To Print or Not to Print – No Question

Converting an e-book to a conventional printed version is a no-brainer.

courtesy of wikicommons

courtesy of wikicommons

Well, that’s what I thought when I decided to take Little River from the e-book only world to print.  With an old-fashioned book in your hand, I find that you can reach more readers and potential readers than with the electronic version alone.  I’ve listened to people and there are a large number who don’t have an e-reader, and find reading a text on a computer screen cumbersome.  I heard enough similar comments to justify the jump to print.

courtesy of

courtesy of

So which print stream is right?

There are so many options available get your print work out there.  CreateSpace, Lulu, Booklocker, IngramSpark, from my research, are all very reputable, credible and provide a sold printed product.  There are dozens of others out there, but I narrowed down my search to these four.  There are some things to think about as you move forward:

Who owns the rights to the work?  Some of the printers are publishers and cut themselves in for a piece of the action – a percentage of your sales.  That may be fine and gain you access to their distribution network.  You have to know what you’re getting into. Read all the contract language.

Do I need a new ISBN number?  You do need a new International Standard Book Number for each version of the work.  Separate ISBN’s are needed for e-book, print, or audio-book, if you decide to go that route.  You can find self-published work without an ISBN, but you won’t have the ready access to the major distribution channels (Ingram, Baker & Taylor).  Bowker assigns the ISBN’s for books in the United States.

How much hand-holding do you need?  Your choice of printer must consider how much assistance you think you’ll require to prepare, format and submit your text and cover in a .doc, or .pdf format.  Some of the printers will take your document file and convert it for you.  Editing, cover design and formatting are available, but be prepared to pay for any “extra” service.

For a number of reasons, I chose IngramSpark.  As the name implies, the Ingram distribution network is the gold standard to get your book in bookstores, libraries and drop-shipped to any location.

The end product has to look good and Lightning Source is the printer behind IngramSpark.  That whole, one chance to make a first impression thing.

The contracts with IngramSpark are fairly straightforward and include global distribution as an option.  For the most part, they stay out of your pocket.

So, I purchased my ISBN from Bowker, signed up for the IngramSpark account and started preparing my file for print submission.

Here’s where things got tricky.  When is a PDF, not a PDF?

Part II will chronicle the submission process, software requirements and the appropriate  (and copious) amount of alcohol needed to complete the IngramSpark protocol.  What could possibly go wrong?

One comment

  1. […] James L’Etoile tells us how to go about converting an ebook to a print book. To Print or Not to Print – No Question […]

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