Publishing a Book is Easy. Shhh.

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Written by Eugene Wan 2 years ago

The process of getting our newest books, The Guides by Aaron Goldfarb, sent to you was probably quite simple. A couple clicks on Amazon and they are either living on your Kindle or, after a few days, sitting on your welcome mat as you come home from work.

All of the intricacies of the book being written, edited, edited some more, typeset, edited some more, sent to the printer, turned into ebooks, resending to the printer, controlling inventory levels, working with distributors, dealing with quality issues, and you know—the other stuff—most likely never crossed your mind. But it’s not supposed to. That’s why FG Press exists. But allow me to let you in on a little secret.

Publishing a book is easy.

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.

There are tools, services, and partners for each step of the publishing process. Here’s the analogy: when you ask a web developer how they learned the latest language, 99% of the time, they’ll answer “Google.” Maybe there’s a bit more inside baseball with publishing, but you get the idea—the resources are out there.

But not everyone is a web developer and not everyone is good web developer, no matter how many Stack Exchange pages they’ve visited.

Being a good publisher requires rigorous systems matched with thoughtful creativity. Here are three aspects where the base line for publishing a book is easy and how we do it better, specifically related to Goldfarb’s new books.

(1) Covers – creating a cover or finding cover art is simple. Ever heard of Getty? How about iStock (which is another Getty company)? It might shock you to learn that most published books use photography or art on the covers pull their “creative” straight from those sites. Grab a book on your bookshelf and take a look at the art credit. But that didn’t feel right for FG Press. For The Guides, we invested the time to do a photoshoot here in Boulder to create the richest, most emotional images for these books. The models are friends of the team, Nick and Char, and the venue is a local watering hole, License No. 1. I think the covers turned out great and I hope you agree.

(2) eBooks – getting something up on Amazon? Easy. Here’s Amazon’s resource for turning your text into something called a “.mobi” file—the type of file that you need to be up on the largest eBook platform in the world. It’ll grab your Word document or your PDF and turn that sucker into a .mobi in 30 seconds. Alongside all of FG Press’s physical books, we’re digital as well. We love the connection that a reader makes with a physical book, but the convenience of digital books is undeniable. We hand polish the code in our eBooks for Amazon and iBooks to make sure that they look and feel the best they can. For The Guides, there are embellishments in the book that we made sure transferred over to the eBooks.

(3) Printing the book – getting a book printed is hilariously easy. Check out Blurb, CreateSpace, or Lightning Source, among others. There are tons of “print-on-demand” (PoD) options out there. If you want to make yourself a book, do it! There are some economic benefits to PoD that we were enticed by at the beginning; a few of our titles are PoD. But there are sacrifices with PoD as well. Quality and flexibility (around different embellishments a book may have) are two big ones that come to mind. I want to give our authors as much choice as possible in terms of their final product—the physical manifestation of their thoughts—so we recently decided that print-on-demand wasn’t for us. We want to build a relationship with a printer that can meet all of our needs, so we sent our Director of Production, Kevin, out to one of our prospective printers. There will be more about this soon!

We are constantly working to make the experience of buying and reading our books better for our authors’ readers. Check out The Guides on fgpress.com and let us know how we’re doing.

Or, feel free to use any of the resources I’ve mentioned and publish a book. Because it’s easy.

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