Typesetting and other evils

Sooner or later I’m going to receive the final versions of the translations that I have commissioned of Eusebius Quaestiones and Origen’s Homilies on Ezekiel.  I want to sell some copies of these to libraries.  Firstly, that will get them into the hands of the academic constituency, who still turn their noses up at online resources.  Secondly it will give them a better chance of survival; websites can be ephemeral.  And thirdly, it should help recoup some of the costs — not a small issue, since I looked today at the total bill and it is not small.

I’ve never published a thing, so it’s all a bit new to me.  What I want is to use print-on-demand if possible, but not produce anything rubbish; the libraries will not want to buy rubbish, and all the purchasers will be able to evaluate, really, is the quality of book making.

So probably it should be hardback, a sewn binding, on good quality paper.  That says I ought to use traditional publishing, if I could find it.  But I don’t really want 50 or 100 copies on my floor, which points to print-on-demand and sites like Lulu.com and blurb.com.  Trouble is, the books these produce are not conspicuous for quality.

I certainly need to get it typeset, or look unbearably amateurish.  I don’t know anything about typesetting, or how one does this or gets it done.

Does anyone have any ideas?  Say it’s 100 pages, about the size of A5, a Loeb, or a Sources Chretiennes edition?


7 thoughts on “Typesetting and other evils

  1. In Greece something like 45-50% of all books published every year are self published. The general idea is that you find a professional printer, you negotiate the price and then you get your edition. Problem is, in the UK every year 250,000 titles are published, at least according to an “Financial Times How to spend it” article I read in 2003. Small publishing houses have a serious problem getting their merchandise to the market, self-publishers it’s a nightmare. You will be very like if you manage to recoup your publishing cost from our book, even though it is indeed an edition of something unique. My suggestion would be find a publishing house, but then this might defeat the entire purpose because he would probably impose conditions you would not like.

  2. It would be possible to sell them both to a commercial press such as Cambridge University Press. The difficulty is that this would defeat the object, which is free access online. What I want to do is recoup at least some of the money, and then place the things online. If I sell the copyright to someone else, firstly I would be most unlikely ever to recoup the money (because author royalties are so low) and secondly wouldn’t be able to give it away.

  3. You can’t get a self-published book into a library as I am sure you already know. Nevertheless if you go to a country outside of the UK what would any of them know about let’s say a Canadian self-publishing houses or Australia for that matter? You get an ISBN number. What’s the difference? I think some of them allow you to pick the name of your ‘publishing company.’ Pick a name that sounds academic and stuffy. Publish the book in a foreign country. Recoup your original investment. Grace us with your product eventually on line.

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