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Print is expensive

When I first started writing, I saw that many of the Creo Parametric books were listed for $60, $70, $80 or more, and I thought, "That's crazy!" I wanted to write books that a college student or junior engineer could easily afford.

That's one reason I like the eBook format. I can sell a book for $5 or $10 and still make a few bucks. Plus if people want a book, they can have it in under a minute.

But people love physical books, especially for technical subjects. And I get it; unlike a novel, sometimes you want to flip through it to find the topic you're interested in, or put a sticky note as a bookmark, highlight critical information, and write in the margins.

Someone reached out to me about getting a bunch of hard copies of one of my books. (Man, did that feel great!) You learn a lot writing a book for the first time, especially eBooks. I got a lot of great information from Ally Nathaniel's book, but it's not written specifically for technical books. I made mistakes in the formatting, especially the images, that would have caused problems with configuring a paper copy for sale.

But necessity is the mother of invention, so I worked through the problems. And I should get the proof copies of Top Down Design in Creo Parametric tomorrow. If everything goes well, the physical version should be on sale on Amazon later tomorrow or the next day. Unfortunately, I'm going to list it for $48.99. I now understand why those other companies charge so much for their books. Self-publishing is expensive.

I'm not complaining though. This Print On Demand system is incredible! In the past, I'd either have to find a publisher to print and market my book, and be lucky to make a few pennies per copy (literally), or spend thousands of dollars to print a run and then have to hold onto inventory. (When my significant other was starting a business, I kept telling her that inventory sucks - it ends up killing a lot of small businesses.)

Another lesson learned. I'm thinking about writing an inexpensive short eBook on writing technical eBooks, to share my experiences with others, because writing books is tough but worth it.

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