My first hard copy arrived from Ingram Spark and it was not great. The trimming was bad, the cover was off center, the interior pages look like they were printed on an early 1990’s ink jet printer, and it was too thick. So I had to go back to the internet and find a new printer. My first stop was Lulu. They did not offer the size I created, so I had to reformat the whole book. Also, they had a page limit of 800 which means I had to cut 100 pages from my first draft. This was very difficult and time consuming. I had already put so much time and effort into curating what I felt were the best sets and I didn’t want to loose any of them. But lose some I did, and I finally got to the new size and length required. I went to upload my manuscript and was met with multiple errors. Just like Ingram Spark, Lulu does not have a phone number to call. So I filled out a support ticket and waited 2 days for a response. Of course the first response was no help at all so I sent back additional information. Another 2 days and I get the response that they don’t know why I got the error or what to do about it. That was the end of my relationship with Lulu.
Next, I found BookBaby. They did not offer the original book size I had created OR the size I had created for Lulu. This meant I had to edit the entire book for a third time. But I knew this was how it had to be and I got it done. BookBaby allows 40 more pages than Lulu (840 vs. 800) but I just couldn’t bring myself to go back and recreate 40 pages worth of sets which would cause a 4th revision. I felt good about the length and the sets that I ended up with so I kept it at 800 pages. The final book size became 8″ x 10″. I was pleasantly surprised to see that BookBaby offered both hardcover and gloss paper. This was going to be a far superior version if all went as planed. And the best part – they actually have a phone number and a human answers the phone when you call!
Today version 2.0 of my book arrived and I couldn’t be happier. It looks and feels like a real book and it is something I can be proud to present to the public. I am now in talks with a distributor. I should have some more news to share very soon.