With the negative thoughts out of the way a designer was what I needed. While I was travelling in SE Asia a friend of mine- who knew when I was returning home- emailed me details of an upcoming workshop which was about self publishing. It included topics like production, marketing and distribution. The two hour workshop was to be held at the offices of Electric Bookworks in Observatory Cape Town. After a couple of long distance emails and a bit of research via the Internet I realised that this workshop was crucial for me to attend as not only were they work-shopping subjects that were directly related to what I needed to know, but also, Electric Bookworks (EBW) were very clued up on both Ebooks and Print on Demand (POD)- two very new pieces of jargon that I knew nothing about.
The workshop was to be the start of a long lasting, fruitful, informative relationship.
Through them not only did I get to learn about, but I also came to understand the importance and growth of e-books. At the time Ebooks were only making up 1% of the total publishing market but their share of the market was doubling year on year. (I’m not sure of the exact % currently.)
EBW offered the service of design, in both Ebook and hard-copy, layout and proof reading for a very good rate. At the time they were having a special on ebook design and it cost me R2000,00 for the design of both The Magic that’s Ours and The Power that’s Ours.
Discussions surrounding POD -took place and again I had to decide which way to go.
POD is self explanatory in that the books are printed on demand. Initially one or two copies could be printed at a time but it does affect the unit cost. This cost will depend on book size etc. EBW were offering that service for a small percentage but I do now know that there is a minimum print run which is needed to be held in stock.
As The Power that’s Ours was a black and white text driven book with illustrations at the beginning of each chapter I could afford a print run of 1000 copies. The reasons that I decided to do a print run was that I did have storage space-my bedroom floor, my distributor requested and initial delivery of 200 copies, and, I wasn’t happy with the type of page paper that would be used if the book was printed POD. As this was my baby I wanted everything to be how I wanted it to be and the paper didn’t seem right for the book.
Around that time I received the illustrations back from Carmen- and they were great. EBW started on the design work and it was then that we hit a glitch. In my brief to Carmen nothing had been mentioned about the format of the illustrations and she had presented them to me in a landscape format as opposed to portrait style. The Magic that’s Ours had been landscape and The Power that’s Ours was to be portrait. Try as we did there was no way that the illustrations would fit and after chatting to Carmen-very sweetly I might add- she agreed to amend the illustrations at no extra charge.
The book had been edited and after one final proof-read by EBW the final design was agreed on.
Now I needed a printer and web designer.