Got my first printed copies! Yay! But also, Dang!

Yesterday there was a package on my front doorstep from Amazon. It was not my regular order of dog biscuits, it was a box containing five copies of my book “Better Blogging fo for Your Business!”


A big day.  The primary reason for getting them was to have them.  It’s kind of cool to hold your own book in your hand.

The practical reasons for purchasing five copies were:

  1. Have product that I can take pictures of for blogging and other marketing.
  2. See how the cover looks in real life and make changes.
  3. Review how the text looks inside when you are holding it in your hands and reading it.  A different experience from the preview.

I took some pictures and will do some more:

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Keeping all of this amateur, I just used my phone and different textured backgrounds around the house.

The review of the cover and the inside showed that I didn’t really get a good feel for the impact of the binding for such a thin book.  So the text on the cover is too close to the edge and the gutter (the extra margin on the inside edges of each page) is not big enough.  You have to really pry the book open:

File Sep 29, 7 20 03 AM.jpeg

When I went to make the change (In MS Word: layout > Margins > Custom Margins) I realized I screwed up. I didn’t have the pages set up to as not having facing pages. The Multiple pages option was normal.  Also, note the 0.14″ Gutter.


So I opened it up and set it to “Mirror margins” for Multiple pages.


This change did move my page count from 134 to 136.

Then I decided that I would take my copy and put it on my bookshelf next to some technical books I use all the time… and I realized I had the words on the spine going the wrong way.

File Sep 29, 7 22 42 AMHere it is next to a tourist guide I used as a sample when I made the cover… oops!  I didn’t think about the orientation of the spine.

The good news is that on, I just need to upload new files. The book will show up as not available for a few days while they make sure I didn’t sneak something inappropriate in with the changes. The biggest impact is that a larger gutter means more pages. So my page count will change.

All part of the process. A definite recommendation is that no matter how excited you are to push your self-published book once you upload it, order some copies and review them. The online proofing tool is great but holding it in your hand is different.

Even though I have to make some changes, it feels good to have it on my own shelf:

File Sep 29, 7 31 02 AM.jpeg

One thought on “Got my first printed copies! Yay! But also, Dang!

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