I have been asked why I didn’t publish a book about Farwerck several times. The biography isn’t all that long, so it would be a very little book. Also there is still information I’m hunting for. When I find something new, I can easily edit the website, but I can’t edit a book as easily.
Still, at some point it dawned on my that I wanted to look at the possibilities. Should it come to a book, I had a few wishes. I want to have control, so not somebody looking over my shoulder saying: “I would do it this way.” Also I wanted it to be printing on demand. There are a several good points about printing on demand. First, I don’t have to pre fund the printing of books that may never be sold. Second, there are no books printed which are not sold, so no waste. Third, it is easier to edit a book should that be needed. Possible fourth, in a big company, the copies printed could even be printed as close to the buyer as possible, so less shipping is needed. Last, but certainly not least, I wanted the book to be available in print and in digital form.
So I found myself looking at Amazon’s “Kindle Direct Publishing” (KDP) which -contrary to the name- is not just for Kindle ebooks. It looked pretty straight forward. Open a KDP account, fill in some tax forms (to be able to get paid), upload a manuscript, design a cover, you can even get a free ISBN code on the fly.
Things went pretty smoothly. I copied texts from the website to Word, thought about a logical order, added a table of contents, an index and a few other typical ‘book things’. I had to reread and rewrite several times (so I need to review some texts on the website as well), but that was to be expected.
For the Kindle versions I had to make different books with a different cover. Also I wanted to make sure that all four versions would be available at the same time, so I needed to finish the Dutch versions first as well. Translating, more reading, editing, etc.
Amazon’s cover designer isn’t great, but I got roughly what I had in mind. The red is a scan of the linen cover of one of Farwerck’s books, but browning text has to remind of the gold-coloured text on Farwerck’s books. Too bad the book turned out too thin (80 pages for the English version, 72 for the Dutch) for the title to be printed on the spine though. For the Kindle cover I was less critical.
Then I was trying to figure out if I could get myself a test-print. In order to do that I had to set the price first and then I hit the “publish” button… Oops. One of the four versions was automatically sent in for a final review and I could no longe edit it… So I quickly did one more check for the other three versions and published them too. All four books were reviewed separately, so they would be available separately within the next 72 hours. Of course most of that happened during the night, so in the morning I logged in to again try to get my test print or author prints (copies against printing costs, not the price that I set). For some unknown reason, these test or author copies can’t be shipped to my address while I can make a regular order. That is something that I have to sort out with Amazon some time. Same with the Kindle versions, I can just buy them as a regular customer, but I can’t put a test version on my own Kindle.
The books are cheap. I have no need to try to make a lot of profit on them. The books look a little cheap too. The cover is a bit thin and curls up, but they’re just fine for people who like to have something on their shelves. Perhaps some time I’ll see if I can make a hardcover version as well. I have no idea if that is possible for such a thin book, but KDP does have the option.
When I got my own copies, my eye fell on a spelling error on the back of the Dutch version, argh. Good that I have “version 1.0 februari 2023” in the book. By now I have made a “version 1.1 februari 2023” which is now the version that you’ll get if you order your Dutch copy from Amazon. There’s indeed a positive point to printing on demand.
So, are you a collector, enjoy the information on this website, but prefer not to read from a computer screen, you can now buy English and Dutch books either as paperbacks or for your Kindle. Click on the covers below. Left are the paperbacks, right the Kindle versions.