Over the last several months, Kevin Michael and I have been working diligently on fulfilling one of our Kickstarter promises, to make my latest novella Runaway Empire the first of my works to be available in print. Like so many things we've tackled over the last few years, it's been a challenge to get exactly what we want.
After looking on several options (including Createspace and Lulu), we decided on Ingram Spark. They claimed to retain quality while also not allowing it to take every penny from our wallets. As with so many things in self-publishing, it's a risk. But from what they pitched, this was a risk worth taking.
We ordered two proofs before allowing the book to be publicly available. Always check over your work. ALWAYS. You will always find a mistake. I can't tell you the number of times I have had four or five people carefully look over work, only to look at the "final" copy and spot an error. Either way, the proofs arrived today.
I will admit, it was exhilarating to see something in print. I have enjoyed the luxuries and privileges of e-book publishing, but there is still a certain legitimacy in seeing words on paper. It's probably the freshest book I've ever touched.
However, there are problems. The book cover is crooked, and they had a bit of an issue printing various shades of grey.
So we contacted Ingram Sparks with a revised design, and we will request that they are a bit more careful with the next round of books. Getting one book in a hundred that has a crooked book cover is expected and excusable. Getting one out of two? Come on, they can do better than that.
But overall, they did an excellent job. These are small problems. To anyone interested in self-publishing, I suggest you give them a look.
I can't help but feel excited about the idea of getting this book out to people. I hope it succeeds, so that we can send more money to Sandy Hook Promise. It's been one of the primary goals for this book from the outset. With a little more work and fortune, we should be in business.