Newsflash: My very first REAL book!

It has been faaaar too long since my last post, and if you’re a regular reader, you’re probably wondering whether I’ve given up blogging.

Never fear, I haven’t.

What I have been doing is putting the finishing touches to my book.

My very first REAL book!

There have been a number of home-printed books, mostly of the travelogue genre, but none have been ‘published’ per se.

Well, strictly speaking, I am self-publishing this one. More specifically, my CAT is publishing it. πŸ™‚ I’ve called my imprint “Tuffy-Cat Press”. And I even drew up a logo for it, thanks to said Tuffy-cat posing for me most patiently and graciously. Here it is:

Tuffy-Cat Press

Tuffy-Cat Press

I figured that self-publishing will give me more control over the whole process, plus it has the advantage of not having to grovel, beg and plead with publishing houses, which by many accounts may not be all that interested in publishing books.

Great excitement yesterday: I received an ISBN number, which is kinda like the Dept of Home Affairs giving an ID number to a newborn baby. My baby’s official name is: Goldmines, elephants and foefie slides: An adventurous weekend on the Garden Route. It’s the story of our weekend away in the Knysna area during May last year.

It was when the email from the nice lady from officialdom in Pretoria arrived with said ISBN number, that it suddenly hit me: THIS IS FOR REAL!

I’ve found another very friendly and creative lady to design a suitable cover for me, and can hardly wait to see what she comes up with.

I’ve also received a first quote from a printer, who’ll also do the binding, and if I manage to leave work at a sane hour today, I may have enough time to go past another printer to get a further quote.

The deadline is a rather daunting one, so I hope that everything will be completed on time. We are heading out for an entire, decadent WEEK of holiday (yayyy!!!) on the Garden Route from next week Saturday, and I really wanted to take along copies of my book to give to some of the wonderful people we met last year.

Oooooohhh!!

This is so exciting!!!!

Now if you have any advice for me on how to sell it, so that I can recoup some of the costs, that would be realllllllly appreciated.

Or perhaps you would even BUY a copy?

Please? Pretty please? With cherries and molten chocolate and ice-cream ontop?

17 thoughts on “Newsflash: My very first REAL book!

  1. Hi, I noticed with interest that you have decided to take charge and get your book published. I did something similar with my first novel, Someday which is on Lulu. Now I work for a Kenyan publishing company called Storymoja, as an editor for their online content on the wordpress blog and on http://www.storymojaafrica.co.ke. I wonder if my second novel a teen/young adults adventure fiction book will make it to the light of day. All the best with yours.

    • Hi – I don’t know your name, but thank you so much for leaving the comment. πŸ™‚ I really appreciate it. Self-publishing is daunting enough, but marketing and selling myself seems like an even bigger challenge, so any encouragement is great!

      I had a look at the website of the publishing company you work for, and it looks very, very interesting indeed.

      How did you do with your first book? Did you sell many copies? Did you go to book stores yourself, or how did you sell it? I did a search on Google for the title, but it didn’t come up in the search. If you are still selling it, perhaps you could create a website/blog about your writing, and put the cover page and the first chapter or something like that on it? That way people across the world can read it and see if they like your style of writing and the topic, and perhaps buy it from you?! πŸ™‚

      I wish you much success with your second book!

  2. Congratulations on your progress.

    As a dog owner I may not buy your book, but I wll give you some free advice that should be worth more you’ll pay for it.

    Unless you have realistic expectations of selling hundreds or thousands of copies of your book, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT pay a printer to print a pile of books.

    There is a very good chance that most of them will end up mouse-eaten and mildewed in your basement or garage.

    Until you determine the demand — or even later one — it is MUCH SAFER to use print-on-demand, from a printer such as Lightning Source (US & UK).

    Each book will cost you a bit more than if you have a thousand done at one time by an offset printer, but there is no waste. Books are printed only when ordered. Even one at a time.

    Lightning is a sister company of Ingram, the largest book distributor, and within a few days of approving a proof, your book will be on the websites of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target and other online booksellers.

    I’ve self-pubbed three books so far (and am now writing number four and five). The first three are available on over 30 book-selling websites in at least 6 countries, and I made absolutely no effort to make it happen. (You can also buy a dozen or 50 or a few hundred books to distribute yourself if you like.)

    HOWEVER, availability does not guarantee sales. You still have to generate demand for your book, but you’ll have to do that if your inventory was 1,000 books, 10,000 books, zero books, or if you have a contract from a traditional publisher.

    Put your money into promotion and marketing — not printing, warehousing and shipping.

    Michael N. Marcus
    http://BookMakingBlog.blogspot.com
    http://www.SilverSandsBooks.com

  3. Hi Reggie

    Congrats on the self-publishing — I hope that the experience is wonderful for you, and that everything goes according to plan πŸ™‚

    If you’re looking for a great, reliable printer in Cape Town, I can recommend Megadigital, in Paarden Eiland (www.megadigital.co.za). I work at a self-publishing company called Mousehand (www.mousehand.co.za), and we use them regularly for our local printing. The person to speak to is Glendor Crouch.

    Wrt sales, have you considered selling through bookstores? If you’ve got the drive to market your book, an attractive cover, and a compelling, well-written story, you could do quite well through bookstore sales.

    If you’re interested in chatting about this, please give me a call on 021 4488336.

    Best of luck!
    Silma

    • Hi Silma

      Oh my gosh! You have just made my day. My week. My month! :-)))))

      You gave me some good advice there. I’ve already obtained a quote from Megadigital, and may well go with them. To ease my mind, I just have to get one other quote to compare prices, and then I’ll make my decision. Very exciting. I have had a look at your website – it looks beautiful! If all goes well with my first (limited) run, I may well use your services! πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for the nice comments.

  4. Hi Reggie

    Good luck with your first book, it is always very exciting when something is finished and you know that you are the one that made it happen. Just to change the subject a bit, I see you will be travelling to the Garden Route, there is a backpackers there that I would like to recommend. Starling Village Backpackers, what a place for new inspiration. Good luck and well done.

    • Hi Mat

      Thank you for the kind wishes. πŸ™‚ Yes, we’re travelling to the Garden Route in the week before Easter. We’re booked for a whole week at Homtini Guest Farm in Rheenendal, and we’re realllllly excited about it. I desperately need a break from work. I had a look at your website – what a beautiful place! Who knows, perhaps we’ll stay with you sometime. πŸ™‚ The plan is to have more awesome experiences along the Garden Route so that I can write a *follow-up* book! ;-P

  5. Our business did the layout and typesetting for a children’s book many, many years ago – we still have some ISBN numbers in the files and I’ve always wondered if I should do something with them, ie. write a book.. Anyhow, I don’t think the author we helped ended up selling as many books as he thought he would. You really have to get out there and sell yourself. The marketing becomes even more labour intensive than the writing itself. Good luck!

    Reggie, would your book be suitable to include in a presentation to students? If you approached the Language Arts departments at local high schools it would be a good way to get the word out about your book to many people at once. I’m sure many students would also love to hear about your experiences getting a book self-published.

    • Hi Amy-Lynn

      Thank you – good advice!

      And yes, you should *definitely* not let those ISBN numbers go to waste – judging from your exquisitely written and illustrated blog, there’s definitely a book in you. Your observations on the little magical things that happen in mother nature are just beautiful.

  6. Hi Michael

    thank you for leaving a comment on my post about publishing my very first book. You have given me some very sensible advice.

    My first print run will be 50 precisely because I do not want crates of my book to clutter up my garage if I can’t sell all of them. Print on demand is definitely the sensible route to go.

    I just want to clarify, though, that my book is NOT about CATS. πŸ™‚

    It’s a travel book about a weekend my husband and I spent on the Garden Route in May 2008.

    So even though you are a dog owner, you may still like to read it. ;-P

    • Hi Bobz

      Ahhh, you see, that’s why you’re my friend! πŸ™‚ Thank you for your enthusiasm and excitement! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Biiiig hugs across the miles.

      Bobz, you are definitely getting an autographed copy. When I get them back from the printer (which should be next Friday), I shall inquire at the post office how much it’ll cost to send – as our post office, contrary to its slogan “We deliver, whatever it takes”, doesn’t always deliver (because ‘it takes’). If necessary, I’ll have it couriered to you! πŸ™‚

  7. MY Dear I am so excited about this and my plans are to have it on my office desk to show off to folks…and see what the bright spot of life can be…I am going to see the best book I know! This is wonderous! Love, BOBZ

    • Hi Bobz

      Awww. Thank you for the support, my dearest friend! I picked up my 50 shiny new copies from the printers this afternoon, and plan to put one in the post to you tomorrow. I will let you know if I manage to get the time.

  8. Hi Reggie

    A new publication is always the most exciting thing to look forward to. I hope you have had sales on your title by now. We deal with at least 18 very sucessful self publishers. In conjuction New Voices Publishing we host a workshop/conference at least every 4 month, where we invite 50 – 100 self publishers and help them through the process. Please be so kind to drop me a mail some time, i am sure we have lots in common we can chat about. Warm Regards. Glendor

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