Tag Archives: paperback

Thoughts on Publishing ā€“ Infinitas Publishing Status Report

It’s that time again! Time to evaluate the current status of Infinitas Publishing. šŸ™‚

The Wishing Blade: Magicā€™s Stealing:Ā As of Monday, the first book is complete. Done. Finis. I’ve finished proofing the print edition and approved it through Createspace. I’ve also uploaded the updated versions to Smashwords and Kindle. If it has the Cirenan map in the preview, then it should be the updated edition.

Magic’s Stealing is now available in paperback! šŸ˜€

The Wishing Blade: The Shadow War (Book Two): My NaNoWriMo goal of fully revising the first half of this book fell through, but I did get a bit further in on the edits. I’ve also been plotting a bit of backstory that may or may not make it into the final version. This book may take a bit longer to work through than its predecessor (It’s longer, for one thing. The rough draft is currently the same length as the first book), but now that my time is starting to free up again (Finished several book covers, just about finished with a surprise bit of dental work, and releasing the print edition of Magic’s Stealing) I should have more time now to actually proceed with writing.

The Multiverse Chronicles: Trials of Blood and Steel:Ā I haven’t made a whole lot of progress here, either. Our beta reader has read the first four episodes, and I recently sent her the fifth episode. I’m hoping to work on the sixth episode in the next few days, and go from there. Our plan is still to release the first six episodes around the same time that we releaseĀ Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel, and thenĀ anĀ episode a week after that.

Isaac has been making good progress on the rough draft of the second season, though. He’s currently on episode 19, and once all the episodes are complete, he plans to go back and do basic edits before handing them off to me. šŸ™‚

Battle Decks - Steam Tank Preview Card

Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel:Ā We’re off our target schedule for this, but we have made progress. We’ve updated all the cards, updated the rules and glossary (which need to be proofread… one of our weekend plans) andĀ we’veĀ finished the new Steam Tank card, which replaced an olderĀ card. (I’ve included aĀ sneak peak of the game card… minus the rounded corners and general trimming). This weekend, our goal is to refit the box art to the smaller boxes, finalize the last few tweaks, and order a proofĀ of the updated game.

SBibbā€™s Photographic Illustration:Ā I’m finishing up the last of a string of covers I was working on last month, and I only have a couple covers slated for this month, which gives me time to catch up on some of my other projects. Of course, I’ll be posting the behind-the-scenes info as the publishers and authors release their covers to the public. šŸ™‚

In the meantime, I have a manuscript that I need to beta-read for a friend. I’m hoping to finish my read-through in the next two weeks, in order to give her time for her own personal deadlines.

That’s all for now. I have a book cover to finalize tonight, and tomorrow I have a new cover proof to start before I get back to work editing The Multiverse Chronicles.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this status report. šŸ™‚

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Thoughts on Publishing – YA Paperback Prices

In my last post, I discussed my thoughts on pricing an indie card game. That got me thinking back to pricing paperback books. I’ve already determined that I’ll probably sell the paperback edition ofĀ Magic’s Stealing for $7.99. It’s an odd price, but a compromise since there weren’t a whole lot of YA novellas in paperback that I could find to reference, and the ones I did find were by well-known authors, and therefore priced higher.

Since there’s a slight possibility that Magic’s Stealing may appeal to the upper range of the middle grade audience, I referenced the $7.99 price point of similar-sized books. Here, AR quizzes can be of use determining word count.

However, I’ve now been thinking about Distant HorizonĀ (a 97,500 Ya/NA science fiction novel), and wondering how I want to format the print edition. Granted, it still needs to be proofread, and Isaac and I are quite a ways from releasing it, but I like figuring out these things.

The print format that I used for Magic’s Stealing won’t work… we would end up with a huge page count, which means that the production costs would be too high to bring the book into local stores.

Createspace gives us the option to compare basic book costs, shipping, and royalties. With a quick check of the Distant Horizon file in the same format as Magic’s Stealing, I found that the initial page count was 450. That’s not including getting the chapter spacing formatted to look nice.

But let’s plug that into the calculator and get some numbers.

For a single copy of a 5.25 x 8 book, black and white pages with bleed, we’re looking at $6.25 for theĀ book and $3.59 for standard shipping. $9.84 per book.

Let’s take a look at volume discounting for a moment, since that’s what makes it possible to get these books into stores.

If we buy 25 copies of the book, we pay $156.25 plus $15.50 for shipping, for a total of $171.75, or $6.87 per book. Notice how much the cost per book went down? If we buy 50 copies of the book, we pay $312.50 plus $23.00 shipping (be sure to adjust your quantity value in both calculators). That’s $335.50 total, or $6.71 per book. A slight difference from 25, but not so differentĀ that we couldn’t purchase the smaller quantity of books if funds are tight.

For royalties on Amazon (not looking at any expanded distribution options), we start making a profit at $10.99 (34 cents), $11.99 (94 cents), $12.99 ($1.54), $13.99 ($2.14), and $14.99 (2.74). Books printed in Great Britain need to be priced higher than the converted $12.99, or they lose money, while books printed in Europe need to be priced higher than the converted $10.99 or they lose money.

Keeping in mind that weĀ can adjust those prices separately, I’m not worryingĀ about non-USĀ prices rightĀ at the moment.

However, without knowing how to format the book, it’s hard to say what the right price point is.

So I decided to run over to Hastings and take a look at their YA section. Figured I’d take twenty minutes to do some quick research.

One hour later…

*Ahem.*

Anyway, I came up with a list of various young adult books across different genres. I noted their title, my best guess at their genre (I referenced GoodreadsĀ for a few of them), their page count (by last page of the story, not including front and back matter), line count per page (unfortunately I didn’t think to count the average words per line), price (there may be some variation here due to price stickers covering the price listed on the book), and book size.

I found that, overwhelmingly, the young adult paperbacks were 5.25 by 8 inches, or very close to that size (some variations from printer to printer should beĀ expected). In general, if they came from a traditional publisher, they were 5.25 x 8. Keep that in mind if you’re self-publishing, and you want your book to “look” professional. On the other hand, I briefly skimmed the adult section with the 6×9 book, and there were several more instances of the 6×9 trade paperbacks available. At some point I would like to go back and check the adult bookĀ price points and line counts and such, since I think my previous research has suggested that the average adult trade paperback would sell for roughly $14.99.

Keep your target audience in mind, and research similar books to get a feel for how to format and price your own book.

This is the list of YA books I compiled at Hastings.

Michael Vey: Rise of Elgen (Science Fiction) – 6 x 9 – 335 pgs – 35 lines per page – $10.99

Hush, Hush (Paranormal Romance) – 5.25 x 8 – Ā 391 pgs – 25 lines per page – $11.99

Perfect Chemistry (Contemporary Romance) –Ā 5.25 x 8 – 359 Ā pgs – 29 lines per page – $9.99

Barely BreathingĀ (Romantic Thriller) – 5.25 x 8 – Ā 502 pgs – 32 lines per page – $9.99

Perfect Ruin (Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 356 pgs – 29 lines per page – $9.99

The Jewel (Dystopian Romance)- 5.25 x 8 – 359 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

Beautiful Creatures (Paranormal Romance) – 5.25 x 8 – 563 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

Eye of Minds (Science Fiction) – 5.25 x 8 – 310 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

The Dark Is Rising (Complete Sequence, Fantasy) – 6 x 9 – 1082 pgs – 30 lines per page – $16.99 (The Amazon edition is different than the edition I found)

The Hunger Games (Dystopian – Original Edition) – 5.25 x 8 – 374 pgs – 29 lines per page – $8.99 originally. Now has sticker that says $10.99

The Hunger Games (Dystopian – MovieĀ Edition) – 5.25 x 8 – 374 pgs – 29 lines per page – $12.99

The Hunger Games (Dystopian – Shiny Gold Edition) – 5.25 x 8 – 436Ā pgs – 27 lines per page – $12.99

City of BonesĀ (Urban Fantasy – New Cover) – 5.25 x 8 – 485 pgs – 30 lines per page – $13.99

The Sight (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 464 pgs – 33 lines per page – $8.99

Graceling (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 471 pgs – 28 lines per page – $8.99

The Demon King (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 506 pgs – 29 lines per page – $9.99

The Testing (Science Fiction Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 325 pgs – 29 lines per page –Ā $9.99

The Darkest Minds (Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 488 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

(About here I discovered that Dreamland is out. *Squee!* I’ve been wanting to read that since I read the first few chapters… *Ahem.* Back to cataloging…)

Mortal Gods (Mythology Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 366 pages – 33 lines per page – $10.99

Never Fade (Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 507 pages – 30 lines per page – $10.99

Fourth Comings (Contemporary Romance… looks New Adult) – 6 x 9 – 310 pages – 31 lines per page – $13.99 (Amazon has the list price at $15.00, so I think this may technically be categorized as anĀ adult romance, though it was in the young adult section)

IMPORTANT: Some of these numbers may be incorrect due to my notes having tiny handwriting. I’ve linked to the books in the Amazon store where available, and those may have product details for the print editions that include the front and back matter. As another note, you could probably do a lot of this same research on Amazon by checking the scratched-out list price when you have the paperback edition selected.

I also found that hardback books tend to lean toward the 6 x 9 mark, but they completely vary as to the exact size, and some are considerably smaller. Also, font size and line spacing varied from book-to-book, so when formatting your own book, be sure to take that into account, and study your favorite books in the genre of the book you are formatting.

Now, let’s do the same categorizing for Magic’s Stealing that I did for the above books.

Magic’s StealingĀ (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 158 pages – 28 lines per page – $7.99 (once the print edition is available)

Based on the above list, most of the YA books are sized 5.25 x 8 inches, typically range around $9.99 to $10.99, higher if they’re a well known book. Based on this sampling, there aren’t as many at $11.99 as I originally thought, though more research may be needed regarding specific genres. The biggest benefit to this list that I see for Distant HorizonĀ is that a large number of those books allow for 30 lines per page, which can significantly decrease page count. Additionally, something I didn’t check for at the time is the average word count per line, which would give a rough font size estimate.

Let’s go back to our Distant Horizon book and see what happens. I lowered the font size (which isn’t the end-all answer, but this is a rough estimate), which brought the line count to 31 lines per page (a little high, but still acceptable), and now only have 370 pages. Let’s round this to 400 pages, since formatting changes could increase the count.

With those variables,Ā a single book is $5.65 plus $3.59 shipping, or $9.24 per book. A volume purchase of 25 books would be $141.25 plus $15.50, for a total of $156.75, or $6.27 per book. 50 copies would be $282.50 plus $23.00, for a total of $305.50 or $6.11 per book.

At the common price points, a 5.25 x 8, 400 page book would profit on US Amazon at 34 cents ($9.99), 94 cents ($10.99), and at the uncommon prices $1.54 ($11.99), and $2.14 ($12.99)

Let’s say that we want to take this into local bookstores. We choose to pick up 50 books to start with, so each book costs us $6.11. At the high end, a store asks for a 40% discount, which doesn’t work at all for the $9.99 book, but yields about 50 cents for the $10.99 book, or $1.09 for a $11.99 book.

So… it is possible to sell the book to stores at a 40% discount, though the profit wouldn’t be high. The profits would increase as the store’s requested discount decreases.

Alternatively, we could hand-sell the book at conventions, keeping all profits for ourselves (minus sales tax… and the cost of a booth), earning $3.88 per $9.99 book. Potentially, we could list it as $11.99, and still have room to discount it at conventions. However, it’s still not the best price point available, and I’d need to play with formatting to get the lowest number of pages possible, while still keeping the book as readable as possible.

Remember, poor formatting can drive a reader away from a book without them ever knowing why, while good formatting can help them ease into the reading experience, so make sure your book is readable to your target audience.

I hope you enjoyed this post, andĀ these are just a few things to consider when you’re preparing to format your book. Good luck. šŸ™‚

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Thoughts on Publishing – Magic’s Stealing – The Paperback Proof Is In!

Today I’m going to interrupt my usual post with an announcement: I have received my paperback proof of Magic’s Stealing!

It came in a small, cardboard wrap (not quite a box, but not a bag, either), and was delivered to my front door. Upon opening the package, I took a few pictures. šŸ˜€

SBibb - MS Proof(( Please ignore the various HeroMachineĀ pictures and cool artwork in the background… those aren’t our personal works (Though if you want a good way to organize the general look of your characters, HeroMachine is quite fun. There’s a whole row of pictures off the frame that we based on one of our campaigns). ))

SBibb---MSproof2

Fancy Title Page

Anyway, this book has 158 pages of content, plus additional pages for the front and back matter, and it clocks in at 170 pages long. Here you can see the the title page (there’s a few pages before it), and further down this post areĀ samples of a chapter page and a regular, full-text page. You can click the images to see them at a larger size.

I did all the formatting in Microsoft Word 2007, and I hope to do a post later on some of the fun tools you can use to add a professional touch to your books. Once I tested a few pages out on my printer for various fonts and sizes and line spacing, I saved this as a PDF, andĀ checked it inĀ the digital proofer on Createspace. Once that looked good, I ordered the print edition.

This particular book is 5.25 x 8 inches (based on a few of my favorite books with easy-to-read formatting), which uses theĀ same dimensions as a 6 x 9, so the cover converted easily. Glossy cover and black-and-white, cream pages. I chose the “bleed” option so that I could use the full page image treatment (pulled from the background of the cover) for the chapter intros and title page.

SBibb---MSproof3

Page Full of Text

I did notice that the words got a tad bit close to the gutter, so that’s something I’ll have to keep in mind for future series, but it’s still readable. Of course, I also justified the text.

This is the end result, and I’m now reading through the book to make sure the formatting is correct before I release the print edition (Amazon only, for now).

I’ve found a couple typos, which I’ve made note of, but if those are all I find, I will most likely let those slide for now so that I don’t potentially mess up the formatting right before ordering a large number of books. If I find a large number of typos, I may go ahead and do the initial revision now.

Though that one I’ve found may keep pestering me…

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll order a second proof, that way I can be sure the formatting looks right and that there are as few errors in the print book as possible.

Anyway, regardless of what I choose to do, I planĀ to go back and revisit both the print and ebook editions at some point for typos, but I’m considering doing that all at once, when more typos have inevitably been found.

In the meantime, look forward to the paperback edition, coming soon! šŸ˜€

SBibb---MSproof4

Sorry, this photo got a little blurry…

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. šŸ™‚

Have you had any experiences with proofing a print edition of your book? How do you decide when to update for typo corrections?



Ā SBibb --- MS ProofĀ Ā SBibb---MSproof5Ā 

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“1000 Words” – Now Available in Paperback

Well, the good news is: It’s here. My Honors College Project is done. Turned in. Complete.

Yay. šŸ™‚

Formally titled “1000 Words: A Collection of Short Stories,” is is now available on Amazon. I even fixed the description’s HTML so that it used line breaks. (Though it looks like I’ll have to independently set up the “search inside” feature for the paperback book).

http://www.amazon.com/1000-Words-Collection-Short-Stories/dp/1475227477/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335566292&sr=8-1

Gotta admit, the cool thing is that while I was showing a copy of the printed book to my mentor for the project, a few of the other photo students got a chance to look at it and seemed impressed. Plus, one of the staff who works there decided to buy my book, making him the first official buyer of the paperback edition. Yay! My fiance has first dibs on the ebook edition. LOL šŸ™‚

So now, here’s the part that may or may not be helpful for those of you reading my posts. I’ve taken pictures of the printed book (The Honors College permitted me to buy ten of them, one first myself, one for my mentor, and one for each of the seven models), at different angles. It’s a 6×9 inch paperback book from CreateSpace (they do print-on-demand, or “POD” printing) at 72 pages.

I’ll say one thing. It may be small, but I’m impressed with the interior color printing. The text is crisp, and the colors from the images don’t appear to smudge. The inner covers look great. I might have been a little off on how the spine was supposed to look, but it looks like the guides were correct (once I madeĀ a PSD to work from) for the wraparound cover. The paper for the front cover feels a little thin (as opposed to the paper a book printed at Lulu used for the cover) but the quality of the image looks great.

The paper pages are a bright white, but easy to read. I would personally consider extending the gutters out a bit or changing how I typeset the text in word, because the sentence feels a bit short when I try to read a paragraph, but that’s somethingĀ I personally can do better to improve.

The pages open easily but do not lay flat (I felt a bit concerned about how thin the book is, but the binding appears to be holding).

Now, on to the pictures. šŸ™‚

Front Cover:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Back Cover:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Side View:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Side View:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Inner Pages:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Text Page:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

Cover Page:

SBibb - "1000 Words" Printed Book

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