Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Ballad of the Ten Thousand Dollar Book.

As some of you who know me know, I love pedicures. I love have strangers touch my (size 11) feet. And I'm not above touching strange feet in the library if I'm sure that the kindness will be reciprocated and that my little piggies will get some attention.

Yeah, sorry. I don't know what the hell that was about. I would never think of touching anyone's feet in the library. But ask why I'm not allowed into the Home Depot, and that's a different story entirely.

But anyway, I wanted to tell you about my TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR BOOK. So far, I've compiled two books from posts on this blog and they are for sale on Amazon for $1,000 each. I don't think many people believe that they are real books, but they are. I have copies right here. But since you are cheap bastards, you'll just have to take my word for it.

I publish with CreatSpace, which is an Amazon company. Just like with this Blogger site, I like to keep things under larger companies. I seem to get some perks from posting this crap with a Google company, as my stuff gets crawled pretty frequently and I'm easy to find with a quick search. I see that "the.effing.librarian" returns "About 93,900 results" with Google. But on Bing, I only get "1,050 results." I'm sure the Bing number is more realistic, but which one do you think I'll invite to my parties? Oh, Google, you flatterer. I don't believe a word you say about 93,000 hits. Tee-hee-hee. Now, let's get comfy so you can rub my feet.

So Amazon also offers perks. When I publish on CreateSpace, (after a few days) my book appears on Amazon for sale. And then millions of potential buyers can ignore it and buy something from Thomas Pynchon or Brett Michaels.

I also publish painlessly. Here is the process for the latest, my TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR BOOK:
  • I copy and paste blog posts into Word and add some additional commentary and footnotes.
  • I have the HILARIOUS IDEA to charge TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for the book. I know from experience that you won't buy copies at even twenty dollars, so I figure if you won't buy for twenty, then why not charge ten thousand, or a million? It doesn't matter to me; it's print on demand and it costs me virtually nothing to do it. And if it seems too stupid for even me, I can change the price anytime I want.
  • I save the book as a PDF.
  • I fill in the form with the information for the book. I can't make up my mind on the title, but I know I want "$10,000" somewhere in it.
  • I upload the PDF.
  • I open the CreateSpace book cover maker (beta) and begin making the cover. I designed the covers for the first two blog books ("blobogoks") and it was such a pain in the ass, that I don't want to do it anymore. I go through the steps: select template design, check. Upload image, fuck.
  • It seems that there's some problem between my local image editing program and CreateSpace. My software says my images are the required 300 dpi, but when I upload, CreateSpace says they are some odd configuration that I don't understand. So I try again, 8 times until I get it right. I scale the image, check the settings, save then upload and wait for the "green circle" to tell me the image has been accepted into the cover creator. I have the HILARIOUS idea to place an image of a TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR BILL on the cover... because this is a TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR BOOK.
  • The image is accepted, but now I want to see how it looks on different cover designs, so I go through most of them until I find one that looks somewhat stupidish, but not unbelievably stupid, just stupid enough.
  • I enter the text for the back cover. It's not funny. So I try again. The last two books were easy because creating the covers from scratch took so damn long, I had time to think about what to write. This time is so fast, I hadn't prepared anything. So I enter something. Then I panic at the thought of typos. This text box doesn't look like it has a spell-check and copy the text into Word to see if I have mistakes. When it looks okay, I copy it back.
  • Now I can choose colors for the cover. And this is where I fail. I can't find any colors I like. So I try to find colors I don't like. And I'm successful. The cover is hot purple and lime green. Okay, I lied. I love those colors.
  • I go to the page where I enter the proposed book price and I enter "$10,000." And huge red letters appear to inform me that my number has exceeded the maximum price of "$2,999.99." I can't set whatever price I want? FUCK. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck. Fuck.
  • Fuck.
  • So I go back and start again. Which is good because I notice that I left a "," (comma) in the title that shouldn't be there (or should be there, but doesn't look right within the cover design), so I change it. I also change my name because I had "the.effing" as my first name and "librarian" as my last, and that looked wrong with the missing ".", so I enter "the.effing.librarian" as the last name with no first name. I think the other two books have some odd separation of first and last name, so I don't know how Amazon will group these after I submit, but I don't really care that much.
  • And I need to edit my image. So I take the "$10,000" bill and cover the numbers with the new "2,999.99" number. Which doesn't look like crap. I was going to leave it all alone and just never explain why a ten thousand dollar book costs two-thousand nine-hundred and ninety-nine dollars. I'd just leave that to you to ponder.
  • Oh, and I need to got back and change all references to "$10,000" in the book also. And resave and reupload the PDF.
  • So then I had a manuscript, a cover and a price. And I clicked "submit" to have CreateSpace check the book for printing errors and then tell me if it's okay for publishing. The book has lots of images from posters and things from the blog and I think I saved them to the correct dpi, but since I don't really know how this shit works, I might have to do them again and resubmit the PDF several more times before it's accepted. But then my book will be finished.
  • Apart from the actual typing, about 3 hours for all this other crap. Not too bad for a finished book. I imagine that an intelligent person would bang this out in about 45 minutes.

And if you buy one, I will be very very embarrassed for you.

But if you win one, you will be awesome! Yes, when I get a few copies printed, I will give away two copies because that is all I can afford in postage. And it's only for winners with mailing addresses in the United States. So if you non-Americans want to play, begin looking for a friend here in the States who will let you use his address and then you can get the book sometime later when you go to Disneyland or something.