Many quilters have a book in them and don’t know where to start. Some quilters will take the traditional route with an established publisher. Others will find their needs better met with a self-published product. In the current issue of The Professional Quilter, Gloria Hansen takes a look at an option know as Print on Demand. Here’s an excerpt from that article.
A few months ago while cleaning out an area of my basement, I came across some boxes filled with copies of a pattern I self-published into a booklet nearly two decades ago. To get high-quality color images printed on letter-sized glossy paper, I needed to have a minimum of 5,000 printed. All of these years later, more than half of them remain in the boxes. This illustrates some downsides of self-publishing – paying for an initial print run that may not sell and storing the printed material. Today a new technology greatly reduces the often high upfront fees, eliminates storage needs, and allows you to print as few or as many books as needed. It’s called Print on Demand (POD).
A range of POD companies offer “assisted self-publishing” services, including editorial guidance and design work, as part of their pricing plan. XLibris, CreateSpace, iUniverse and LuLu are examples. While these companies may offer features important to your needs, such as a wide distribution, they also require upfront fees that range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your goals.
Another option that results in a professional end product yet doesn’t require a high upfront fee is Blurb. Blurb, was initially set up to serve the self-publishing needs of both photographers and authors. And while companies that offer digital image printing services also offer photo POD books (such as Shutterfly, Apple through iPhoto, and SnapFish), Blurb compares very favorably in the price department and also offers you the option of adding your book to Blurb’s public bookstore. Taking a look at the bookstore, the high quality is obvious. If you choose this option, you can then set a price and keep any income over the printing cost.
When questioning professional quiltmakers about their experiences with POD, Blurb was the consistent winner. You can read more of Gloria’s article about the pluses and minuses of POD and Blurb in particular, along with the experiences of several quilters who’ve used Blurb in the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter. If your membership is not current or you need to convert your subscription, click here.
The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.