Self-Publish an Illustrated Art Book, Part 3

Get a fast start on your next paper mache project or hand-made gift with Jonni’s easy downloadable patterns for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts. The patterns help you create a beautiful work of art, even if you’ve never sculpted anything before.

So – let’s say you’ve finished the manuscript of your illustrated art book. Now what? How do you transform your manuscript from a file on your computer into a real-life book that’s available for you to buy and sell yourself, or for the public to buy from Amazon.com?

The company discussed in the video is actually the printing firm owned by Amazon. They can take your PDF file and have it available within a few short weeks. And your book’s listing will always say “Available for Immediate Shipping” because Amazon’s printing company will print it as soon as an order is placed on their website.

The book I mentioned in the video is Aiming at Amazon, by Aaron Shepard.

You can find CreateSpace.com here.

The printing company that will be printing our own book is Lightning Source Incorporated. They work only with publishers. Now class – how do you become a publisher? That’s right – you purchase your own ISBN.

CreateSpace has lower printing costs for books with interior color, Lightning Source (LSI) is less expensive for black and white books. Books printed by LSI are available to online and offline bookstores — they even sell directly to Amazon.co.uk, something that CreateSpace doesn’t do even though they’re owned by Amazon.

The downside of LSI, even for black and white books, is that they will give you very little help in creating your files and setting up your account. They don’t want to work with people who don’t have good computer skills, and they aren’t set up to offer much technical assistance. This is the company that prints all the books for author services companies like AuthorHouse and Lulu.com.

Self-Publish Your Illustrated Art Book, Part 2

Get a fast start on your next paper mache project or hand-made gift with Jonni’s easy downloadable patterns for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts. The patterns help you create a beautiful work of art, even if you’ve never sculpted anything before.

This is the second video in this series. In this one, I show you the software that I’m using to create my illustrated art how-to book. These are not usually recommended by self-publishing “experts,” (they usually prefer the much more expensive Adobe versions), but my total software investment was $100. Compare that to the total cost of Photoshop and InDesign at $1400, and you can see one of the reasons why I went with another brand.

I actually prefer the PhotoPlus X3 over Photoshop, and not just because it’s so much less expensive. I used Photoshop for years. It always made feel a bit incompetent, because there are so many fancy functions that I never learned how to use. I did learn how to do basic stuff, though — but I can do those things in PhotoPlus, too — and I think it’s actually easier to use.

Before you jump into self-publishing in a big way, remember to do some research first. This is especially important if you want to sell your book to the public. Certain types of books, like novels and illustrated childrens’ books, are not usually very easy to sell when they’re self-published. Non-fiction and how-to books are said to do better. However, there are lots of reasons to make a book, and profit is only one of them. It may not even be the most important one. But still, do some research before you start so you don’t run into any major surprises.

The book about creating a manuscript in Microsoft Word that I recommended in the video is Perfect Pages by Aaron Shepard. He also has a book that is geared towards new self-publishers who want to sell their books on Amazon.com.

Do you know of an art book that’s been self-published, or do you have one you’d like us to know about? Tell us about it, so we can take a look. And please tell us about your experiences with the process too, good or bad.

How to Write and Self-Publish aHow-To Book – Part 1

Get a fast start on your next paper mache project or hand-made gift with Jonni’s easy downloadable patterns for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts. The patterns help you create a beautiful work of art, even if you’ve never sculpted anything before.

This video is the first of a short series showing you the tools I used to build my new book about paper mache clay.  If you’ve ever considered writing or illustrating a book, but you let the idea drift away because you thought it would cost too much money or it would just be too hard, be sure to watch this series.

If you have an idea for a book and you’d like to discuss it here, we’d love to hear about it.