It’s March 29th 2013, which means that I self-published Mousetrapped exactly three years ago today.
Three years. Three of them! Can you believe it? I know I certainly can’t.
To mark the occasion, I decided to quit slacking and do something I’ve been thinking about doing for ages: I made a POD hardcover edition of Mousetrapped with Lulu.
It’s bringing sexy(hard)back.
Before we go any further, it should be noted that this making-a-POD-hardcover thing should be filed under Things We Do Just For Fun. It’s not a very good business decision. The hardcover edition is expensive to purchase ($33), and I’d say I could count on my hands the number of readers who’d consider buying it. But that’s okay, because I’ve done this primarily for me.
I wanted to see it in hardcover. And I knew as soon as I opened the Lulu box and saw it that it was totally worth doing.
But this isn’t just the paperback edition with a hardcover. Oh, no. The paperback is 5.5 x 8.5, for starters, so I had to redo the interior to make it fit its new 6 x 9 size. I also had to get Andrew Brown, my cover designer, to make the original cover fit into the dimensions of a 6×9 dust-jacket, with the new addition of inside and back flaps. (A difficult job considering Lulu does NOT provide the same in-depth info CreateSpace does when it comes to making your own cover.) Hardcovers generally have the blurb inside, on the flaps, so the back cover had to be changed too. As you can see above, I stripped everything off it except for the background image.
So since I was changing things anyway and this was supposed to be marking a special occasion and all… Well, I did some other things too.
Another Cover Inside
This one’s pretty much self-explanatory: I put the cover inside as well, on page 3. Just for kicks. When you open the book now, there’s an extra sturdy page 1 that’s woven like fancy writing paper, the back of it is blank and then you have the second cover—printed in black and white of course because if I made the interior full color, the book would cost around $100.
Does it serve a purpose, I hear you ask?
ISN’T PRETTY A PURPOSE?
(Yes. Yes, it is.)
A “Hand-Written” Inscription
When you’re using CreateSpace or Lulu or any similar Print-On-Demand service where your interior pages are uploaded in PDF, remember this: if you can get it to appear on screen in MS Word, you can get it to print in your book. Your MS Word document and the PDF you turn that MS Word doc into = the inside pages of your book. So why not use your imagination a little bit, eh?
This hardcover edition is supposed to be something special. After spending about a nanosecond contemplating the feasibility of offering signed copies of this—ONLY a nanosecond because as I have learned twice over now, selling physical things from your website is a nightmare that should be avoided at all costs—I had what I thought was a much better idea: I’d sign all the books.
I printed out the title page of Mousetrapped, signed it, scanned it and inserted it into my MS Word doc as a picture the same size as the page, i.e. the image took up a whole page.
So no, I haven’t actually signed each book, but this is what it would look like if I did. That’s my handwriting, and that’s the kind of message I write whenever the excruciatingly embarrassing request to sign a book comes up.
(There’s also a normal, unsigned title page in there, if you’re wondering.)
If I’d have known that picture would end up in a book, I would’ve made a better face.
Photo Part Pages
Yes, “photo part pages” makes no sense but I don’t know what I should be calling them. Mousetrapped is made up of two parts, and in the paperback these are just marked with normal title pages. But I wanted to do something different with this edition and feeling giddy with smugness over my faux signed page idea, I came up with this: inserting another full page picture, and then using a text box to put the part name vertically down the right hand side to make an illustrated page.
I don’t know about you, but I like ’em.
Isn’t it lovely? Should you want a copy, you can buy it directly from Lulu and, eventually, Amazon.com. Click here for the Lulu purchase page. It’s $33 plus shipping, which with Lulu is actually quite reasonable.
As for Lulu Vs CreateSpace, I still prefer CreateSpace for all things paperback. But I have to say, from the option of a hardcover in the first place (CreateSpace doesn’t do them like it does its POD paperbacks), to the far more economical expedited shipping costs, to the deep, black print that’s inside it… I’m pretty much loving Lulu right now.
But wait, don’t order it just yet—you might WIN a copy first. A personally inscribed copy, that I’ll, like, write your name on and everything. Or since I know a lot of you have zero interest in the non-self-publishing stuff I write, you can choose to have a paperback edition of Self-Printed as your prize instead, should you win, if you prefer.
All you need to do is leave a comment below for your chance to win.
The same-sized small print: this giveaway is going to run until midnight GMT Tuesday and any comment on any ‘Mousetrapped Madness’ post is a chance to win, BUT only one comment per post/day counts. I’ll post the prize anywhere mail will feasibly go.
In other news, Backpacked, that other book I wrote, is free for Kindle from today, and here’s a Mousetrapped Pinterest board I made earlier.
But back to the sexy(hard)back.
What do you think? Colour me impressed, considering we’re still talking POD…
Let me know below!