Trying to Turn Things in a Different Direction

The Leica D-Lux 4 book project is still very enjoyable and exhilarating in its way, but it can be draining, for both me and Clenise. She has tennis elbow, which is made worse by operating the binding machine and cutter. She also spends a lot of her time diagnosing and fixing color printer problems, mostly caused by bad toner cartridges.

Today I am in the process of signing up for an account with Lightning Source, the large print-on-demand company that will print the book for us and ship it to major distributors such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor. I don’t fully understand how it will all work, but I’m basing this move partly on Aaron Shepard’s excellent book, Aiming at Amazon, which advocates the use of Lightning Source, and discussions in publishing forums online.

The other aspect of the new direction is to convert the book’s interior photographs to black-and-white. I spent much of yesterday doing the conversions in Adobe Photoshop Elements and InDesign. Soon I have to assign one of my eight remaining ISBNs (standard book identifying numbers) to the new version. Even though it will have the same text, I’ve been told that this will constitute a sufficiently different format of the book that it needs a separate identity through a new ISBN.

Then, I will send the pdf version to Lightning Source and they will print them whenever orders come in. I will also be able to order copies myself, so I can keep selling them through my web site and on Amazon Marketplace and elsewhere.

I’ve had orders come in recently from Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as U.S. ones. The book keeps selling to individuals, but those sales are slowing a bit now, partly because I have suspended my ad campaign on Google AdWords. I may start it up again once the new version of the book goes into production.

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