The costs for design and printing, the quality of paper, and the colors all are issues which have to be considered. I do not have expertise in this area so I have had assistance from a smart, precise and tough editor, Susan Rosenbaum of 3 Crown Creative. Susan has navigated the twists and turns of three companies and three printings.
The first company we tried was Blurb. The book was a little small for my liking and we chose a soft cover and the cover paper looked a little bit like patent leather or pleather!!! I was not happy with that cover however the page colors were very precise, just as I had drawn them. The main issue was the price: a 7.5 x 7.5 book would have cost $45.00 each. That was just way too expensive, so we moved on.
The next company was Book Baby, an affiliate of CD Baby. The cost was much less, however the cost for printing the first book was over a hundred dollars. After that, each book would be around $16.00. This time around we printed a hardback in a larger size - 8.5 x 8.5.
So the book arrived. I liked the size and the hardback and the cover quality but the page colors were not good. It looked blobby and runny, the colors were dull and lifeless and the opacity of the paper was not good. You could see through to the next page which was very distracting, so onto the next company. Third time’s a charm - right?
Finally, we tried Lulu. The price seems to be good and we continued with the 8.5 x 8.5 format but went to a soft cover. I felt like we were getting somewhere! When the book arrived the cover paper was good (shiny but not too shiny), the page paper was sturdy and the color was on point.
This is where my story ends. After several months of trial and error we are here. We are printing 60 books and I will be selling a limited amount of books on my Etsy site and will announce this when they are ready to go. I will also have the Baby With A Beard dolls for sale. I am pleased and excited to send this out into the world.