Sunday, December 14, 2008

Writing and Printing a Book, Today

Writing and printing a book (or having your writings printed) is easier than ever today. With the aid of the personal computer and the internet, it is very easy to write, edit, and print your own book (or to have your book printed).

I started writing three years ago, and I wrote about the things I had been thinking about for the previous ten years: God, phenomenology, the Bible, the way I perceive the world, reality, etc.

When I began writing, I used a pen and a spiral notebook. It took me quite some time to write-out what I was thinking, and it took a long time to arrange the book so that my thoughts were presented in a logical order.

Over a year after I had begun writing, I was far enough into it (I was finished with a very rough draft) I bought a computer, and I began to copy what I had written (adding to that, all of the things I knew I needed to say, but had put-off writing until I got the computer).

For the next two years I worked the writings into a manuscript, wrote and re-wrote the entire things many times over, edited, corrected, etc., until I was finally finished.

I found CreateSpace on the internet while searching for publishing, pubilishers, printing, ect., and decided to use their print-on-demand services. I did the layout for the book in Word, did the book's cover in Powerpoint, and used the "Save As PDF" function in Word (it's a free add-in you can download from Microsoft. See http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4d951911-3e7e-4ae6-b059-a2e79ed87041&displaylang=en ).

I used these files to create the print files I needed to upload to CreateSpace. I had gotten the Adobe Acrobat free trial download earlier, but it had expired by the time I need to create the print files. So, since I knew what to do from my experience with Acrobat, I went to Kinkos and used their computer, which had Acrobat, to create the files.

I uploaded these files, and I had a proof copy of my book within a week or so. Total cost to me: $5.00 to use Kinko's computer.

This, to me is incredible. Sure, the book will not be distributed by Ingram (which, I know from having worked at Barne's and Noble, distribute most books to the bookstores) and it will only be available online at Amazon, but, to me, this is revolutionary in the world of writing and printing.

If you think about the history of printing, this computer, internet, POD thing is pretty incredible.

The cost to me for the blog and the web site: $0.00.
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