Income

4…Production and Scheduling

5…Basics of Production

6…Covers and Publisher Looks

7…Sales Plan

8…Prices, Discounts, and Sales

9…Selling to Independent Bookstores

9.5…The Secret of Indie Publishing

10…The Returns System

11…Electronic Sales to Bookstores

12…The Time It Takes

I hope Dean’s information and experience will help the brave writing-souls who feel they can be their own publisher.

Are you one of those people?

Do you know one?

Actually, there are many other resources on the Web for folks who want to become their own Independent Publishers; but, Dean’s articles are friendly and full of his personal experience.

And, perhaps, every writer could benefit from reading and understanding this process

If you’re a writer, are you considering Traditional, “Aided”, or Self-publishing?

Have you already been published through one of these Paths?

I’m hoping this post gets some Lively Comment activity :-)
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