Book Update 3/22/2010

Wow. The book has been out one week – though as I've been busy with many things I haven't done as much as I'd like with it.


  • I've submitted it for worldwide distribution via  I just have to approve it and was frankly waiting for a few people to look at their copies.
  • I actually had some people buy copies already.  That felt pretty good.
  • I gave a few away to people who have been supportive, and one as a prize at Chibi-con.


  •'s printing works good in multiples, though in a bulk order I placed, one had some odd detritus on the back cover.  I'm checking into a return.  It doesn't harm the book, but it's annoying.  However it is probably a case of "stuff happens."
  •'s bulk printing is also shockingly FAST.  It came as fast as single printing.
  • The global distribution option at is pretty easy – but it does cost $70.00 so it's not free.  However, you do get a lot of opportunities – you end up on, other sites, etc.  It will take me a few more weeks to end up there.
  • People take you incredibly seriously when you have a book out, even self-published.
  • There is something very heady about finishing a book.  I want to rest, but I have some others I want to start . . .

So it's done.  Now to move on and do some promotion.

Oh, and feel free to buy the book.

– Steven Savage

Book Update 2/22/2010

OK the latest update of the book:

  • I had to reset the layout – again – because I found some issues with PDF conversion.
  • The cover was tweaked slightly.
  • I have ordered a test copy.  I already found some layout/paging errors before it even shipped, so live and learn.

What I've learned:

  • Go over proofs very, very carefully.
  • Pay attention to any alerts from your word processor.
  • Pixelmator for Mac is a good, cheap Photoshop substitute.
  • Doing cover and layout work at the end was a lousy idea.  This is probably best done during a book's writing/production to both help you plan ahead and act as a break.  Put together they are frustrating.

The book still looks like it'll be out late March/early April, on Lulu, and the available through other outlets 4-8 weeks after that.

– Steven Savage

Book Update 2/15/2010

And now the latest updates of the Fan-To-Pro Book:


  • I am now done with the cover.  After having many approaches and suggestions and offers, I've finally settled on a simper, abstract, slightly retro design that has a 50's/60's feel.
  • I have done the back cover except for selecting an author photo, which I haven't done as I kinda need to take one . . .

What I've learned:

  • Covers are an incredible pain.  Seriously.  I actually am going with the final design I have because it's "good enough" and is less trouble than many other options.
  • Take a look at other covers to figure out how to make your own.
  • Typesetting was honestly easier than the cover work.
  • The back cover of a book takes some serious thought to make it sound good.  Also, make sure you have a good picture of yourself to go on one.
  •'s cover designing system is decent, but unless you invest time in making good covers from scratch, or manipulate their cover system to best fuse templates and your own work, your work will look very basic.  On the plus side Lulu's basic setups are pretty nice and easy to use, there's just not a lot of variability without your own work.
  • You better have some decent graphic program and the skills to get even the simpler covers together – or have someone to call on.
  • What looks cool in a bookstore can look awful online.
  • The learning curve for self-publishing, even with a useful site and tools, is incredibly high.  Honestly, the books I read were invaluable.  Do NOT try self-publishing without at least reading up on the issues of formatting, ISBNs, cover design, etc.  I reviewed some books here that should equip you properly, and when done should probably do a summary again.

So things move on.  This is an incredibly educational experience for me.

When the book comes out I hope it is educational for you as well.

– Steven Savage