Archive for August, 2014|Monthly archive page

Big White Shed… venturing outside into the world of publishing

A few years back I wrote a novel… you know how it goes… it lay finished, I lay exhausted and a tiny bit bored with the whole thing. Then came a flurry of activity involving spread-sheets, emails, cover letters, sample pages, stamps, large brown envelopes, rejection letters, no letters at all. Then came the ‘getting on with everything else’. Then came a re-write. More activity. Encouragement in its many splendoured forms, nestling on a bed of discouragement in the guise of NOTHING HAPPENING.

So what to do? Publish it myself? I can’t just park it in a file on my laptop and forget it ever existed can I? So, I have looked into self publishing every now and again. The costs of producing a reasonably good looking book are quite high, there’s a variety of companies offering a service from basic printing the file you send them, Print On Demand options, to graded packages, Gold, Silver, Bronze, offering book design, cover design, full edit, copy edit, no edit. I didn’t have a spare £1000 to spend and have a stack of books languishing in a box in the spare room. I have also been very aware that some of the companies don’t produce the finished product that I would like. I have also seen professional services offered where their own material is mis-spelled or clumsily laid out.

What about an e-book? That’s probably the next step… again there are companies offering the service to convert files to e-books but when i see typos in their advertising and marketing I’m loathe to hand over my hard earned cash.

Then I went to Karlsruhe on a writing trip with a crowd of English ne’er-do-wells and met a young man called Florian Arleth who runs a small publishing company called Brot und Kunst. He publishes local spoken word artists, poets and performers, and the books are like REAL books. What’s more even for a small print run of 100, the cost is easily affordable. He uses a company called Booksfactory who offer a minimum order of £50. For the style of book I would like to produce I could print as few as 20 books and pay only £50.

So where am I now? I have a final manuscript which I am about to send off for a copy edit. In my case I have had a lot of creative input, critical reads, full manuscript reads, sample chapter assessments, I don’t feel there’s much more can be done with it, but I do know it needs a professional eye put over it to catch all those glaring errors that my eye just doesn’t see because I’ve read the damn thing so many times.

I am about to buy a batch of ISBN numbers, have an artist working on a cover design and logo. Logo? Ah yes, most importantly I shall be launching this novel as a Big White Shed production… and what is Big White Shed? It is a creative space which will be gestating new and exciting creative things from now on… first up, publishing my novel.

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