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Friday, November 30, 2012


Earlier this month I mentioned that Ecclesiastes 12:12 spoke to my heart as a writer.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

I related that there is an unending stream of books I have written, am writing, plan to write, may one day write. Because there will always be books to be written.

Today I express my agreement with the second half of this scripture as it relates to writing books and the business of book publishing.

Because no matter how much of a craftsman or artisan a writer considers herself, if she writes books, they need to be published. And if they are published, most likely they are sold. Publishing is a business, whether you seek to become wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, hope to make a tidy profit, or just want to get your ideas into the hands and minds of others.

I have been writing for publication for 12 years. I’ve had my share of publishing success, with four books published traditionally by educational publishers. I haven’t made big bucks. I’m not enormously famous. But I’ve achieved a measure of success because a publishing company has thought enough of my ideas to pay to have them turned into paper and ink products—to print them, bind them and make them available to those lucky purchasers.

But the publishing business continues to change. And it has dragged many of us writers along with it, amid much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Even my traditional publisher has turned some of my books into ebooks.

I recently purchased a kindle. I regularly purchase ebooks for it. And I have gotten past the I-miss-turning-the-page and the new book smell and the silky feel of the cover in my hands. Now, I look forward to the convenience of finding a book, purchasing it and reading it 2 minutes later; of locating an author I enjoy and purchasing several of her books for less than the cost of one print book.

That’s from the point of view of a reader.

From the point of view of a book creator, I’m still gnashing my teeth. If I consider self publishing ebooks or self-funding publication print books, then I must become familiar with:

  • Kindle, nook, pdf, ebook, print on demand, apps
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Smashwords, KDP Select Pro, CreateSpace
  • .mobi formatting
  • pixel sizes and thumbnails
  • verso, retro, folio, outer margin, inner margin, gutter
  • trim size, font size, font type/size/words/page; lines/page
  • typography; oblique spacing, open, expanded, touching, italic, sans serif
  • old style, transitional, modern, square serif, sans serif, cursive and scrips, text letters, and decorative type faces
  • half title page; frontispiece, bleeds
  • widows and rivers
  • calculating spine width and content
  • Gimp; aliased; antialiased art; bitmap vs jpeg, vector based images, rasterize
  • unembeddable faux fonts
  • Lorem ipsum

That’s just some of the technical stuff. Then there’s the marketing, platform building, pricing, and on and on. All of it has to be learned.

much study wearies the body.

I’m a writer. Of making books there is no end. So I write and I study and I endeavor to persevere.

Because God made me this way.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us minds. Please help us use them and our talents in the best way we can. Please help us create things that will glorify you and lead others to you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What study wearies your mind?


chris said...

Oh wow, I can only say two words to that one Carol...

Lorem ipsum...


ummm, what I meant to say is...

Be Great :-)

From Carols Quill said...

LOL, Chris! Lorem ipsum indeed. And a few years ago I had no idea what that was.

Pam B. said...

I thought for a moment you were speaking legaleze.

KeriMae said... and rivers and bears oh my...

Nona King said...

:) Carol, you will be pleased to know (if you don't already) that InDesign has the ability to insert what it calls "filler text", which happens to be latin (Lorem ipsum). I find that if you intersperse the items that you LOVE studying with items that you DISLIKE studying, things are a bit easier. Of course, give me a buzz anytime that you have need of help. There is this nifty free screen sharing site called that we can use....

chris said...

Even more embarrassing, I just found out what Lorum Ipsum meant a couple of weeks ago!

From Carols Quill said...

@ Pam, Keri Mai and Chris - GIGGLE!

@ Nona - you are the best, most encouraging techno mage I know. Thank you for the offer!