Adventures in Self-Publishing Part 6: Getting in Print!

If there’s one thing a POD publisher will seduce you with initially, it’s the instant gratification and overwhelming pleasure of holding your completed novel for the first time. Just look at the ads: they trumpet a quick turnaround time on the fulfillment of your dreams. Who can resist being a published author in 90 days or even sooner?

Well, it happened to me. Not in 90 days, mind you. I submitted Raincloud  in late August and cracked open the first box of the completed novel the following May. Still, nine months is better than your average traditional publisher, and I think I could have the book even sooner if I hadn’t invested so much in editing and iUniverse hadn’t moved offices midway through.

But one fine day, there was the cardboard box. My first 20 books, clean and warm and all mine. Pretty speedy delivery too, which I later found to be the norm with iUniverse. They budget for about 14 business days for printing and delivery but each subsequent order I placed arrived much sooner than that. 

It was somewhat bittersweet, this child of mine no longer in need of my attention and nurturing. And then comes what must be the author’s version of empty nest syndrome: what will I do now? Well, iUniverse helps you with that too. They provide templates for some pretty cool custom posters, bookmarks, and postcards. Although they serve just as much as a commercial for iUniverse as for your book, they do look very professional and help you garner positive attention when you’re out promoting. They also provide a Press Release template, which too came in handy.

Those first 20 books were already paid for as part of my Publishing Package but, as stated above, as time went on I found the need to order more. The pricing was a little much though, especially considering that I bankrolled the entire project in the first place. I later discovered that iUniverse outsources printing to a company called Lightning Source and then inflates the printing price back to its authors. As a result, the tiered author discount rate is quite miserly if you order less than 100 books.  I’m afraid that just like anywhere else, the publishing business is just that: a business.

The things we do for love…

Tip of the Week:  iUniverse offers “Special Event” pricing of 45% off the cover price with no quantitiy minimums. Take advantage of it. You need all the breaks you can get. Bonus Tip: You’re a published author now. Go out and celebrate!

The timing of my intial shipment of Raincloud was quite fortuitous as I was scheduled to appear at the Toronto Small Press Book Fair that very weekend. Now the real work could begin: marketing, promoting, and (hopefully) selling. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected.

Coming soon: Adventures in Self-Publishing Part Seven: Author, Sell Thyself.

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Author: Richard S. Todd

Pro copywriter. Expressive voice artist. Award-winning public speaker.

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