The joy and Horror of Creating Your Own Book
A few months back our writing group, well a combination of writers who had participated in Kevin Higgins creative writing classes in Galway on Tuesday nights, decided to get together and produce an Anthology of poetry, which was exciting since not one of us had ever produced or been chosen for a book publication.
Actually, a few of us had never even been published at all. So the task upon us was a daunting one yet very exciting. Our goal was to have a book produced by ourselves and ready for the end of November (coming very soon) and that was back in June, maybe even before.
So, there are seven of us, seven poets, each very different which is perfect, each with different ideas and plenty of input. But where did we begin, what did we do, how can these guidelines help someone in the same boat we were in?
First. We had plenty of meetings, which can be a little hard, trying to get seven people in the one place at the same time, but, we do have the modern age of technology, and email was a key factor.
So, upon meeting, decisions had to be made. What would the group be called? What would the book be called? Who would print it? What budget did we have? Who would edit, design, create cover? Where would we launch the book? Did we want an ISBN number?
This is a lot to think about, and a lot of work, but with seven dedicated people, and over the coming months, these issues where addressed and we are now days away from having our book created and ready for the launch.
We called ourselves ‘The Tuesday Knights’ fitting that we would meet as a group on Tuesday nights. We also set up a face book page and try keep it updated with poetry and writing news, join our group here if you like.
We then wrote down different words that came to our heads that described our group and came together with a name for the book which is a play on words ‘Wayword Tuesdays”, everyone in agreement and elated with the choice.
We then needed to decide whether to approach a traditional publisher, or self-publish. As it was for some, a first time experience of publishing, we decided to bond together as a group and do the work ourselves.
So, we needed a printer and came upon an amazing company called Selfpublishbooks.ie and got in contact with Frank Kelly, and I can highly recommend this company and Frank is a pure gentleman and professional. The prices are excellent and you can choose if you want one book published up to a thousand or more, as many as you would like, great service.
We then called upon the services of a local editor who went through our chosen poems (seven each) for the book and nit-picked them with perfection. We also contacted a local artist who gave us different art designs to choose from, and we are very happy with the design we chose, looks amazing.
We also had to design the book ourselves, the layout, the placement of each poet (which were drawn from a hat) and in doing this I brought along to one of or meetings the brilliant poetry book by Lost Horse Press which included one of my favourite books, Human Shade by Robert Peake, and showed the group the head shots of the three poets involved with the book, and decided it would be a great idea and nice touch to do the same with our book.
So, we got in-touch with a local photographer who took some portraits and included black and white head shots and a small bio into the book.
We also purchased an ISBN number, decided on a date of the launch which is Nov 30th, and chose Charlie Byrnes bookstore as the venue.
The book was then put together using word, font chosen, size chosen, layout ready, table of contents created, I will not lie, it was a little bit of a head melt and time consuming, but great experience and enjoyable in the end. It was then sent as word file and PDF to the printers, the cover sent in separately, and we are now just a whisker away from having our book ready, pretty exciting.
There is work in the producing of a book, but it can be fun aswell as tiring, yet I highly recommend self publishing. We have ordered 300 books, and can order more at anytime. I will also add this book to Amazon (another learning curve) aswell as other outlets.
It has taking a few moths, seven brains, patience, but we are practically there. I will keep you posted of the outcome, any questions, leave below.