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Publishing a Book with YOU in it? Yep, ask me how

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  • GWNightmare:

    Just to clarify, that's one article from an author per nominator, right? But if a different nominator likes a different article from that author, they could nominate it?

    For example - Bob wants to nominate the "10 ways to use your N64 as a Toaster" article by CrazyJohn. But George feels that the "Psychological Effects of Angry Birds" by CrazyJohn is a better piece, so he nominates that one.

    Two different users could nominate CrazyJohn, but since we are nominating pieces not authors, they could list two different pieces? Then both would be looked at and voted upon by the community as two separate entries, right?

    YEP. you got it. That's exactly right. Additionally, there's nothing saying every author will only have ONE piece in the book.And its fine because nominations aren't votes. They're simply what people think are print worthy. after nomination the votes happen and the communities decides ultimately what *is* print worthy.

    After I get all the nominations, I look over the topics and create basic chapters. One author may have a piece in two different chapters because the voting will happen in a chapter based setup... it sounds confusing now, so dont focus on that. Right now we need to focus on laying out nomination rules and combing through backlogs of blogs to get ready to nominate. Nomination will be a two week process so that everyone has time to get their nominations in and get secure in what they want. After a specific date, there will be no more nominations, BUT anything written after the cutoff date can be kept in mind for the next volume (depending on how this one does). Sill, that's a ways off too... so...

    Anyway, yes - your example is spot on.

     

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • YEP. you got it. That is EXACTLY the concept.

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • How big is this book, exactly? I mean, you said one article per author, and there's a limited number of great authors on a website like this, it's not dedicated to writing.

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  • wayoverdue:

    How big is this book, exactly? I mean, you said one article per author, and there's a limited number of great authors on a website like this, it's not dedicated to writing.

    To be honest, the most accurate answer is that this book is as big as it gets. The length of the book depends largely on three things:

    Number of nominated articles (people can only nominate one article per article, but aren't limited to one author to nominate - you can nominate 12 different articles from 12 different authors if you want). If two people nominate two different articles from the same author, that's fine too - but "you" can't nominate more than one article from the same author and "you" can't nominate yourself.

    Number of use for print approvals I get from  article authors after voting (some authors may not want to have their work printed, or may not feel the work is of a quality they are comfortable sharing and say "no" - I have to abide by that, they're the copyright holder by law).

    Length of the article to print and whether there are associated images - most of the time, unless specifically requested, I'll either generate my own art, or find permission to use something more professional than what many bloggers use.Some bloggers may request I use the images they have, and as much as they'd like me to sometimes I just can't. Most bloggers at this level don't observe copyright laws strictly - even me sometimes. Using a  borrowed image from another site, technically, violates the law in many cases. Just because someone pulled it from Google Image search and hit right-click to save as, doesn't make it okay.  Most bloggers wont get pinged on it because it can be argued into a grey area of "fair use" or "parody" and in the end it's much simpler to delete a blog post, but try and unprint a book. Besides, most web graphics aren't print ready and will either be fuzzy, too tiny (72dpi for web, 300dpi average for print), and the colors will be way off (RGB for web, CMYK for print).

    I'm already speaking with professional artists that have done actual game art for permission to use certain images.... I have around 40 emails out already and another 30 to send... I'll get only half of them to respond and only 1/3 will actually approve which is why there are so many (to do that math, it's a response and approval of about 15 artists, the other 45 of 70 wont approve and the remaining 45 wont even respond).

    I've written blog posts that take 14 pages in MS word... It's actually one of the things I'm known for on GIO - EPIC BLOG LENGTH (the other is blunt, acerbic honesty). I broke it into 6 pages online. So, in a book with various layouts and page flows, um.... close to maybe a 20 page article.

    What has to be taken into consideration is this book will be a standard 8X10 portrait size, which means it is around 6.5 X 8.5  of text area accounting for images and headers, footers... Then of course, you've got non article pages such as table of contents, an index that will probably be at least 5 pages, chapter pages, an introduction of maybe 2-3 pages, a forward / preface that will probably be 2-3 pages, legal notice / copyright page, title page, etc., so.... if the book is thinner, then obviously the price goes down but so too does the overall content. I don't have control over the main price beyond the profit margin. The profit I set will be %10 per type of book and I'll make sure to let potential purchasers choose what best fits their wallet (all things considered) without reducing the amount of money getting donated (it means manipulating percentages). The books will come in three types (least expensive to most expensive, $5-$7 jump between each):

    • Softcover (really thick cardstock, a little thicker than a game guide)
    • Hardcover with dust jacket
    • Hardcover with imagewrap

    There will also be an option for paper types (I think it's an addition $2 per 50 pages for the premium paper, but it's heavy stock, acid free, bright white, semi-gloss):

    • Matte standard
    • Luster premium

    So, my hope is to get close to 250 pages. It means at a minimum the book would be close to over $80 total (that being the image wrap with premium paper) to buy. What will make the success of this very difficult is presenting this to a gamer and saying "you could get a book that benefits charity, or you could buy a game for yourself...." 9 of 10 times, someones going to go home with a game. It's what happened last time too... at least for the first year, the second year the first book actually did pretty good once people understood the concept and what it was about.

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • When can we start recommending blogs? I already have a few in mind.

  • Ok so I have to ask, after thinking about it for a minute. The book would cost $80?!?!? Why so pricey? Like you said, I don't know if gamers will spend that much on a book? Otherwise I think it's an awesome idea but this confused me.

  • I'm not the one who's got this all planned out, but I will say that $60 - $40 would be a more manageable price range. This still sounds like a great idea, but the pricing might be a bit of an issue for sales.

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  • From what it sounds like though pricing isn't up to him, but I'm not going to speculate

    That being said I'd wait for more details from him before reacting personally.  No need to worry about it too much before need be.

  • @indie

    Yeah, $80 is a bit high, but I said it "COULD" get that high depending on a lot of variables. Some of it depends on how many pages the book is, the binding, quality of the cover, paper quality - etc. There's a HUGE degree of work and thought I have to put in this... and it's not something that I can plan in one large step - it's got to be done in bits, and as things develop. It won't fall through, but I can't give solid answers on things in Phase 4 or 5 without first going through Phase 2 and 3.

    I would prefer you just keep tabs on the blogs you want to nominate and NOT post them at this time. Doing so will prompt others to do it and then I'll have a very difficult time keeping track of who did what, where, and when. As I said, the Phase II portion is likely THE most important in terms of community support. I'll be absolutely sure to make an entire blog detailing phase II, the rules, and how to participate - Next Sunday Morning. So, it's not that I want to keep everyone under control, there's a very good reason why I do it this way and it will become VERY evident.

    @Elisha

    $40 - 60 would be manageable, I'm not looking to make something super expensive - but I don't think the project should suffer in quality as well. There's still a few phases before we can really begin to see what it'll cost to buy one. Rest assured, I'm going to do what I can to keep the cost down with a little hit to quality as I can. We'll have a group discussion about it at the right time. Right now, price isn't the primary concern but I do understand why and how it is something people are curious about. If Phase I and II don't go well, the book will cost $0 because it wont happen.

    @BHW

    Yes, you're right. I don't determine the price. What I'll likely do is when the book is ready for publish, get a "price check" on the various options and then present it to the community and let them state what they feel most comfortable with and do that. But, my goal price is about what Elisha stated - between $40 and $60. If I could find another self-publisher that doesn't require I make 5490234759084375 templates in InDesign I'd use it... but Blurb is the most practical means for this project thus far. If I find an alternative, I'll use it because it won't affect the process and the methods already in place. Right now, the best thing is to let the concept float and soak into the community and next Sunday I'll present Phase 2 to everyone.

    Thank you all for your continued patience and support. I truly hope this get's to be something we can look back on with pride from various angles. If anyone has further questions, please ask them - the less confusion the better.

     

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • I know I've said this before, but I am really excited about the finished product and the journey leading up to it.

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  • I doubt we'll have many articles in the final product that are 20 pages... no offense, but most blog posts aren't that long. And I know when I judge a piece I tend to look at how few words they needed to make the point or well organized it is. Which just excludes a lot of long pieces for me, even if they are quality ones.

    For example, I was just reading your piece about the game-ban law earlier after you linked to it. Well written, but I almost think of that as more than just one post...

    It'll really be what the community ends up voting on, I know. But I wouldn't plan a book assuming the pieces are 20-pages each (I doubt you are, from what you said so far)...

    I'm excited to see what gets nominated, I'd love the chance myself to start reading and looking through what people consider the best of GIO.

  • Btw... you said that this week is for us to decide on the rules for Phase 2. You laid out what sounds like a good set of rules for it... so my question:

    1. Are you just looking for other users to confirm that these rules work, and get some more community support to "ratify" or "approve" these rules?

    2. Or are there certain parts of the process that you aren't sure about, or would like community feedback on?

    I think we'd benefit from knowing what you expect of the community during this phase, so we can make sure we're helping you in a constructive way :)

  • GWNightmare:

    I doubt we'll have many articles in the final product that are 20 pages... no offense, but most blog posts aren't that long. And I know when I judge a piece I tend to look at how few words they needed to make the point or well organized it is. Which just excludes a lot of long pieces for me, even if they are quality ones.

    For example, I was just reading your piece about the game-ban law earlier after you linked to it. Well written, but I almost think of that as more than just one post...

    And you're not alone in that thought with regards to that specific post, but, I write the way I write - we each have our own style. Personally, breaking that up in small posts would just prompt questions already answered in the posts that would come later.... so it's one post across 6 pages. I actually wrote that as a blog to start and it ended up being an essay for college. But, to your main point - no I really don't anticipate having nominations that would wind up being 20 pages long. However, a good piece is a good piece irrespective of length and if we're judging worth on quantity, we're off to a bad start.

    GWNightmare:

    I'm excited to see what gets nominated, I'd love the chance myself to start reading and looking through what people consider the best of GIO.

    Indeed, myself included.

     

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • GWNightmare:

    Btw... you said that this week is for us to decide on the rules for Phase 2. You laid out what sounds like a good set of rules for it... so my question:

    1. Are you just looking for other users to confirm that these rules work, and get some more community support to "ratify" or "approve" these rules?

    2. Or are there certain parts of the process that you aren't sure about, or would like community feedback on?

    I think we'd benefit from knowing what you expect of the community during this phase, so we can make sure we're helping you in a constructive way :)

    Good questions and point, so: yes.

    I'm looking to see if users understand and would comply with the set put forth, and if they have addendum they would like to propose, an alternative they think would work better, questions about how or why the rules are proposed as they are, or provide any general feedback with regard to something I may not have considered.

    This is in no way a "one man show" and I would like for the community to feel welcomed in their input.I don't expect people to fully grasp everything or anything without asking (I do expect people to do a bit of reading through the thread, but I also expect to repeat myself for the benefit of everyone).

    Starting next Sunday morning, there will be a blog post listing what Phase II consists of, the rules for it, and a detailed set of instructions on how to participate.  I will likely also post to THIS thread and try and update the thread title so that it's easier to keep tabs on. Nominations however will be placed in the blog because that just makes it easier for me to refer to between two screens and several open programs during the appropriate phase.

    During this phase (Phase I) - my expectation is for the community to make itself aware, and begin to look through backlogs of things they've read and enjoyed as well as current things, provide in put on the little bit they know of for Phase II, and ask questions about the project they may be unclear on. I'm happy to answer any and all questions I can, the best I can.

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • Elisha Muir:

    I know I've said this before, but I am really excited about the finished product and the journey leading up to it.

    I'm glad you're excited. I'm excite d to be able to do it again. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun for me the first time and applying what I learned last time and in the time between, it won't take nearly as long and I think I can produce a much nicer finished product. I'm almost done working on the cover art... and I'll reveal it at the start of Phase II (though it'll be shrunk and lose detail on the blog).

     

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

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