Do you have a book in you? Dumb question. Who doesn’t? Ron Williamson wants to help get it out of your head and onto the page. He is teaching a new class for the first time - How to Publish Your First Book: The Print on Demand Revolution.
“This is a type of new technology that allows literally one book to be printed at a time,” the writer and Hill Country resident explained. “You can print small runs of books and get them in a rapid fashion.”
Williamson has had success doing this with his most recent and best-selling work - “The Texas Pistoleers.” The book on Wild West history was published completely using print-on-demand (POD) technology and is now available online around the world.
“If someone in Arkansas, London, New York, or Winnipeg wants a copy, they can buy it through Amazon. This has been a terrific boon to online book sales.”
The key difference with this technology is that an aspiring author can print as few as one book at a time. Gone are the days when a new author had to buy a thousand books that ended up sitting in the garage. Williamson calls POD technology one of the greatest boons to publishing since the Gutenberg press.
In addition to saving large print runs, POD saves time.
“Using traditional publishing, the time from submitting a manuscript until the book comes out in print can be one to three years. With POD you can be up and running in two to three months. I know, because I’ve done it.”
Another advantage is that your work can become an “ebook” giving you instant online access to the growing market on personal reader devices like the Kindle (Club Ed also has a class on that!). Williamson cited the example of a woman who wrote a book on Alzheimer’s. No publisher wanted it, so she got it printed-on-demand, then picked up so many online sales the publishers came to her.
Of course, no matter how you publish it, you must still write your book. Williamson notes that his is not a “how to write” class (Club Ed offers that, too). This class is more about “how to format.”
“You have to have it in a format ready for online printers,” he said. “That is quite different than formatting for traditional publishers.”
Another advantage - or disadvantage - with POD is it allows the writer to bypass that bane of the creative - the editor.
“The way you print it is the way you wrote it,” Williamson said. “That could be good or bad, but either way, editing slows the process of taking the book from your pen to the reader.”
Williamson notes that POD is a good way to get information out there, even if you don’t plan to write the Great American Novel. It might be your personal memoirs, a family history, your own cookbook. Those topics have an audience that doesn’t require printing thousands of copies.
So no matter where you are in the writing process - a seasoned pro, working on your first book, or a dreamer with an idea in your head - Williamson estimates this 3-hour class will save attendees 30-40 man hours in the process.
Best of all, with print-on-demand, every book is a first edition!
Print On Demand is offered on Feb 13 and Feb 27. Information on other writing classes and Kindle is available at www.clubed.net or 830-895-4386.
Club Ed is the Community Education program of the Kerrville Independent School District. Each year, we offer more than 400 classes throughout the Texas Hill Country, along with online courses, business and individual training, and after-school and summer camps. Comment online at clubedcomments.blogspot.com, or follow us on Twitter @clubedtx.