My father has recently written an essay on the early history of the Champion de Crespigny family. It was an update of an earlier essay written in 1988. The essay includes a bibliography, footnotes, index and colour illustrations and maps.
The essay was composed and edited using Microsoft Word and came to 221 A4 pages. My father exported the manuscript to PDF thereby ensuring the formatting and pagination stayed constant.
While downloading a PDF may suit some family members we were conscious that others might like a printed version.
My father arranged for ten copies to be printed and bound in hardcover. The cost was just under $50 for printing double-sided in colour and $54 to bind in good quality thesis style or just over $100 per copy. In addition involved arranging drop off of the manuscript to the bookbinders and collection from the bookbinders and distribution to family members and libraries by hand.
I thought it would be easier if family members could purchase their own copy and we could outsource the printing, payment and shipping.
Our decision as to which printer to use was determined by our desire to retain the A4 size of the publication. We did not wish to reformat and or compile the index again.
There are several print on demand suppliers but IngramSpark (http://www.ingramspark.com/ ) seemed to be the only firm that could print a coloured manuscript in A4. Books printed by IngramSpark can be ordered through Amazon.com and other distributors.
Reviews of the quality of printing by IngramSpark were favourable.
My father has written a number of books and was familiar with the steps in the publishing process.
We had to purchase ISBNs. “ISBN” stands for “International Standard Book Number”. The ISBN identifies a book or other book-like product (such as an audiobook) in a specific format and edition as well as who published it.
ISBNs used to be distributed for free by the National Library of Australia but the process has been outsourced to Thorpe-Bowker ( https://www.myidentifiers.com.au ). We bought ten ISBNs for $88. A single ISBN is $44 and you need a separate ISBN for each format. In addition there was a “new publisher set-up fee” of $55.
We needed to assign three of the numbers to this book for the three different formats: hardback, paperback and PDF to be downloaded.
Next we submitted cataloguing-in-publication information to the National Library of Australia. Cataloguing-in-Publication (CiP) is a free service offered to publishers by the National Library of Australia to provide a catalogue record for publications that have not yet been published. You can apply at https://www.nla.gov.au/cip.
The book was listed on Trove, the National Library of Australia’s online portal. The capitalisation of the title was not as we submitted it but the Library advised that would be corrected once the deposit copy was received. However, three weeks after the deposit copy was handed personally to the library, the catalogue is not yet updated, still stating the deposit copy has not yet been received.
For IngramSpark to print the book we needed to upload two files, a PDF file of the contents and a separate file for the cover.
IngramSpark emailed a template of the cover with the exact dimensions based on the number of pages, and the weight of the paper we chose. A bar code with our ISBN was included. We elected not to have the price coded in the barcode.
Modifying the template was beyond my capabilities. I did not have the right software and despite spending some time Googling for help and watching YouTube videos I felt no closer to mastering this task. I Googled for help and found the site UpWork.com. I was able to
- describe the task
- find 5 candidates who were able to take on the task
- select and brief an experienced designer who had produced covers for IngramSpark previously
- agree a fee and pay the money into Escrow using PayPal
- provide the designed with the files forwarded by IngramSpark and image of the design my father wanted
- the work was completed in less than half an hour and the files forwarded to me
- I released the payment and rated the work done (5 stars as prompt and conforming exactly to my brief)
- Cost was $US30.83
IngramSpark requires you as a publisher to set a retail price for the book for each of the main countries it can be printed in. You are given the information about printing costs. I was required to budget for a wholesaler discount. I chose the minimum and did not allow for returns. I am not trying to place the book in bookshops and do not expect anyone other than family members to be interested.
Once we uploaded the files IngramSpark charged $US49 setup fee.
It took several days for IngramSpark to process the files as I submitted on the weekend and I believe they are reviewed by a person. The proof was available to download on Wednesday morning. I reviewed the electronic copy and ordered a hard copy for review. I could delay anybody else ordering until I have reviewed the hardcopy but have decided to allow anybody who wishes to order a copy.
The cost of the hardcopy was the actual printing cost $Au11.74 plus $Au2.20 handling fee, economy shipping of $Au9.25, Tax (GST?) $Au2.32 for a total of $25.51.
On Thursday morning, 24 hours after enabling production on IngramSpark, the book was listed on Amazon.com, Angus and Robertson and booko.com.au. No price was given and the book was listed as “not in stock”. However I was able to place alerts to be notified when the book is available for sale.The National Library would appear to have also been notified by IngramSpark as the entry on Trove included an image of the cover that could have only come from IngramSpark.
A summary of the cost of getting the book to publication in Australian dollars:
- ISBN purchase and setup $Au 143
- Cover designer $US 30.83 = $Au 41.95
- IngramSpark set up fee $US 49 = $Au 66.69
- Single printed copy to review $25.51
Total $Au 277.15
It took three weeks for the review copy to arrive. IngramSpark’s service standard was ten business days and they printed on the tenth business day. Postage took six days. In hindsight, because I was eager to see a copy quickly, I should have ordered the express printing which would have taken only two to three days to print.
The quality of the printing is good, the only comment being that the colour for some of the illustrations is less vivid than the initial individual printing my father had arranged.
The book is now available for sale through various outlets including Amazon and Book Depository. These firms acquire the book at the “wholesale” price. When setting the price on IngramSpark I had to set a wholesale discount of at least 30%. There was a calculator which helped me to ensure the wholesale price covered the printing cost.
The book can be bought from
- Book depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Champions-from-Normandy-Rafe-de-Crespigny/9780648191728 $Au 29.09 with free delivery worldwide
- Amazon in the US https://www.amazon.com/Champions-Normandy-Champion-Crespigny-1350-1800/dp/0648191729/ $US20 plus postage
- Amazon in Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/Champions-Normandy-Champion-Crespigny-1350-1800/dp/0648191729/ $Au32.52 with free delivery to Australia
Prices may vary slightly from time to time with exchange rate variations.
The PDF version of the book is free to download from this link: Champions from Normandy 2017.