My mother is visiting this August 11th and because she doesn't have a computer, she's never read any of my blog posts. Recently, she asked me to put up all my screenplays into one book so she could read them whenever she wanted. But she's never read my blogs? Mom, you're killing me.
And that got me thinking. I probably have enough material from my blog for a book, so why shouldn't I use a Print On Demand self-publishing service like Lulu.com to print my own book? It's not like I don't know how to lay out a book—I have the design knowledge from years of laying out magazine ads. The challenge of publishing a book is that it's a marathon because you're wearing so many hats at a given time.
Nevertheless, I got really excited because I own all the copyright to my own writing... what's stopping me from going all the way and distributing my printed blogs through Amazon*? And the answer is—money. Among other things, Amazon requires an ISBN number and you can only buy ISBNs in lots of 10. At $25 per ISBN, that's $250. And then there are the proofing costs. All told, self-publishing could be as expensive as $350, which is a hefty chunk of change.
Naturally, I could slap all that on a credit card, but I thought it might be a nice gesture to invite my friends, family, readers, and subscribers—the people who still enjoy reading my banter after all this time—onto the wagon and help this train come into the station. Plus, the end result could be something really special for my Mom to see a "real" published book of nothing but blogs her son wrote. Come on, you can't say that's not cool!
Anyway, if you feel like you want to help out, all contributions are very welcome:
My aim is have all $350 by August 3rd. If I start getting contributions as planned, I may detail on my blog each step of getting my book published. That's got to be worth two yanks of a steam train whistle.
* I'm not very concerned with how many people buy the printed copy, because just having a book listed listed on Amazon is worth bragging rights for its own sake!