When I bought my Galaxy with its Kindle App, I found that the print was much easier on my eyes than the kind in print books. With the NTD books, I’ve sent out my first team with eBooks, knowing that they were starting to outsell paperbacks. Once you know how, eBooks are easier to format than paperbacks unless you’ve got illustrations. Imagine my surprise when a couple of authors came to me and asked if their books were available in hardbacks. Apparently, people still enjoy hardback books and the dust jackets that come with them. Tom Johnson and I were talking on the phone when he mentioned publishing Cold War Heroes as a hardback. I remember smiling and saying, “Sure, no problem.”
Then he asked, “Have you ever published anything in hardback?”
“No,” I told him, “but if I go with a 6 x 9 hardback and use the cover I have for the trade paperback, I should have no problems.”
Well, a casewrap might have been almost that simple, but we went with a dust jacket. I needed a bio, photo, and a tantalizing summary / excerpt to go on the inner flaps. Those flaps gave me the biggest problem. I use CreateSpace for the print books and Lulu for NTD magazine. As for the eBooks, I do my own formatting and submit to the respective distributors. Newsflash: CreateSpace doesn’t do hardbacks. Lulu does. I know of two other companies that print hardbacks – Lightning Source and www.instantpublisher.com. I never used these other companies, so I went with Lulu.
First I re-sized the excerpt and bio. Because you need at least ½ inch margins on all sides, I had much less space to work with than I thought. Why the margins? During the manufacturing process, the edges get trimmed, and you don’t want your print or images to get cut away with it. Lulu has new cover formatting software that enables you to past in your excerpts, photo, and bio on the flaps. All well and good, but Lulu was having software problems.
So then I moved onto their software for a 1-piece wrap-around. I was able to put this all together on Publisher by using a set of images to meet the exact measurements. Publisher came through for me in a big way. I built up a jacket nice and neat, or so I thought. With one-piece covers, Lulu requires you to upload the barcode yourself. It sounded easy until I realized I had no barcode software. Okay. I downloaded Lulu’s barcode and tried copying it onto the Publisher image. What I copied didn’t look like any barcode. So I printed out the barcode, scanned it to a JPG and then I tried copying it. It bumped the back cover image out of the Publisher file.
Back to the drawing board. I made another back cover file on Publisher and pasted in the barcode JPG. After making a JPG of this cover, I pasted it onto the big Publisher wrap-around cover. All up, I must have made about ten Publisher files. Finally I was able to covert the wraparound cover to JPG and upload it to Lulu’s software. The upshot was, I ordered a proof and had it sent to Tom. Tom had the patience of Job. Each night brought a phone call or a series of emails from me. You can see how this cover came out below.
Tom has another book in mind for a hardback, but with a different cover. This time Teresa Tunaley is handling the job. She does most of the covers for the NTD books, and she’s a jewel to work with. She came up with a dust cover jacket, ISBN, and all within a few days. Three Go Back won’t be coming out in hardback for a while. I have to see how Cold War Heroes looks when Tom gets it. I was so pleased with the outcome, though, I had to display it. It looks a great as any balloon tree I’ve seen at the Giant. I plan on using it for the paperback and eBook also. Thank you, Teresa!
What is your favorite medium for publishing – hardback, paperback, or eBook? I’d like to hear your thoughts, and why you would prefer one over the other.