An Epiphany

A few weeks back, I hit the well-worn “stuff-it” button and began that familiar routine that involves sniffing about for something quick for dinner. Pizza was the order of the day. What would it be this time?

Then a wave of realisation swept up behind and smacked me fair across the sconce – I was a moron. A dunderhead. A moon-calf. A nincompoop. A dolt. For there was I, sitting at my desk, looking once more at the monitor, ordering like the chump that I was from Domino’s Pizza.

It hadn’t always been that way but slick ads and tantalising offers and convenient interfaces were just too much for my work-exhausted brain to resist, and so I’d dutifully click those buttons and order those pizzas and wonder how I ever did without.

Until that fateful day. What spawned the notion, I’m not sure. Maybe I had actually had a decent sleep the day before, or maybe some forgotten trace of caffeine had wormed its way up, but the result was undeniable.

I marched to the telephone, picked it up and rang the number of George’s Pizza, and was greeted with an actual human – amazing – who has always been so polite. I had their dog-eared brochure handy in the little folder under the coffee table. Twenty minutes later I was marching back in the door with two steaming hot examples of how pizza should be. We ate like kings. We savoured perfectly cooked bases. We enjoyed actual anchovies and proper sausage and real bits of seafood. We fought over the leftovers the next day.

GeorgesPizza

My point is this: Those big brands do everything they can to cut their costs, have slick websites and call-centres and television adverts and sms reminders and phone apps, and they don’t give a rat’s about quality. They make it too damn easy to purchase what really is inferior quality food made poorly at inflated prices.

Meanwhile the mum and dad battlers who actually give a damn, who actually know how to make a great pizza, who actually bother to learn your name and are interested when they ask how you are, those guys are getting squashed. They are feeling the pinch as the bright lights attract the masses (yours truly, regrettably, included).

Support the people who live in your town. Support the people whose business is their livelihood, not just an investment. Support those who are selling their time, traditions and skills to you.

Support your locals, dammit!

And eat good pizza.

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KDP – The End Result

After doing all the setup and tweaking and uploading and tweaking again, I got to the point where I could actually submit the book for publishing.

As I’ve already explained, while CreateSpace does allow Author copies, Amazon does not. No big deal, let’s just order the damn book already and make sure it looks as it should.

Postage to Australia is a bit on the hefty side so I ordered a couple of copies, clicked on the PayPal button, forked over the cash and sat back.

And waited.

Not that long, it turns out. The estimate was about three to four weeks, but the book arrived in two. I’m guessing they err on the side of caution, and it’s a bit of a bonus when you get that big, fat package in the mail and you know what it is, even though it’s early. Oh, the excitement!

So how did it go? Did it work out? See for yourself:

TedrickGritswellHardcopy

Ta-da! Not bad, not bad. I quite like the matte texture of the cover. That’s a nice option. I’m used to a glossy one, but I think the feel comes out alright although the darks are very dark indeed. It’s always the way – how things appear on the screen is not a true indication of how they’ll come out when printed, and that’s true of every book I’ve printed.

You can see this more clearly on the rear, where there’s a lot of dark:

TedrickRear.jpg

And the positioning of the ISBN comes out trumps as well. Chuffed with that. The spine looks like this:

IMG_20170704_130713.jpg

It doesn’t come up too clearly in the shot, but the front bleeds about a millimeter or two onto the spine. Nothing drastic, but it does demonstrate that you cannot have absolutes in your printing – always assume that the cover might shift a little this way or that, and don’t stick anything sensitive onto the edges.

Internally:

TedrickInside.jpg

Yup, that’s cool. I like the choice of cream over blanch white, it feels better and the print isn’t so hard on the eyeballs. I’m glad I fiddled with the margins so much. You can see that the distance fro the spine to the text is comfortable, not squished into the binding, and the distance from the outer to the edge is also comfortable.

The ISBN and front matter is all good. I don’t mind the table of contents, that’s fine. There is an extra page or two at the back (not shown here) with “Made in the USA, San Bernadino, CA.” Which is interesting. I think Lulu out-sources its printing to be closer to the point of delivery, whereas – guessing here and please correct me if I’m wrong – Amazon would have its own presses.

In future, I might consider putting page numbers at the bottom, leaving the chapter heading at the top. We’ll see.

So that’s that! The process is similar in many ways to how Lulu does things, with certain differences involved, mostly around the uploading and proofing side of things. KDP is not heavily restrictive in the way it does things and there are some smarts that help you out along the way.

If you’ve got any questions, just drop me a line.

Happy writing!Mini Jeztyr Logo