When you don’t know what you don’t know about publishing

About 20 years ago I took a job selling for a printing company. I called on nonprofits who sent out printed newsletters and needed brochures and other stuff printed. I knew next to nothing about printing and I had to get up to speed fast. Looking back, I think I knew just enough to be very dangerous.

It was one of the most stressful jobs I ever had. I had no control over the workflow in the shop or the quality of the work done. Yet, I was the point of contact for the client. I still have horrible memories of an annual report that was totally botched by the pressman, who left the company shortly thereafter. It was right after that experience that I started to consider a different line of work.

I see a lot of new authors looking into self publishing their work, either by having the book printed or converted into an ebook. At first, they “don’t know what they don’t know” and it could cost them a lot of time and money if they don’t learn some of the basics about printing and publishing. One new author didn’t realize there was such a thing as designing the interior pages of a book. “Isn’t it just a book format?” he asked blankly. The newcomer wasn’t at fault. He just didn’t know.

That’s why a newcomer to publishing needs to soak in as much information as they can, or make the kind of friends who will answer a lot of questions. If you’re in the Denver area, there’s an event on March 18 and19 to give you a whole lot of good information on writing, designing, publishing, and marketing books. The Colorado Independent Publishers Association is having their 3rd Annual Book Expo featuring published authors and a lot of technical experts who can help you make your publishing dream a reality. (Some of them will probably become your really good friends.) Best of all, this is a free event. Check out the details at http://www.cipabooks.com.