How to Self-Publish Your Book in Print- My Adventure
I wrote a book on the Bhagavad Gita, and many people, specially the older generation- parents, aunts, even some friends- wanted a print copy. I looked up online ones like Pothi, but they seemed expensive.
My dad had a good idea- one that he had used for his book. Print 2 pages on A4- basically you’ll have a book in A5 but only spend half the money you would have otherwise. Photocopy it, to reducwe your cost even more. Take the cover out in color for a rich look and get it bound. Would need to get a designer to typeset the book.
My designer wasn’t free, so I thought I’d go to Fiverr. Luckily I happened to speak with another friend who was a designer and she suggested that I typeset it myself in MS Word, since I had already gone to the trouble of collecting copyright-free icons.
That opened a whole new world to me. I would have so much control. Make the tweaks I want, correct typos which always creep in, the works. Mac doesn’t have as many options for Word as Windows does- the eternal Mac vs. PC battle.
I wanted a sidebar, but I abandoned it in favour of callouts. Word on Mac has some great callout templates I used. Header was next. Now my book looked more professional. Off I went to take a printout.
My printout guy was a smart fellow. He fiddled around with the settings and got me what I wanted. He sold the hardbound option to me, saying since the paperback one would be glued together it could fall out any time.
Unfortunately, it looked like a school copy. My designer suggested the centre staple option. I rearranged the book so that it would work and made sure my pages were a multiple of four. Printers closer home couldn’t figure out how to do it, so off I went again to the original guy.
Print in Booklet form he said but by now I was short on time and patience. Apparently I didn’t need to rearranged the book. The images had a line running through them, although I had painstakingly ensured they were 300 DPI when I took them from an online site (the free icons were in SVG, which is not MS Word friendly).
So out went the images. Finally, in half an hour I had my books at an affordable price. Have put fatter books on them so that they settle. I’ll soon distribute them to family and they better read them! If you’d like your copy of Insta Gita at Rs.50 plus shipping, let me know.
I plan to put them on Amazon soon to complement my Kindle edition. Since I have the master printout, I can photocopy it anytime. It’s rewarding to hold your book. Worth the pain. Do let me know if you decide to take the plunge.