Saturday, June 5, 2010


I'm still hoping to find a publisher for my book. If I don't find one, I've been planning to go with Lulu. Until just now, I hadn't been clear on the cost. I really want some color photos in the book, but here's what Lulu says:
The cost of color books is significantly more than black and white books. When you select the color printing ("Full color pages") option in the publishing wizard, the cost is $0.20 for every page in the book, not just the pages with color.
So a 200 page book would be $40. Nope, I don't think so. That means either Lulu is out, or the color photos are out. (Black and white seems to be 2 cents a page, plus $4.50 for binding. Less than $10 for the book's direct printing costs. But it would be so bland...)

Any recommendations?

Check my previous post about the content of Playing With Math: Stories from Math Circles, Homeschoolers, and the Internet. Over twenty authors have contributed, and it's looking good.

The recommendations so far  are really helpful, and remind me that I have one more question: Do any of these places use recycled paper?


  1. have you looked at

  2. Look at createspace as well. I found them easier to set up in and the fee was less. Although I have had some issues with the shipping, but the books have been very good quality.

  3. Hiya - the reason colour is so much more is that digital books are either colour or b/w, the technology can't switch printing papers (which are very different for colour) mid print like the old offset presses can which print the pages seperately.

    If its a more of a business book you could take a look at a partnership publisher - half way between self publishing and traditional publishing. The costs per book can be significantly lower than self-publishing and quality is very high. Expect to pay a small setup cost (around $700 without editing, more with editing). Partnership publishers let you sell your own copies and they sell and pay royalties too.

    Try The Book Guild, MX Publishing, or Pen Press for some ideas of costs and benefits.

  4. Funny you should ask ... A friend who is actually in the traditional book publishing business recommended that anyone who may wish to self-publish not do so with Lulu (except to perhaps self-publish a proof). She said that if you are doing a large run of books, to look at this service:

  5. Wow! Thank you all for your help. I'm curious, were you all reading my blog already, or did the title of this post pull you in somehow?

    CatWay, can you tell me more about Blurb? It looks like it's mostly photography books. My book just has a few pages with photos.

    Mari, can you tell me more about your issues with the shipping? I see CreateSpace part of Amazon. If they're the best, I should probably go with them. But ever since Amazon's debacle with gay books, I've tried to avoid them, and spread the love to other smaller companies.

    Mari, you follow a lot of writing and publishing blogs. Would you recommend one for me to follow?

    Puppy, it's not a business book. I should have linked to my previous posts about it. Check out Blog vs Book.

    I see Book Guild Publishing is in Britain. I'm assuming I'd want to publish with a company in the U.S.?

    Thank again!

  6. Thanks, Jasmin, for another option.

    But now my question, to all of you, is: How will I ever pick? (The curse of the Internet - too many options!)

    I have one more question. (I'll add it to the post...) Do any of these places use recycled paper?

  7. could you get it printed more cheaply in Singapore?

  8. Part of what has made self-publishing more sensible than it used to be is the ability of these companies to print one copy at a time. When someone orders a book, it's copied and shipped.

    I would expect shipping each book from Singapore to take longer, but even if it doesn't, that long distance shipping is harder on the planet. I also want to support slightly more local economies.

  9. The pictures wouldn't make sense if they weren't next to the text, so that won't work. (Though I may link to beautiful math pictures online.)

    I have a new friend who's telling me I can find a publisher that will help me get a better book out than I would if it were self-published. I hope she's right.

  10. As I was reading your post about tutoring your student and finding the weight of the metal car piece in the shape of y = x^2, I was thinking, "She should write a book." Then blamo! I read the very next post!

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read a book on how you link algebra and geometry to calculus- all the steps. How you first introduced the idea of limit, how your tutoree knew to "find the limit" when using the triangles and rectangles under the curve, how all of that even links to calculus,... All of it.

    My aunt used to publish a full-color soft cover book that I got through Amazon for I think $20. They may be just an arts and crafts publisher, but maybe not.

    Whatever you end up doing, I want to read it!! I wanted to take a course this summer towards my masters but the professor told me I was not welcome to take it because I had already taken calculus. It was (is) a course that links middle school math to calculus. I tried to tell her that I don't know the link and that I could take a million calc classes and still never get an A, but it was a no go for me. So I really want to read your book!

  11. Shana, Thank you! I am honored. The book is full of other people's stories, and I'm not sure stories like this one will have a place in it. I'll think about that, though.

    The professor who wouldn't let you take that class is so wrong. I'm sorry that happened. (But maybe that teacher is fearful, which would not be a good place to learn, imo.)

    Perhaps if you tell that story on your blog, and ask some questions, you could get some interesting conversation going. There is a google group called Natural Math, led by Maria Droujkova. She'd love to talk about middle school connections with calculus.

    If you want to email me about any of this, my email is suevanhattum on hotmail.

  12. Try Lightning Source! I just received proofs for five short math picture books and am very pleased with their service and quality.


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