Archive for March, 2008

A Midgett Blog, Volume I, 2003… Published!

Posted by Arlo on Mar 12, 2008 under Life of Arlo

A Midgett Blog, Front Cover with glare

This is so cool!  I just received my blog-turned-book in the mail from!  It turned out better than I’d dare to hope!  Exclamation points should be reserved to represent forceful dialog, but who cares?!

Seriously, though, A Midgett Blog, Volume I: 2003 has been published and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s a 166-page, perfect-bound, 6″ x 9″ trade paperback.  It’s somewhat of a hybrid between a full-size hardback and a mass-market paperback.  I put so many hours into learning all the ins and outs of self-publishing and spent so much time designing the layout of the pages and the cover that I worried that I would be disillusioned by anything less than printing perfection.  Even with heightened expectations, Lulu doesn’t disappoint.

Technically, I suppose you would have to say that this book is “printed,” rather than “published.”   I looked into the two publishing options offered by Lulu:  Published by Lulu and Published by You.  In the former, Lulu will reserve an actual ISBN for your work, effectively listing it worldwide in every major bibliographic database.  Walk into any bookstore, do a search on, and you’ll be able to order your book.  With the Published by You option, you’d be listed as the publisher, which would be cool, but you would also have to go through the hassle of registering your own ISBN through the US ISBN Agency.  Both options add at least $100 to the cost of printing.  I decided to just print it.  Who’s going to be looking for my blog at a bookstore?

Having a book “published,” with all the acceptance that the word implies, would certainly be something to be proud of.  I would have thought I’d have experienced some niggling disappointment when I passed on the whole ISBN thing.  Turns out, not even a little.  I have an artifact now, a physical thing that sits on my bookshelf.  For some reason, that’s just so much cooler than digital bits flitting around in cyberspace.

A single printing cost me about $30, which I don’t think is terrible considering that a book of this size would probably have a retail price of $15.  The cost would drop all the way down to $8 or so if I were to print the interior pages in black and white.  However, I wanted the freedom to color some of the text, not to mention keeping the original color photos.  If I really wanted to pinch pennies, I could have reduced the number of pages by shrinking the font size of the body text style, too.  Actually, I think the default font size came out a bit too large, anyway.  A good thing, too, considering the rough draft of Volume II is clocking in at 450 pages ($72!).

Besides the slightly large font, there’s not a lot I don’t like about my first printing.  The glossy black cover attracts fingerprints, but I can live with that.  The dark blue text box on the back cover doesn’t seem to be differentiated from the black background at all.  The edge of the spine is worn down to white in a couple places, but I think that probably happened during shipping.  I did notice one typographical error while flipping through the book, but I’m not about to proof-read the material yet again just to see if there are more.  Easy fixes, if I decide to order another copy or two.

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