The Yaruki Zero book is both a thing I wanted to write and kind of an experiment in learning self-publishing for other, more serious projects. The plan was to put the book up on just about every POD and ebook sales service around, and this is a rather long and detailed journal of what I went through to make it happen, both for my own reference and to help anyone else who’s thinking of trying this stuff out. Later on I’ll see about putting together a follow-up post on how things are working out 6 months or so down the line. If you’re interested in the actual book, check out the Yaruki Zero: The Book page for links to all of the places I have it available for purchase.
I started on the book in mid-January, and had the first draft more or less finished after about a month. That was mixture of copying over existing work and just plain putting most of my free time into writing. I got C. Ellis to do up artwork for the cover, Clay Gardner to do graphic design for the cover, and Ellen Marlow to edit the manuscript. (Also, about half a dozen other people read it over and offered feedback.) Each of these was pretty straightforward, especially since the people I was working with really get my general sensibility. I’ve collaborated on a bunch of stuff with C. Ellis before, Clay just has a way of not only reading my mind but coming up with the stuff I didn’t know I want, and Ellen’s fandom and writing sensibilities line up with mine quite well.
For this book’s interior I decided to keep the layout pretty simple, and just did it up in Word with some use of fonts and such to make it a little fancier. I’ve never been able to figure InDesign out myself, but while Word produces reasonably okay layouts, there are certain things where it just kind of loses its mind. Thankfully I wasn’t trying to do, say, multiple columns for this project. The big thing that I managed to fall afoul of was getting the margins right. Being inexperienced with doing stuff for actual books, it hadn’t occurred to me that the inside margin would need to be wider so that the printed material wouldn’t disappear into the binding. With POD you’re much more beholden to the printer’s specifications, so it pays to read those carefully (though it wouldn’t hurt for them to make those a little clearer than they are). That was how the page count of the book jumped up to 217, and I wound up doing a bunch of small tweaks to fix things.
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