I’m in the final stages of completing my book of fables,Wandering Spirits, and have begun the work of preparing it for publishing. I’ve still got a bunch of illustrations to finish, but I’ve started the process of turning my manuscript into digital and print editions.
I’m hoping to have the book for sale by end of March, which would make it exactly two years since I started the project. After all the time and toil I’ve put into this project, it’s exhilarating to finally reach this point.
I’m really excited to be working with Saeah Lee, who is helping me produce and self-publish high-quality editions of the book. If you’re a fan of Derek Sivers’ books, you’ve likely held her work in your hands—she’s the magician behind his beautiful print editions.
Saeah has also been a marine engineer and officer in the US Navy, and works in the design of fiber arts, among many other fascinating endeavors. I’m delighted to work with her, and feel lucky to collaborate with a fellow polymathic soul who cares so deeply about the products she works on.
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Since the day I began drafting this book, I’ve dreamt of a fabric-lined hardcover edition with a cream paper texture that is delightful to touch and hold. Given this is a book of modern fables, I really like the idea of making something new that is reminiscent of old books.
But as I began the planning work to explore that option, a few things became apparent:
Hardcovers have always been a bit more pricey, but the costs of paper and printing in general have also gone up since the pandemic.
I’m including full-color illustrations for the print editions, which elevates the price significantly.
I’d have to put up a sizable up-front investment to buy a set of ~2K hardcovers in order to make the unit price of selling them reasonable. This is a pretty serious investment (and a lot of risk to take on, despite my strong desire to offer this edition.)
One option is to do a Kickstarter for a special hardcover edition to gauge interest, and only offer the option if a certain milestone amount was reached (to cover some of the up-front risk.) I could also bundle the eBook and some other treats with the hardcover edition.
Regardless of how I approach the hard-cover, I will be offering eBook / Kindle and paperback editions as well. With the paperback, I could either sell it direct with a nicer print quality, or go the Amazon route, or both.
I’ve got more research to do, and some decisions to make.
In the meantime, I’d love to get your input with a quick question in the poll below:
(These prices are not exact—they’re just rough ranges to give you a sense of relative cost. As a reminder, the print editions will be in full-color and include illustrations.)
Thanks in advance for your feedback! If you have other thoughts or suggestions, please leave a comment or reply by email. I’d love to hear from you.
My goal is to ensure that the effort I’ve spent polishing these stories is reflected in the physical product. I want the love and care that went into the words to carry over onto the paper.
Most of all, I want readers that hold my book to know that whoever made it really, truly cared.
More updates on the book to come. Stay tuned, friends!
I’ll leave you with some nightly doodles I’ve been doing to keep my drawing arm primed. I’ve got twenty illustrations to finish for the book. Wish me luck!
Would love to get hands on the hardcover if only it's available on Indian Amazon marketplace. Books from US failed to arrive, twice (refunded though).
So cool to revisit the very first "I'm going to make a book" idea put into the universe.
I'm a big fan of the extra $ for a unique, tactile experience. The book is also a work of art, and the materials will contribute to the experience.