Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Print On Demand Publishing

January 8, 2015
eGaia print on demand

eGaia print on demand

As a publisher, you face a dilemma. How large the print run?

Economies of scale, large print run, only to have books to warehouse.

There is though a more fundamental dilemma.

Book publishing is a risky businesses. That hoped for best-seller may not sell. The majority of books never make a bookshelf in a bookshop, they go to be pulped. Others go to be remaindered, even best sellers are often over supplied and can be found remaindered.

Print on demand solves this. Literally print on demand, could be as small as a single copy of a book.

eGaia, is available print on demand from Fast-Print.

I was curious as to the quality of the book. No problems, well bound, no problem with the printing (though the graphics are too faint), the paper is off white which is easy on the eyes when reading.

The service though from Fast-Print is abysmal.

Fast-Print do not appear to understand the concept of print on demand or the meaning of the word fast. In today’s world of Amazon, unless listed as out of stock, you expect to receive a book within a couple of days of placing an order, anything less is not acceptable. eGaia was ordered to read over Christmas. It did not arrive by Christmas, it had not arrived by the New Year. It finally arrived a couple of days ago, the dispatch note dated the day before that.

This level of piss-poor service is completely unacceptable, for what is claimed to be print on demand.

On eventual receipt of eGaia, Fast-Print and author Gary Alexander were contacted re piss-poor service. Nether had the courtesy to respond. Though Gary Alexander had responded earlier when eGaia failed to arrive and said he would raise with Fast-Print, which may have kicked them into action.

Fast-Print will put together a package for an author, £150 for a paperback, £245 for hardback. This is reasonable, bar coded and ISBN, three copies to author, six copies to the required national libraries.

Note: Two different prices are cited for hardback, £195 and £245, depending where you look on their website.

Fast-Print have a free publishing guide. Available as pdf. Why not e-book format, why not click and download? It is necessary to order. Dispatched immediately? Er, no. All the more perverse when Fast-Print offer e-book publishing. Can also order as a paperback. Print on demand, prompt delivery? Er, no.

Fast-Print charge for converting to various e-book formats. Do not waste money, use leanpub, automatic conversion on download to requested download format.

What royalties Fast-Print, do they have exclusive publishing rights? Nothing said.

Print on demand is not the only means of removing the risk. Publishing an e-book, means there is always a copy to download, no matter how many have been downloaded, and the marginal costs are near zero. If you are being charged over ten pounds for an e-book, you are being ripped off big time. Unbound crowdsource, no book is published until there is a guaranteed market.

Paulo Coelho and Juergen Boos at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

October 9, 2014

I think you can have 10,000 explanations for failure, but not a good explanation for success. — Paulo Coelho

People read books for two main reasons: entertainment or knowledge. — Paulo Coelho

Writer Paulo Coelho and Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair Juergen Boos talking about the future of publishing.

The Frankfurt Book Fair was established by Gutenberg.

300,000 people visit the Frankfurt Book Fair in five days.

Publishers are currently locked into a battle to the death with Amazon.

And as is often the case with such battles, both have right on their side.

Amazon are wrong when they try to push the price of books below that of viability for the publishers.

Publishers are wrong when they try to maintain artificial high prices for e-books.

It is an obscenity when publishers are demanding more than a dollar or a euro or a pound for an e-book, when the marginal costs are zero, or as near as zero.

Bandcamp makes music accessible. Listen on-line for free, low price to download, easy to share, and the money goes to support the creative artists who make the music.

What bandcamp does for music, leanpub does for books

More needs to be done to support indy bookshops, as these are the people who know about books, and yet they are denied a living when they are undercut on the price of best-sellers. Publishers should offer the same deal as to chains, and writers should demand this, we would then have a level playing field.

Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Fixed prices on books, has an advantage. In Bassano del Grappa there are several bookshops happily coexisting. They are able to co-exist, because there are no large chains undercutting them on price and forcing them out of businesses.

When there is heavy discounting, all that happens is books have an artificial cover price to make it look like readers are getting a bargain.

In the UK, WHSmith, a failing chain that sells books, deserves to go under. Adultery when published in August was on special offer at half price, and yet the staff did not know, often it was not in stock, when in stock (all of two copies), it was not on prominent display, and when sold, was not restocked. Staff then tried to claim it did not sell!

Adultery, latest book from Paulo Coelho, has jumped straight to No 1 in most countries in which it has been published. Germany has proved to be no exception.

Top Story Julie’s Publishing Ink (Monday 13 October 2014).


August 21, 2013

Leanpub is not as good as bandcamp is for music, but it is the closest I have yet to find.

What I like, is that it lets the purchaser set the price, and shows how much is going to the writer.

Leanpub pays 90% royalty to authors, less a 50 cent flat fee.

The writer retains the ownership of their work.

Where I disagree with Leanpub, is write the book with audience participation (that that would work for some books) and aim at a market.

Too many books are written for a market (that could be argued for music) or written to a formula. This is a recipe for at best mediocrity.

The best books, those that stand head-and-shoulders above the rest, is where the writer (or musician) writes what they want to write, and when the reader (or listener) reads (or hears) it brings it to life.

A book (or music) is not a product, though you could be forgiven for thinking music was from programmes like X-Factor or Has Britain (not) Got Talent, but then it helps to remember these programmes showcases neither music nor talent.

One of the problems with books (and music) is they have become a commodity peddled by big publishing companies.

If you are writing software books or computer books need fast turnaround, due to software and computers dating fast. This is not true for example for a novel, though if it was to tie in with something contemporary, then yes, cannot spend a lifetime writing it.

When Charles Dickens wrote, and this was also true of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many other writers, they did not write what we now see as complete novels, these were serialised in monthly magazines.

Wilkie Collins wrote his novels in serial form.

In fact, it is misleading to think of the novel. The novel started life as a serial, which was then collected together in a book to form a novel.

If we look at what is seen as the golden age of science fiction, this was serialised in magazines.

Today, we have writers serialising their works through blogs, taking on board reader feedback on the way (and hopefully ignoring the trolls).

We have crowd sourcing being used to fund music, and Imogen Heap even using as input for her music as we see with HeapSongs. We have musicians using soundcloud for work in progress. Musicians will also use youtube or vimeo, which may then be collected into an album, developing traction for the album.

Alex Boye has used his videos to showcase, to raise money via kickstarter for an album.

Excellent talk by Peter Armstrong co-founder of Leanpub.

Rock and Roll is Dead and The 360 Deal are good examples of e-books published by Leanpub.

The 360 Deal is a work in progress. It was decided to get the book out early. It is then available, it also gives publicity and draws in other authors. New chapters are added as updates, in much the same way that software has updates.

Serial publishing is back. Serial publishing is story telling.

Pirate Coelho/ help your community

April 1, 2011

Pirate Coelho is a site that was hosted somewhere, with a collection of my texts in P2P pages. It was not me who put it there, but being adept of free contents, I put this URL here. I am just facilitating.

Pirate Coelho


A] I the case that you download a book and like it, I would suggest you to buy the book, so we can tell to the industry that sharing contents is not life threatening to the book business.
B] You can do a relevant service to your community. Print and handle FOR FREE to a local library in a small town, to a hospital, to a prison. The intention of Pirate Coelho (as well as my free web books) is first and foremost share thoughts with people who cannot afford buying books.


A) se baixar um livro e gostar da leitura, por favor compre. Isso mostrará às editoras que dividir é multiplicar
B) Use a cópia que imprimiu e faça uma doação para a biblioteca da sua cidade, um hospital, ou uma prisão. A intenção de Pirate Coelho é permitir acesso de meus livros à gente que não tem dinheiro para compra-los.

Obrigado/ Thank you

Paulo Coelho

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

I was only mentioning today when I bought 50 blank CDs (I would have bought 100 but did not want the weight to carry), that the music industry would equate it with 50 lost sales.

Remember cassettes? The music industry used to say the same about blank cassettes as it says about blank CDs.

I have a one word response to the music industry: Bullshit!

It is the music industry that single-handedly has destroyed music. They have failed to nurture talent. All they are interested in is the next big hit, quick bucks, fast returns then onto the next one-hit wonder.

The so-called musicians, it is actually an insult to real musicians to call them musicians, wannabe celebrities, in it for the money.

If you look at the talent from the 1960s, they are still around. They play music because they love music. Getting paid was a bonus. But they learned their skills the hard way through hard graft. They worked their way through the pubs and clubs, their fame spread through word of mouth

I can find better musicians on the street than what I find promoted by the music industry.

I buy music, I also copy it and pass it around. The stuff gets known.

The assumption by the music industry that copying equates to lost sales is wrong. I may copy something, but it does not mean I was going to buy it. On the other hand, that I have copied it and liked it, means I am more likely to then go out and buy it.

Same is true of books. The search for the next big block buster. A string of me-too Da Vinci Codes. Now every Scandinavian writer is billed as the next Stieg Larsson.

The gentleman publishers are long gone, their names linger as imprints of global corporate businesses.

Well done Paulo making your books available for download. I was especially pleased when following the ban in Iran, you made available download in Farsi.

Iran bans Paulo Coelho
Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books

Last week I bought eight Paulo Coelho books. I cleared the shelves. I cleared the bookshop of its entire stock of Paulo Coelho books. The day before I bought The Alchemist.

All these books I will give away.

Wednesday night at a dinner I gave a woman The Alchemist and By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept. I had only met her for the first time the previous week, and had said she would like reading books by Paulo Coelho. Little did I know, and only learnt later Wednesday night, that it was her birthday!

Today I met a charming Hungarian girl from Transylvania. I recommended that she read The Historian, but as that may prove too difficult for her, I recommended that she read Paulo Coelho.

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