Self Publishing Press

Self Publishing Press Publishing services for authors seeking to self publish their work with the helpful support of publishing professionals

Welcome Self Publishing Press is your no-nonsense option when it comes to publishing your book. We offer complete in-house production services in both value packages and a la carte. We are straight-talking publishing professionals, offering the most favorable publishing agreements in the industry. Kevin & Teresa Pirkey

04/25/2014

Preserve Your Family Memories and Give A Gift To Current and Future Generations

Picking out the perfect gift to give to your parents and grandparents can be challenging. If you listen to what they want, however, you may be surprised.

Sometimes, what they want is someone to listen to them and their stories. Will you remember their tales when they’re gone?

In the last 100 years, our world has changed so much — from coal stoves to computers, from horse and buggies to moon landings, and from an agricultural-based society to world economy that has survived two world wars and moved into the nuclear age.

Our parents and grandparents have seen a lot. Their stories often bring chuckles and grins and shouldn’t be forgotten. Have you recorded them?

If you are comfortable with the interviewing process, go for it. If not, the Library of Congress can give you a hand. Its Veterans History Project is designed to help people interview veterans about their experiences during military service.

You can use these templates http://www.loc.gov/vets/kit.html to begin your interviews. Supplement them with a variety of photos.

The stories you collect can be a beloved record of your family’s history.

02/28/2014

Barnes & Noble Won't Stop Making New Money-Losing Nooks

By Joshua Brustein February 26, 2014

Barnes & Noble (BKS) is doubling down on its flailing e-book business—but also leaving open the option that it would part ways with the money-losing device at some point.

The bookseller said Wednesday that it’s currently losing less money on the Nook than in the past and now plans to release a new version of its Nook in fiscal 2015, which starts in May. But the company also said it is continuing to study the possibility of splitting Nook from Barnes & Noble’s retail division.

Like its major foil in e-reading, Amazon.com (AMZN), Barnes & Noble sees making e-readers not as an end in itself but as a way to sell digital content. In short, Barnes & Noble doesn’t have the breadth or the resources to do that; it’s hoping that a healthy Nook business gets people into stores, and vice versa. “We firmly believe that having a digital offering is vital for our mission and [is] relevant to the booksellers,” said Michael Huesby, the company’s chief executive, in an earnings call. “We also have the opportunity to better package physical and digital content offerings together, and we are actively considering and testing.”

VIDEO: Barnes & Noble Confirms It Received G Asset Offer
To do this, Barnes & Noble is proposing something that looks somewhat like clearing the table and starting again. It spent the end of last year selling its old Nooks at discounts and getting rid of 26 percent of the employees in its Nook operations. Device sales dropped more than 50 percent, to $157 million, in the quarter, and digital content sales dropped 27 percent (which the company blamed on selling fewer devices). At the same time, it cut expenses by $52 million.

Rearranging the Nook business has short-term costs. The company says it could spend $40 million in severance and costs related to rearranging its offices as it shrinks the division. But once that is done, Barnes & Noble hopes to start making the devices more efficiently with help from hardware partners. This doesn’t solve the main problem that Barnes & Noble faces with the Nook, which comes from the company’s desire to make money from e-book sales. Its major competitor in the e-books business doesn’t have to do that: Amazon’s e-book prices are consistently lower, as it sees books as just one plank in a wider strategy.

The Nook saga continues to wear on investors. Some have been calling for the company to use some of its cash for stock buybacks to compensate them for the cash that the company has already spent on its as-yet fruitless e-book business. Last week one investment firm even made an offer to buy either Barnes & Noble or just the Nook business, even though it didn’t have the money to do so. Barnes & Noble didn’t seem to bat an eye at the proposal, which didn’t come up in its call with investors.

02/28/2014

Amazon's Move That Should Have Authors Worried

(DBW) In a blog post yesterday, Amazon's Audible audiobooks service announced that it was lowering the royalty rates it paid content creators.

It's not the first time that Amazon has lowered the amount of money it pays authors and publishers for the audiobooks they sell through its platform and, GigaOm news editor Laura Owen points out, it's a reminder that Amazon could always change its royalties for Kindle ebooks.

"That would be a much more visible move than the changes to ACX, which the company surely realizes. But the changes at ACX shows that good introductory deals don't always last," she writes.

True, and as competition from Nook fades, it would be much easier to do with indie authors having nearly nowhere else to go.

That said, Amazon has not indicated that it plans to change its royalty structure. (GigaOm.)

02/28/2014

"Godfather" of Helvetica Font Dies at Age 84

(CNN) -- Look at the letters in these words. Really look at them: the shape of the circle that makes the "o" and the roundness of the "c."

Look at how wide and tall they are. Look at the spaces between them.

How do the lowercase letters make you feel? HOW ABOUT THE CAPITALS?

A lot of consideration goes into designing a font, but somehow we're all able generally to accept the typefaces around us, ignoring their subtle design quirks as though they're as ordinary as air. We read their content but don't think too much about their form.

Mike Parker appeared in the 2007 documentary "Helvetica."
In this way, the Helvetica font has established itself. There's even a movie about it -- the 2007 documentary "Helvetica."
One of the people responsible for the popular use of Helvetica, Mike Parker, died Sunday at age 84.
His son, Harry Parker, considers his father to be the "godfather" of the Helvetica font, as a Fast Company headline described him.

"My dad didn't draw Helvetica, but he was very instrumental in it," Harry Parker said.

BMW, Target, American Apparel and Mattel are all vastly different companies, but they all have one characteristic in common: The Helvetica font in their logos.

Words printed in Helvetica tell you what stop you're at on the New York subway. You might also see it in house numbers and tax forms.

Interviewed in the "Helvetica" film, Mike Parker praises the "firm" quality of the font and the way that the spaces between characters "just hold the letters."

"It is not a letter that's bent to shape; it's a letter that lives in a powerful matrix of surrounding space," he said. "It's -- oh, it's brilliant when it's done well."

Helvetica was born as "Neue Haas Grotesk" in 1957, a collaboration between Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann, for the Haas Type Foundry in Münchenstein, Switzerland. The original, pre-digital font is different from what we know today.

In the post-World War II era, design was seen as part of a movement toward social responsibility, openness and reconstruction, design writer Rick Poyner said in the film. Swiss designers in the 1950s were pushing the idea of "rational typefaces" for information that would "present those visual expressions of the modern world to the public in an intelligible, legible way," Poyner said.

Linotype machines were commonly used in printing at that time. Mike Parker comes into the Helvetica story as the director of typographic development at Mergenthaler Linotype Co.

"He oversaw its development into a font published for the Linotype machines," Harry Parker said.

Under his leadership, more than 1,000 typefaces, including Helvetica, were added to the company's library, which became an industry standard.

Parker made a name for himself by bringing fonts to the world, while his original career path might have unearthed rocks and minerals.

Born in London in 1929, Mike Parker had intended to become a geologist, like his father, Harry Parker said. He then turned to painting but discovered that he was colorblind.

"What does a colorblind painter do? Type is black and white so that was the logical direction to go in," Harry Parker said.
Parker graduated from Yale University with an undergraduate degree in architecture and master's in design. He got a job at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, a museum with an extensive historical typography collection, and "that's where Mike fell in love with the whole thing," font designer Matthew Carter said.

After Linotype, Carter and Parker formed a company called Bitstream in 1981, the first company dedicated to producing digital fonts, his ex-wife Sibyl Masquelier said.
Parker also founded a company called Pages Software in 1990, which featured a word processor developed on the NeXTSTEP operating system, developed by Steve Jobs' early company NeXT Computers. Pages was in the beta stage when NeXT was discontinued in 1995, Masquelier said. Apple later named a word-processing program Pages.
Parker additionally served as the historian for the Font Bureau, a typeface design foundry.

He would often bring conversations back to typography, Masquelier said. She remembers him complaining about how fonts he had once overseen were being used on trucks, or how ugly other typefaces looked in magazines.

"He hated the fonts that looked like they had a machine gun shooting them," she said. "Mike was all about classy style."

08/05/2013

“The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.”

― John Irving

07/30/2013

How Print-On-Demand Is Transforming Self-Publishing

By Natalie Burg for FORBES Business

These days, everyone’s an entrepreneur. That includes creative professionals, such as artists, musicians and authors, who used to be considered nearly the vocational opposite of businesspeople. Not anymore. Thanks to the advent of self-publishing, crowdfunding and e-commerce, indie artists of all kinds are launching their creative careers as solopreneurs.

Self-publishing in general is turning the traditional publishing industry on its head, but print-on-demand services, or POD, are making every writer’s dream of becoming a published author achievable, and it’s not just because of the obvious reasons: that the out-of-pocket cost of printing one book at a time is relatively less expensive than gambling on a 1,000-book run.

“Not long ago, an aspiring book writer rejected by traditional publishing houses had only one alternative: vanity publishing. For $5,000 or $10,000, or sometimes much more, he could have his manuscript edited and published, provided that he agreed to buy many copies himself, often a few thousand or more. They typically ended up in the garage,” wrote Alan Finder for New York Times. “Digital publishing and print on demand have significantly reduced the cost of producing a book.”

The advantages of POD for authors is translating to a much larger impact on the publishing industry as a whole. In fact, some believe it’s even saving it.

More Books Are Better

When asked if he thinks the ebook will kill off the print book, Clive Thompson wrote for Wired that he’s reminded of the 1980s-era idea that computers and email were going to eliminate all paper from offices. Instead, word processing and printing capabilities resulted in more paper use in offices.

“When you make something easier to do, people do more of it,” wrote Thompson. “‘Print-on-demand’ publishing is about to do the same thing to books. It’ll keep them alive—by allowing them to be much weirder.”

By ‘weirder’ Thompson means more individualized and diverse. And he was correct. Bowker has reported increases in the numbers of book titles published overall for years, despite decreases in titles published by traditional publishers. The bibliographic information clearinghouse reported the growth has been ”driven almost exclusively by a strong self-publishing market.”

“What was once relegated to the outskirts of our industry—and even took on demeaning names like ‘vanity press’ is now not only a viable alternative but what is driving the title growth of our industry today,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of Bowker Market Research, in a 2012 press release. “From that standpoint, self-publishing is a true legitimate power to be reckoned with. Coupled with the explosive growth of e-books and digital content – these two forces are moving the industry in dramatic ways.”

Author Control

If there’s anything that best vouches for POD, it’s the fact it’s not just for authors who can’t find a publisher anymore. The Guardian reports how author Mark Edwards self-published his book The Magpies after working with HarperCollins to publish Forward Slash. For Edwards, it was a matter of expediency.

“When I finished The Magpies earlier this year I was keen to get it out quickly, partly because I wanted to build momentum before Forward Slash came out, and also because I wanted to see if I could do it successfully again,” Edwards said.

The results speak for themselves.

“It’s gone far better than I expected,” said Edwards. “So far, The Magpies has sold over 130,000 copies and has been in the top 10 for over two months.”

Dealing with Distribution

Certainly, there are drawbacks to POD. Perhaps the most cited is that without a major publisher behind it, a title will never arrive in stores en masse, but thanks to online book sales and the rise of e-book publishing, in-store sales simply aren’t as important as they used to be.

A Time article on the burgeoning self-publishing industry reported that e-book self-publishing is growing at four times the rate of other forms of self-publishing – and some authors are making more money that way.

“Since 2010, [author Bella] Andre–whose real name is Nyree Belleville–has self-published 17 e-books, many of them from her backlist of old novels, to which she retained the digital rights,” wrote Andrew Rice for Time. “She claims she has sold over a million copies so far this year, making $2.4 million.”

With access and author control on the “cons” list for traditional publishing, and affordability making self-publishing difficult at large-run presses, the negatives for POD self-publishing can be put in perspective. Besides, when given the choice between wrestling with distribution issues and not publishing at all, many authors in the new wave of writers-as-solopreneurs are jumping onto POD publishing as a low-cost, low-labor way to turn their creative pursuits into profitable products. And that, it turns out, could be saving the publishing industry as well as the authors.

07/30/2013

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”

― Nora Roberts

07/28/2013

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

― Nathaniel Hawthorne

07/26/2013

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”

― Stephen King

07/24/2013

Sketchbooks... Not Just For Visual Artists Anymore

Artists often tote their sketchbooks to parks, cityscapes or other venues to make small portraits of what they see.

They’re gathering and practicing and getting ready for a day when they can use the things they see in a different way, perhaps an oil painting, a larger watercolor or a more formal drawing.

As an author, you also can keep a “sketchbook.”

Carry a notebook, create a folder on your computer or keep the scraps of paper you use in a special folder.

Your sketchbook can contain vignettes you create, using people you observe in the parks. The older gentleman, you write, is waiting for his daughter to pick him up after her visit with the doctor. The mother on the playground is overjoyed; she’s just learned she is having another child. And the police officer walking by has his mind on his troubled home life; he doesn’t see the thief lurking near the public restrooms.

Maybe you like to record the seasons, the lake, ducks and the dogs walking by. And there always is the sky — dark and stormy clouds suddenly rolling in on a hot and muggy day or a crisp, cool morning in June.

At times when your writing projects are floundering, pull out your sketchbook and read through it. It may be just the ticket to inspire your creativity.

07/23/2013

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”

― Thomas Jefferson

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