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Monday, 25 June 2018

Publish and be damned!: The presentations are almost finished

Since I have begun to feel better, I have been working on two presentations for my forthcoming COW2018 sessions. The first will be a general introduction to self-publishing and some of the decisions one has to make ... and some of the pitfall to be avoided.


The second presentation is much longer 'how to' guide, and will take the viewer through the various stages of self-publishing a book.


I don't intend to show the second presentation at COW2018, but I do intend to make it available to anyone who wants to use it as a guide and/or learning aid when they self-publish.

To illustrate this I have 'created' a book from my HEXBLITZ rules.


The book contains the rules as well as an exemplar battle (the Battle of Alderstadt) and is forty-four pages long. It is now available in hardback and paperback versions from Lulu.com, but as the text is still available online for free, I don't expect to sell many copies!

As a matter of interest, the choice of a green background with a yellow sans-serif font (in this case Arial) was not an arbitrary one. Long experience shows that the yellow-on-green combination works well with anyone who suffers from sight problems and dyslexia. It is also more restful on the eye than the normal black-on-white combination used in many presentations.

18 comments:

  1. Don't you worry Bob, I love hardbacks and will be buying a copy!

    Best wishes
    Anthony

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    1. Anthony Morton,

      Cheers! I prefer hardback books ... which is why I always try to produce my books in hardback as well as paperback formats.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob,
    Glad your feeling better and working on your COW Presentations. Down to 1 degree here overnight- a little to cold to stay out in the shed painting miniatures- making an early start tomorrow morning- should get something done by mid-afternoon. Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Kev Robertson,

      I've almost finished the presentations (I'm currently sorting out the slide transitions and animations), but I'm taking a break as my home office - which is in our loft conversion - is rather hot at the moment,

      One forgets that the season (and temperatures) where you live are the opposite of what we are currently experiencing in the UK. I hope it warms up enough for you to do some painting.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I much prefer "real" books to "downloads" so I'll be getting a copy of "Hexblitz"!

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    1. David Bradley,

      I think that quite a few people come down on either side of the fence in the book vs. download debate ... but like you, I always prefer a book.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I'm sure this will be a help not to say inspiration to many.

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    1. Ross Mac,

      I hope that it will encourage other as-yet-unpublished wargamers to turn their rules etc., into books.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Bob, two thoughts:

    1. The downloadable PDF runs to 7 pages and the book to 44 so anyone really interested gets quite a lot extra by buying the book. I'm less sure about hardbacks than you though as they do need more storage space on already overflowing shelves.

    2. Lulu says "Publish for Free". Is this really the case or are you charged, for example, for ISBNs? No doubt Lulu buy them by the thousand and only pay about £1 each (rather than the total rip off price Nielsen charge on a one off basis) but it does cost them real money when you decide to multiply the formats you make available.

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    1. Mike Hall,

      In answer to your points:

      1. The book contains the exemplar battle that is not included in the PDF of the rules, hence the greater length of the book. I prefer hardback books, but always try to ensure that paperback versions are also available to purchasers as they are cheaper and take up less space.

      2. Lulu do supply free ISBNs. They make their money by charging a royalty on each book they sell, including any proof copies that you have to buy. (I usually buy two ... which is not very expensive.)

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Bob, I look forward to your How To guide!

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    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      I hope to make it available after COW in early July.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. Hi Bob,
    I've been looking at Lulu with a view to publishing children's picture books but their minimum page counts are a fraction too high for what I need. Looking forward to your guide though.

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    1. Jfidz,

      I assume that your picture books would be in colour ... which would have made them expensive, especially if the page count is low. HEXBLITZ has forty-four pages and is the smallest book I have published to date, and the most expensive paperback on a page-for-page production cost comparison with my earlier books.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  8. Hi Bob - regarding your comments on the presentation, it is interesting how different people see colours like this. I do a lot of presentations for my work - and our firm have recently adopted a new colour scheme which includes white text on a mid-blue gradient background. Personally I think it works far better than yellow on green, not least because it seems to translate correctly on most projectors - which not all colours do. I would suggest trying out a few different schemes on the projector you will actually be using.
    PS - I will be buying your book!
    Ian

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    1. Ian Dury,

      The choice of colour scheme for presentations is problematic. At work I used to use pale blue letters on a mid-blue background (not that different to your suggestion), but I was advised by a special needs expert that pale yellow on green was better for people who were dyslexic or who had vision problems.

      Unfortunately I won't have a chance to experiment the projector before the COW session takes place, so I'll stick with the yellow/green colour scheme for the time being.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. I hope that you enjoy the book!

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  9. Cheers, Bob -
    Interesting you should mention the yellow/green thing. These days, the colours of a tournament chessboard are usually yellow and green, which makes the black pieces in particular more visible.

    Actually, with my own dimming eyesight, any aid to visibility is more than welcome!
    Cheers,
    Ion

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    1. Archduke Piccolo (Ion),

      The yellow/green colour scheme was suggested by a special needs expert (my wife!) and it has become my 'standard' ever since.

      I recently moved from varifocal spectacles to separate distance and close-up glasses ... and regret the move as I never seem to have the right ones when I need them!

      All the best,

      Bob

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