Rather excitingly, this month I received the princely sum of £22.58 from Amazon. It’s a small start, but an exciting one, because it represents my first dipping-my-toe-into-the-water of print on demand books.
Want to turn your ebook into a print-on-demand one? Here’s a run-down of how I did it – and why if you’re like me, you might want to hire in a bit of help.
Rights to turning your ebook into print
Before you start uploading anything to Amazon, you’ll need to check on the rights for your book. If it’s a self-published ebook, and you haven’t gone through a publisher, then you don’t need to worry about this. But if your original work was under contract, you need to check the contract terms to make sure you’re allowed to print it. I wrote my first book in May 2013 for an ebook-only imprint of Harlequin (who also publish Mills and Boon, although sadly my book was less about ripped bodices and more about getting fingered in a shed). In the contract, I was eligible to revert certain rights after a certain time period, so my agent checked with the publisher and they returned the rights to me.
So far, so good.
On top of that, though, you also need to check whether other book-related things are covered in your contract. If you’ve gone through a publisher, chances are they paid for your cover design and will retain copyright to it even if you have the print rights for the book. Luckily, I was keen to redesign the cover anyway because I wanted it to reflect my blog a bit more – since publishing the book Stuart F Taylor had started illustrating my blog, so he kindly produced an amazing cover in his unique style.
See Stuart’s cover on my print-on-demand book here, and the original cover here.
Formatting your ebook for print
The next step is to format your ebook – for this I had help from the amazing Anna Sky at Sexy Little Pages. Sexy Little Pages is a publishing company that also offers professional services – such as formatting – for authors. If you’re not familiar with book formatting, the easiest (and quickest!) solution is to just get in touch with someone like Anna who can do all of this stuff for you. But if you’re keen to DIY, Anna’s kindly shared some of her top formatting tips for turning ebook into print below.
Choose your typefaces (fonts) wisely
Proof, proof and treble proof
Massive thanks to Anna for the tips, and also for the awesome job she did on my book. Honestly, can’t recommend her highly enough, especially as she also held my hand through some of the stressier Amazon stuff like getting an ISBN number.
Once you’ve got your cover and your formatted manuscript, you’re ready to go! Upload them both to Createspace, input your details for royalty payments, and make your book available. You’ll be offered the option to buy author copies of it too, at a discount price – particularly useful if you’re attending an event like Eroticon and you want to sell your shiny new printed book while you’re there!
Best of luck in your print journey, and if there are other print-on-demand topics you’d like us to explore on this blog, let me know in the comments and I’ll see which experts I can rope in to help out!