dilbert1965's Posts

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Does anyone sell any books here?
General Interest

I have sold 62 copies of my only book (which was published at the end of May 2009). 16 of those were sold directly off the Blurb site and the others were sold via my organization’s site. The Blurb sales model is far from ideal, but it is sufficient. I am looking into another method to get my book out to a larger audience.

The $5.00 Blurb take on each month’s sales is very steep in my opinion, but it is what it is.

The books are good quality and those who have given me feedback love the cover, binding, pages…the overall quality of the construction.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Jan 18, 2010 6:07pm PDT
Permalink
dilbert1965
 
Processing Fee?
Ordering and Shipping

Doing this would cut into Blurb’s considerable margins. I’m certain they’d be hard-pressed to slant this toward the author’s advantage.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Jul 13, 2009 10:36am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
JUne Sales figures lost
General Interest

This must have been a system-wide issue that has since been resolved. My June sales “disappeared” for a few days, but they are certainly there now. I’m betting, Grubb, that your numbers have since returned since there hasn’t been any later postings since July 5th.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Jul 13, 2009 10:33am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
It is finished. My first book is public
General Interest

After 9 months of reasearch, writing, obtaining photo and image permission, working with a few best-selling authors and a former US Vice President, massive editing, re-editing, proofing my test-print…my book is done!

http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/686685

I placed my first large order (after a month-long pre-sale from my site) and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of those boxes.

I have posted a few times and I have poured over so many other posts that directed me on my approach to Booksmart and blurb. My test print was fantastic – all the photos were excellent (better than I had hoped. Some were very sketchy, old photos from the 1930s and ‘40s and many were scanned newer versions. After much work in PS CS4, they printed fabulously in my test print.

I am hoping for NO SNAFUs on this first order.

 

Posted by
dilbert1965
May 17, 2009 10:08pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
RESEARCH QUESTION - average $ spent on self-publishing a book
Book Printing

Research costs are never the same for any book project. You also need to figure in the legal fees (Isbn, LCCN, copyright registration, trademarks, etc.) and any attorney consultation costs. After the book is complete (published), how much does it cost to distribute and market?

There are so many aspects to a self-publishing project, it is difficult to ball-park the costs.

Posted by
dilbert1965
May 5, 2009 2:01pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Profits Too Small for Check
General Interest

If you don’t reach the $25-mark, Blurb will take it at some point. In their eyes, you haven’t met the agreed profitability point..therefore that money isn’t yours.

Posted by
dilbert1965
May 2, 2009 3:42pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Import my own cover layout?
Tips and Tricks

If you don’t use the cover text tool, the place-holder text will NOT display on your printed version. If you use the preview function, you’ll see what shows up in the printed version.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 30, 2009 12:24pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
ISBN. LCCN, PCN Copyright et al
General Interest

U.S. Book publishers – how many of you have taken the steps to obtain the Library of Congress Preassigned Control Number (PCN), Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), ISBN or registered their copyright?

This is all new to me and I have completed each item in the process for publishing my first book. Thoughts?

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 27, 2009 9:53pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Please give me tips on my book Life after Death
General Interest

You might want to edit a word in the subtitle: I think "Experance" should be "Experience." Be sure to change it on your title page as well as your cover.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 25, 2009 5:38pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Text Warnings... looks fine in preview - trust it??
Book Printing

I wouldn’t (and didn’t) trust them. There are enough bugs in this software that you should be concerned with them.

If you have more text than space, you might consider setting up that specifica page using In Design or Photoshop. The majority of my captions were done in this fashion and the test print turned out excellent.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 22, 2009 5:41pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
First book, some plus' some negatives
Book Printing

My book contains a fair amount of B&W images that I obtained from the Departmen of Defense. They were 300 dpi scans and were actually in b=w. I converted them all to sRBG with minimal sharpening or other tweaks (other than to repair damage). They all turned out crisp and with very good contrast.  I was very pleased…after reading all of the slams on Blurb, I started to get nervous when I clicked the "purchase book" link.

I am trying to be open-minded when I read the slam-posts, but I really wonder how much of those are based on the subjective nature of expectations. Understand that I don’t want to discredit the folks who have genuine issues where the printers were making mistakes or goofs.

I’ve worked in marketing and advertising design and development in my past and have seen first-hand how each printer can vary widely printing the same exact advertisement. I’ve even seen issues where the ad was printed differently between magazine editions at the same printer.

I’ve worked on some fantastic print projects (brochures, catalogs) that were no where near as easy for me as creating a book with BookSmart was. Even with all the glitches and nuances of this tool, it was a piece of cake. There are a number of improvements (pointed out by countless others) that I hope we’ll soon see, but for now, I am happy with my results.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 22, 2009 1:52pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Publishing and protecting your work
General Interest

cbnewham,

Taking to the courts has, unfortunately, become a way of life in the US. I suppose that it is in response to the underhanded nature of the sense of entitlement our citizens seem to possess, which leads them to take whatever suits their fancy. 

In the several corporations I have worked for, two of them in particular, had legal advisors that provided risk assessment based on the CEO/Presidents’ desires to conduct business in an unethical manner, straddling both sides of legal prudence. Basically, the thought is to conduct business in an illegal manner, weighing the costs of the battles should someone decide to bring suit. Most of the time, they got away with it.

When I think about my published work, I look at it from the perspective of covering the bases. I want to ensure that I have taken the steps to provide a measure of protection that at least will keep an honest person honest. Inevitably, someone will take from my work as they don’t worry about such things until they get caught.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 17, 2009 9:52am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Publishing and protecting your work
General Interest

Claim? It isn’t a claim. Three of my sources (referenced in my biblio) warned me about their current legal situations with google. All three of them (their publishers) had failed to register the copyrights and Google subsequently published their works on books.google.com. We’re not talking segments or excerpts here…this is the entire book; title page to index.

After consulting a copyright and patent attorney (a colleague of mine), I found your assertion about damage recouping to be patently incorrect. Registering at copyright provides specific publishing dates and criteria that can be used to stand up to infringing entities such as Google. Evidence that is concrete for use in litigation. Recouping not only lost sales, but legal fees as well at the very minimum.

I’m not trying to convince you to do it. If you feel that it isn’t important, that’s certainly your choice. I’m not certain that everyone feels this is as futile a venture as you do.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 17, 2009 2:00am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Publishing and protecting your work
General Interest

I see that a good portion of the folks here have purchased ISBNs for their published works. I was wondering how many of you have registered your copyrights as well? Have any of you also worked to get a catalog ID number (libary call number)?

 

I highly recommend registering your work for copyright protection. Google and many other web entitites routinely re-publish un-claimed or un-registered books onine. If they don’t have protection, you don’t have a legal leg to stand on if you choose to seek damages.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 16, 2009 2:44pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
New to Blurb - just did my first book!
General Interest

Nice looking book on a great subject.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 15, 2009 11:26am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
My test print arrived...what a fantastic piece of work!
Book Printing

I took a pass through my test print and I can’t find any issues with the quality of the printing. I am overwhelmed by the color accuracy of the images as well as the excellent contrast of the black & white photos. The type face I used looks incredible. My book is an 8×10 dust-cover with 174 pages.

Although I didn’ t contribute many posts here, the input you all provided (along with the Photoshop templates) helped immensely. I am extremely satisfied with this test print. I have some adjustments to make with my photoshop-generated pages to pull the captions away from the edges…but the certainly did help me get the pages to look great.

 Thank you all and Thank you Blurb!

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 14, 2009 6:19pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Last pages
Book Design and Imaging

The page with the logo on it is not editable. If you want to use the last page for a photo, you’ll have to change a settting within booksmart (click on the blurb logo on the page). You will be charged a significant per book fee to do this.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 13, 2009 6:26pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Disparity in shipping
Ordering and Shipping

A calculation? Why can’t they use the same calcution used to price the actual shipping cost? I have done this for a living. It is quite simple to do…especially since they have already implemented a shipping calculator that is used for actual shipping charges.

 

This IS bait and switch.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 10, 2009 4:35pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Disparity in shipping
Ordering and Shipping

Seems to me this is as bit underhanded. I need to place an order for several books and I am leery of the Blurb folks pulling another bait and switch on me.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 10, 2009 11:48am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Disparity in shipping
Ordering and Shipping

I am amazed with the disparity in the costs of shipping. I used Blurb’s calculator and for my book (174 pp, 8×10), the price was calculated to be $6.41 for ground. Second day air was $6.39 (yes, it shows 2nd day as cheaper) and Next Day was 8.11.

When I placed my order, I selected ground and the price I was charged was $8.06.  Why the disparity?

Posted by
dilbert1965
Apr 10, 2009 10:14am PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Text is pixelated...
BookSmart

When I laid my book out, I used the text tool in BookSmart. I did, on many instances, used photoshop for the images laying captions right over the image. Will there be a pixelation problem with them being output as JPGs? If so, would you recommend rasterizing and then outputting to JPg or just switching to PNG altogether?

Posted by
dilbert1965
Mar 19, 2009 1:28pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Present my Blurb?
Tips and Tricks

I used SnagIt as my printer from the Booksmart app. From SnagIt, I saved as PDF and they are perfect.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Mar 3, 2009 5:58pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
what permission is needed
Book Design and Imaging

Please, please, please be sure that you have the rights to the photos or license to use them in your book.

In your case, mysticvision, there probably won’t be an issue in using those photos. But I have seen my family squabble over these phots. What baffles me is that they actually think that I am taking the original photo and, damaging it as I put it in to my computer. They don’t understand that I am making a digital copy.

I have spent 9 months obtaining licenses and permission to use photos that aren’t my own in my book. Even if the person is overwhelmingly supportive, I get their permission in writing so that I am covered if there is any sort of issue down the road.

In my case, the book I am putting together is a work of naval history and I had to use a good portion of photos I obtained from the Naval Historical Center and the DoD. Permission is easy with them since they are public domain images, but I still made sure to protect myself.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Mar 3, 2009 1:10pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Indenting with justified columns
Tips and Tricks

Yep. I just liked it. I am using a TT font that is sans-based.

Posted by
dilbert1965
Mar 1, 2009 2:27pm PDT
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dilbert1965
 
Indenting with justified columns
Tips and Tricks

I am using the standard landscape (10×8) as my book will have a fair amount of photos while being rather text-heavy.

I did preview your books and I like the font you used. What is that? 

Posted by
dilbert1965
Mar 1, 2009 2:10pm PDT
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dilbert1965

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