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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 34, August 20, 2006, Article 9

PRINT-ON-DEMAND PUBLISHING

Harold Levi writes: "In the last few issues there have been some
comments about print-on-demand, and related issues. I have just
published my book on the Confederate cent using print-on-demand,
and thought I would share my thoughts and experience thus far. The
name of the book is; ?The Lovett Cent; a Confederate Story.?

I am not in a position to print one or two thousand copies of the
book, and then depend on selling them to recover my costs. This is
not a lack of confidence in by book but a purely financial decision.
I am building a new house, and need the money for that project.
Print-on-demand is exactly that, a book is printed when it is ordered;
at least this is what happens at Lulu.com. If you order one book,
then one is printed, if you order ten books, then ten are printed.
It is all electronic and computer controlled.

Lulu offers distribution services that include an ISBN. The service
that is available depends on meeting certain rules. In the case of
my book, I bought their Global Distribution service, which includes
the book being listed with Ingram. This makes the book available to
Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, along with other book sellers, both
domestic and foreign. The cost was $99, my total cost.

Primarily, books can be 8 ? by 11 inches or 6 by 9 inches in size,
binding can be paperback or hardcover. The images are embedded in
the text, and can be in color or black and white. You can design
your own cover or select a standard. The manuscript data file can
be one of many different formats, but all that is printed is Adobe
PDF. I had help converting my MS/Word manuscript to PDF. Since the
book has footnotes, frames (for sidebars), captions (for images),
embedded images, and Word generated Table of Contents, List of Figures,
and Index we had problems getting the file converted to properly reflect
the Word file. If your manuscript file is simple, then Lulu can convert
it for you. If your manuscript is complex, then I recommend you convert
it yourself since there will be several trial and error conversions.

Since the manuscript is stored on a computer as a data file, a book
does not have to go out of print. The data file can remain on the
computer indefinitely. Also, I see this as a means to republish old
and out of print books. The primary expense and work of republishing
an old book would be the OCR scanning or retyping of the old book. My
research would have benefited from owning one of Dr. William Lee?s
books on Confederate notes and bonds (there are only thirty), but no
matter how much I would like to own one of these books I can not afford
one. However, a twenty or thirty dollar print-on-demand copy would have
done the job."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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