December 02, 2010

POD your rough drafts

I have no desire to replace my decade-old HP inkjet printer. It works fine. I use it about once a month. But not for big jobs. Factor the cost of a ream of paper and a new inkjet cartridge into the fuss and bother of keeping the paper tray filled, and the dollars start to add up.

So as long as time isn't of the essence, Lulu is easier. Especially if you intend to mail the printed manuscript to somebody. Lulu will do that too. The only additional feature I'd ask for is a checkbox that says, "Use the title page as the front cover."

Amazon's CreateSpace does POD, but it channels everything toward self-publishing, and makes you buy a proof before doing anything else. For self-publishing, it's much cheaper than Lulu, but a waste if all you want is a rough draft.

You'd think that Kinkos would specialize in this kind of thing. If it does, I can't find it. Kinko's "Internet printing" options are business-oriented and pricey. When will copy centers start advertising "Espresso Book Machine on the premises"?

It'd be cool if you could send a PDF to any copy center in the country and have the printout held there for pick-up.

Though the days of this technology are numbered too. Documents I used to print and file I now print-to-PDF and back up. For longer work, creating a quick & dirty ebook--using Word RMR, for example--obviates the need for paper. I no longer print galleys for myself.

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