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  1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Self publish personal merely to edit?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by peachalulu, Oct 21, 2012.

    Someone from my outside blog sent me a self published book to review and I was
    surprised at the quality of the printing.
    My printer is down and I was perusing the self published sites and noticed
    you can print up a story for yourself a private copy. Being that the copy
    won't be sold to the public would this still be considered self-publishing?

    I'm asking this because I was thinking of printing out my book so I can
    make editing notes - ( I have a hard time editing scrolling down
    page after page. I wrote on paper before moving to computer
    and I find it easier. )

    To print out the book at a local
    printers would be the same as publishing in book form ( one
    personal copy ) for the same price. I was thinking not only
    would that be cool - but an interesting way to edit.

    Has anyone tried this?
     
  2. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    No, I have not tried it, but wonder about the strategy here. In my case, I edit onscreen for at least 10 versions, and when I get to the J version [10th] and find very little to change, I then make the first actual print out. Like you, I prefer to edit the printed pages with a red pen. No matter how good I think the tenth version is, I ALWAYS find more edits on the printed pages.

    Then back to the screen version. After more edits, I print again and still find more to edit.

    My point is this: after you pay for printing, you will no doubt find edits. Then you correct them onscreen, and then what? Pay for another print? I have no idea what this outside printing will cost you, but it seems you would perhaps be better served to get another printer. They can be found rather cheaply now, and I think you will be printing many versions.
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would definitely go for a personal printer - that way you can also print out only those pages you plan on working on, not to mention you can reprint whenever. Cost per page for the number of copies you may end up printing has got to be cheaper than going outside.

    Oh, and a book that's never circulated (other than for private critiques) is not published, regardless of who prints it.
     
  4. darrenwhite
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    darrenwhite New Member

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    I know this isn't much of a tip but I often find that just by viewing my writing on a different media can often mean that I spot things that I don't see in MS Word. I'll often view it on either Kindle or even just my mobile (I can even make notes/corrections on online Word).
     
  5. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Haven't tried it, but it makes a certain amount of sense. However, be aware that even the PoD sites that don't charge for uploading a book may charge a lot for shipping; I think a single book from the PoD site I use costs about $2-4 for the book and $12 in shipping. To me it only makes sense if you're buying enough books that shipping becomes a small fraction of the cost, not for one-offs.

    Personally, the best editing tool I've found is to load the book onto my Kindle, turn on text-to-speech and listen to it. I pick up many more mistakes that way than by reading through it.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For what you throw away to pay for that kind of printing, you could buy a cheap printer and burn it out printing drafts, and still have money left over. For a little more, invest in a good, fast, black and white laser printer. That will also serve well when submitting to publishers who prefer hard copy submissions.
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I've done it and loved it. It really gave me a feel of the read. I made notes and then had an easy to use and manage source for changes. It cost me $11 through LULU. I recommend it.

    A B&W laser would be the best printer to have as mentioned for printing drafts and submissions though.

    And no, it wouldn't be self publishing.
     
  8. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Cog's advice is best, to my mind. Lay it out and paginate it, print it out, and you'll have a hard-copy to read (easy on the eyes, etc etc). And you'll have a direct correspondence for page numbers and even location on the page, so you won't be wasting time hunting down errors.
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I'm a complete hard copy editor. As stated in my blog, I've cut, putting last chapter into the numbers, anything from 12-23% from my novel so far-in fact will probably end up adding 10k to make the 80k minimum. It's far cheaper-depending on your printer-to buy reams of paper and a black ink cartridge then to pay someone to print it out.
     
  10. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    I did this once for a work report. It cost me $2.75 and looked great.

    But, I wouldn't use it for editing your book. To me, it provides unnecessary distractions. When you print out your ms and review it, your attention is drawn to the story, punctuation and other minor formatting issues. In short, your editing is focused on making a manuscript ready to go to a publisher.

    In book format, your attention would be drawn to issues related to how your story looks in printed form. That's fine. But if you get the ms published, the publisher will be tweaking those things. So doing this only really benefits you in preparing a book for self-publication. Even then, you still need to do a line by line before you can prepare the book's formatting for publication.

    In short, I think you need to consider how you use your time. If you spend it making the sharpest manuscript, you are readyi no it for a publisher. If you spend your time making the sharpest looking (in terms of book formatting) book, you are really only gaining the opportunity to see your book in print form.

    It isn't that it can't be done. I just don't think there would be much value added by doing it.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    makes no sense to me at all... spend $40 on a new h-p and print it out yourself... use 'fast draft' quality and your ink will last a lot longer...
     
  12. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    If your only purpose is to get a personal copy, you're going to be doing a lot of work for that one copy. Not worth that much effort if that's what you're really trying to do, in my (newly experienced) opinion.

    If your purpose is to make some copies that you can circulate to family and friends (or perhaps to a test audience or a trusted circle of fellow writers for feedback), then the answer is yes, and it is actually not expensive to do, as long as you do it the right way. It's still a lot of work, though, if you care about it being presentable.

    Today I just received a proof copy of my (sorry, Cogito) self-published novel. I haven't hit the "publish" button yet because I'm still double-checking it, but the proof copy itself cost me a grand total of less than $6 plus shipping (I only bought one copy, because that's all I need for my purposes). So, no, it's not published (even by the loosest possible definition of the term), and if I never hit the "publish" button, it never will be published (even by my own heretical definition of "publishing"). But it is definitely printed, no question about it. The only thing that differentiates my proof copy from an actual purchase copy is the word "PROOF" that appears on the back of the final (blank) page. (The print-on-demand service I used will remain unnamed, except to say it's the big one.)

    Now, if your purpose really is just to get something in your hands that will help you spot errors and force you to read your book through fresh eyes, there's an easier way to do it, if you have a smartphone. Just email yourself a copy of the manuscript and use one of the downloadable viewers for your word processor/smartphone. I did this for my Open Office document on my Android (I'm sure the same applies to Word and iPhone), and I really did find that reading it on the alternative format did help me spot things. As Cogito correctly suggests, printing it off is also a very useful way to go. (I used a good-quality 3-hole punch and a large looseleaf binder for this purpose in addition to the Android).

    WHOOPS -- Quick update regarding price. Since I am actually planning to self-publish this, I did register my own ISBN. I don't know what the service charges for ISBN registration, so I can't speak to that, since I did that myself. So that could be a set up cost, although it's the only one for this particular provider if you're doing everything else yourself.
     
  13. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Some PoD sites give free ISBNs. Here in Canada they're always free if you register as a publisher, so we can just assign our own.
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    No, just printing yourself a copy is not the same as publishing - that's a silly idea anyway. Imagine, did all your teachers and even you yourself "publish" the thousands of school handouts and essays that each of you printed? Of course not! I think to consider yourself "published" you would have to be distributing the copies. The reason why publishers consider posting writing online as "published" is because people can access it - it's back to the idea of distribution.

    Well, if it's the same price to print normally as it would be to print it in full book form - and I'm imagining a normal book I could buy in a book store - then I must question just how much does this printing cost!? Must be very expensive!

    I printed myself a copy of my MS and I didn't want to use my own printer - I don't have laser and I didn't want the fast draft quality. So I went to a printer and paid £8 for 160 pages or so (that would be say, $5? I'm not sure about the conversion, but in US dollars it'll be less) which I thought was reasonable. I would've had to spend that much on paper and ink at home.

    The truth is you don't want to edit in book form - you need loose pages, big pages to actually read easily and write into the margins. Think about it - agents and editors always request unbound copies, don't they? Never staple, never bind it, never put anything on it except those 1 inch margins and double space. They're the pros - they know why they request this. In my experience loose pages are way better. I simply formatted it in such a way as to reduce the page count (less cash) and left enough space for editing and printed it all out in normal A4 white sheets, and it's proved invaluable, especially for purposes of juggling scenes etc!
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    current conversion rate is 1 pound = 1.6163 US dollars, so it would be more than 8 pounds, not less... [almost $13]

    printing it out at a copy center IS a much better idea, if you don't want to overtax your home printer, however...

    check the rates at staples, office max, kinko's and other local copy centers for the best price...
     
  16. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    printing it out for yourself is not Publishing your work as you are not making it publicly available the only thing I can see with this approach is that it could be come quite costly by your tenth edit. and think about the fact you will have to go back to your computer to make changes. I would do the editing on my computer until I feel it is ready for beta readers then print it out for them to read and make notes on. That said you do what works best for you.
     
  17. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    *gasps* the dollar has overtaken the pound!? :eek:

    Edit: oh wait, sorry, my maths is terrible.... no, the dollar has not overtaken the pound and that's why, mamma, you're completely right that it's more expensive in US dollars lol. oops.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    pretty much always has been... for as long as i can remember, anyway... and that's a pretty looooong time! ;)
     
  19. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    For some reason I feel like we should just blame Greece for this currency conversion confusion.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Topic has clearly run its course.
     
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