When I first thought of self-publishing Granny Rainbow, I knew I didn't want to go via Amazon. Not sure why, exactly, as most of my stories to date have been published using Createspace.
Anyway - yesterday, I went to a local printer, (Dovecote Press), who works with a local publisher I've helped with some editing (Panda Eyes). I took with me a mock-up of formatted text, (based on a 5" x 8" page size) some of the illustrations and the cover design.
I don't know what I was expecting to find at the printers - long gone are the days where huge printing presses clatter and rattle; it's all digitalised and computer screens - but there are still HUGE piles of paper everywhere and tubs of ink...
Anyhow - the upshot is that I now know;
1. A fair bit more about putting a physical book together - Granny Rainbow will be stapled and bound, not 'perfect bound.' The cover hides the staples, and I'm assured that the book won't fall apart.
2. A Xerox machine will be better for my initially small print runs. When I'm selling thousands, it switches to the BIG machine...(yeah, right!)
3. The more I can do up-front with respect to editing, proof-reading and formatting, the better it is for the printer - and the cheaper it could work out for me on unit price.
4. That my initial deadline to myself of 'before Christmas' might not be for the best - the printer advises an after Christmas publication/launch date to take advantage of all those book tokens bought as presents. This is because the printer and publisher have links to our local Waterstones store for their local history books; they are hopeful the branch will support and stock Granny too.
5. How important it is, for me personally, to deal with real people and support local businesses rather than deal with a faceless megacompany.
And the last thing I've learnt? That you can be scared and excited in equal measure when you take the plunge to self-pub because I have no idea how Granny will be received by a wider public - but I'm getting really close to the point of finding out!
Added sometime later: On the subject of finding out what people think... I am one very happy Squidge! Have now received feedback from four young test-readers of Granny Rainbow... 4/4 likes - nay, dare I say, loves - though I probably need to adjust the intended age range to a slightly younger audience. All the stories were enjoyed, whether they were read by or to the child, with the 'little green man' and 'black shadow' stories coming out as favourites. Also sounds like they were a hit with some of the parents too...
And just to put the topping on the lovely warm and fuzzy feeling I'm experiencing, I found out that one of those young readers has already introduced her friend to the stories I wrote in 'Reading is Magic'; they have been singing the 'Follow the Yellow Sick Toad' song and made up actions to go with it! How cool is that?!
Beginning to believe that kids really will enjoy my stories...