Making that novel into a real paperback


The total cost for those books, including shipping: $17 per copy. Not cheap, I know, but I was willing to splurge in order to have a real souvenir of the process and give my readers something that felt like a real paperback book. My order shipped within a few days and in a few more days, the books arrived. I passed them out to my readers, including one friend and colleague who is a remarkably good editor—she marked her copy up like a college student frantically marking up a textbook. Her comments were invaluable.

I realize this process isn’t for everyone, but I had such a good experience with it that I repeated it once I had finished my book’s second draft. This time I ordered a larger size, Lulu’s U.S. Trade (6 inches by 9 inches), which made my book 318 pages long. I think maybe I prefer the smaller trim size of the first book, but it was fun to experiment with a different look for this book that may or may not ever actually be published by a reputable book publisher.

And if my novel never gets published, no big deal—I’ve got two tangible editions as souvenirs and I’ll find a way to release it on the Internet for unsuspecting people to stumble over. I might even podcast it as an audiobook. Who knows? Anything is possible. Now to finish that other novel, the one I stopped at 50,000 words in late November just as it was getting good…