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The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing: Helping Patrons and Communities Use Free and Low-cost Publishing Tools to Tell Their Stories Paperback – January 16, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1573874304 ISBN-10: 1573874302

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Information Today, Inc. (January 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573874302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573874304
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,949,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Walt Crawford's The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing is a timely and lucid introduction to an important publishing trend. But it is also a remarkably straightforward blueprint for the production of a quality manuscript. Recommended not only for librarians, but for the many budding authors whose works may soon overwhelm our shelves. --James LaRue, director, Douglas County (CO) Libraries

In The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing, Walt Crawford offers a thorough look at what libraries can do to support small publishing ventures by their patrons. The information provided is both clear and concise. --Robin Hastings, information technology coordinator, Missouri River Regional Library

The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing … should become a primary reference for anyone looking to publish on any scale. This book focuses on the practical and mundane details of micropublishing, and the various skills needed to create, produce, and promote. It also contains information valuable to any future published author and the librarian trying to provide insight into the publishing industry. --Maurice Coleman, host/producer, T is for Training

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LibraryThingReviewer on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a clear-cut informative take on the subject of micro-publishing from an original angle: how librarians can use micro-pulishing to collect local information for their communities.

The author is clearly experienced in this field as he offers numerous nuts-and-bolts info for the novice. While some books on this topic might have settled for simply espousing the virtues of self or group micro-publishing, Mr. Crawford really gets granular in his advice such as which websites offer discounts for larger print runs (and what those discounts are). While it's assumed that such info may change over time, just seeing some hard numbers can immensely help the reader create ballpark estimates.

Crawford also offers good reviews on other books in the micro publishing field. While he doesn't appear spiteful, he isn't afraid to list short-comings. Apparently one book completely ignored the possibilities of and Crawford was quick to warn people of this. This doesn't make the reviewed book 'bad' so much as flawed. Thanks to Mr. Crawford, this means any librarian or reader looking for books on the topic can make an informed decision.

While the book is clearly orientated to librarians, a lot of good info works for the private self-publisher as well. Though the price is a bit steep for someone just looking to pick up a bit more private-publisher info, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this for any library or other organization (church, activity group) looking to preserve memories - and perhaps do a little fundraising - with micro publishing.
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Format: Paperback
What a fantastic resource! The title should be Everyone's Guide to Micro Publishing with Notes to Librarians. Walt Crawford gives step-by-step instructions for producing paperback and hardback books in small quantities -- just one, if that's all you need -- at amazingly low prices (under $9 for a paperback, about $18 for a hardback, and $75 for a full-color coffee table book on luxury stock). Don't laugh at that last one. I produced one of those books for a birthday gift. The price tag was $300!

Crawford's primary tools are Microsoft Word and other commonly used programs. But if you don't have these programs and you don't want to buy them, he also includes instructions for using free software available on the Internet. A very valuable feature of the book is the detailed instructions for using Lulu and Amazon's CreateSpace to produce your book-on-demand, including point-by-point comparisons of the two that will help you decide which of them is best for your project. (Did you know that Lulu and CreateSpace will take orders and send out books for you?) The advice for libraries that want to become community or academic publishers will hold for anyone who wants to become their own small press. Whether your aim is to produce a book of family stories or to test the market for your how-to book on underwater basketweaving, you will want this book. Not one useless word in it.

Unfortunately, the book is priced for libraries who will take advantage of its offer of copyright-free photocopying of certain chapters. Even at $49.50 (ouch!), I recommend it to the individual seeking to produce a few copies of a book (or at least one at a time, as needed). As well as great instructions, you get templates for producing a professional-looking book. P.S. Amazon shows a number of sellers who are offering it at about half that price.
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Format: Paperback
Essentially a primer on do-it-yourself book publishing, this slender volume (172 pages, paperback, $49.50) covers such nuts-and-bolts issues as typography, layout, copyright concerns, print-on-demand (POD) service providers, marketing/publicity, and so forth. Ostensibly aimed at librarians, the text is general enough in tone and language for use by anyone that wishes to create a book with very limited print runs, meaning from a single copy upwards to maybe 500 copies.
Clearly written and with plenty of examples, this how-to manual contains a glossary of technical words and a bibliography of other books on this topic. Smatterings of black and white illustrations are mostly screen shots of word processing software.
A caveat, and it's a fairly major one, is the author's idea of what constitutes the concepts of "free" and "low-cost." The fact of the matter is that everything comes with a price tag, it's just a matter of who is footing the bill. In this case, the author-to-be pays a for-profit company (Lulu and CreateSpace are the two that Crawford discusses) to perform any of a range of services, from basic printing and binding to copy editing, artwork and who knows what else. The more services requested, the higher the cost per book. Crawford writes that "I'm assuming you'll use friends and acquaintances to substitute for some of the fee-based activities" (page 31). Lots of luck with that. Although he draws a distinction between micropublishing and the infamous vanity press, it's an academic argument. The bottom line is that the author is paying, rather than getting paid, to see his or her name in print.
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