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  1. #1
    Start judging theWallflower's Avatar
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    What Are You Using for Personal POD Services?

    I sometimes like to print out paper copies of my book for beta readers, and in book form, it's a lot less cumbersome. I used to use Lulu, but that went out of business. Are there any other services like that out there?

  2. #2
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Lulu's gone?

    Well, I guess you can use CreateSpace (Amazon's POD)?

    What about using a local printer? Or like a FedEx/Staples print service or something?

    But you want it in a book format, right? As, like, an ARC or something? What do you do with it?

    EDIT: Sorry, I guess you said you give it to your beta-readers. But, really? Aren't you afraid...well...I don't know...it just seems...odd. Like, someone might mistaken it as a finished product or something. Do you clearly label it with a special cover or something?
    Last edited by N. E. White; January 24th, 2014 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N. E. White View Post
    Lulu's gone?
    I still get emails from them (actually, I thought they were spamming me until I discovered I'd created an account there years ago ), so I presume they're around.

    Createspace seems to be the best bet for most of us, because it's free; LSI offers more options, but there's a setup cost and a cost for any changes made afterwards. I haven't looked at any others.

    As for beta readers, with Createspace you'd upload it and order proofs to send out to the readers. No-one but the publisher can buy it until you've approved distribution.

  4. #4
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward M. Grant View Post
    As for beta readers, with Createspace you'd upload it and order proofs to send out to the readers. No-one but the publisher can buy it until you've approved distribution.
    Really?

    I guess I've concentrated so much on e-books, I've kind of forgotten to check out print.

    It is helpful to print out my WiP, but usually I do that in manageable chunks at home (where I can print on the back of re-cycled paper). But as far as portability and sending a copy to readers, yeah, having it in book form would be even more useful.

    Thanks for the idea, theWallflower and Edward!

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    I don't think Createspace really want people uploading books and not publishing them, but they don't complain about it beyond the occasional 'your book is awaiting approval' reminder email. If you buy a few copies for beta readers, you've probably covered their costs anyway.

    The only issue I can see is that they assign an ISBN to it as soon as you upload, so it might be registered somewhere at that point. I use my own ISBNs, so I don't really know.

  6. #6
    Was: "Virangelus" A. Lynn's Avatar
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    Isn't that a risk they assume when they offer these services up-front (meaning no fee to get started)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by virangelus View Post
    Isn't that a risk they assume when they offer these services up-front (meaning no fee to get started)?
    I would think so. About half of my published PoD books have never sold a copy to anyone but me, though since I provide the ISBNs myself, the cost of having those on their system is minimal. I don't really expect to sell the shorts, but I like having them on my book shelf.

  8. #8
    LaerCarroll.com
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    I use CreateSpace.

    Quote Originally Posted by N. E. White View Post
    What about using a local printer? Or like a FedEx/Staples print service or something?
    I've done both. EXPENSIVE.

    There is one virtue of putting it in book format similar to the one you eventually hope to see it in. You can see errors that you can't on the computer screen. And can't in loose-leaf one-sided 8 1/2 x 11 format.

    The errors are both large and small, such as mismatched parentheses and quotes, or info dumps and dialogs which are too close to monologs.

  9. #9
    Start judging theWallflower's Avatar
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    Lulu is still around, but they make you buy in bulk. I couldn't order less than 15 copies, and all I need is one.

    I don't think CreateSpace would work for me either. I don't intend to publish this version -- it is in draft and will be revised twice more. I don't want to risk a publisher getting huffy because it was up on Amazon with an ISBN number.

  10. #10
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    I've used these guys for boardgame prototyping. Their quality was excellent. They also do books:

    http://www.superiorpod.com/

    However - they can be EXTREMELY slow. It might be worth the wait, however, if price and quantity are a big consideration.

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