Debt-ridden college students have a hard time paying the high prices charged for books by traditional textbook publishers. The mission of Erehwon Press is to make text books more affordable for students. Anyone can do it. Here’s how:
- Write your book. Then edit it yourself.
- Essential: get someone else to proof it. More than one person, ideally. Check for typos, formatting. Make sure citations and bibliography information is accurate.
- Do your own peer review. Ask colleagues to review and critique the manuscript, and if they like it, provide a quote for the back cover. The Amazon reviews will provide a form of quality control, too.
- Set up an account with Amazon’s CreateSpace service.
- Follow the instructions on formatting your text.
- Download the template for your cover art, if you want to do it yourself. Or just use one of the templates from CreateSpace.
- Once everything is proofed on the computer, order a sample copy of the printed book for a final check.
- Finalize the publication process. As soon as the book is available, begin your marketing.
- An easy way to publish your book in all major ebook formats is to use an inexpensive service provided by Portland-based BookBaby. They do all the work of formatting and setting up accounts with each of the e-publishers, and you still get 100% of the royalties.
There are a lot of advantages in doing it this way:
- You can set the price of the book. You can keep the price low and still retain more royalty than you would get with a traditional publisher.
- If you assign one of your own books to a class you teach, you can make the books available to students at the author’s rate (i.e., without royalty). This avoids the ethical problem of collecting royalties from your own students.
- By letting CreateSpace handle printing, sales, and distribution, you avoid the headaches of self-publishing.
- It’s relatively easy to make minor revisions to correct errors, and to offer new editions. Once you have the first edition formatted, changes are simple.
There are a few disadvantages, of course:
- In theory, having your book published by a major textbook publisher ads some credibility to your work. On the other hand, it’s easy to think of absolutely terrible textbooks that have been sold by those folks.
- You’re responsible for editing. But there is a growing number of excellent freelance copy editors you can use. It’s worth the money.
- You have to do your own marketing. But the modern reality is that you will have to do that no matter who publishes your book.
- You set your own deadlines. If you procrastinate, you won’t have an editor hounding you for the first draft.