It has always been my goal to create a paper book. The problem with doing so is that my short stories are so short that I had to accumulate a pretty good number of them (27 in all) in order to have a book of reasonable length printed.
Naturally, I encountered a bit of a learning curve in publishing something physical. In the digital world, there is no concern about margins and fonts and all of that stuff, because the screen that your book is going to be read on may be of any size and the reader can adjust the text font and text size to their liking. In the print world, you have bleeds and gutters and covers and inches and all sorts of things that need to be done the right way.
Things have certainly changed for the better: Way back when, if you wanted to print a paper book on your own, you had to go through a vanity publisher, which meant paying to have a few hundred (or thousand!) copies printed. This meant that you took a big risk of being stuck with boxes of books that nobody wanted to buy. Thanks to modern print-on-demand technology, paperbacks can be printed as they’re ordered, so just like in the e-book world, your cost of entry is nearly zero, save for the purchase of proof copies.
I gave both CreateSpace and NookPress a try, and ended up going with CreateSpace because of their expanded distribution options. Also their books seemed to be of higher quality and they offered a better discount to authors purchasing their own copies.
A funny thing happened as I showed friends my print proofs; I repeatedly got this ‘so you’re a real writer now’ vibe (and a comment or two) from them. Never mind that I’ve published quite a few digital ones. Oh well, what can you do?
In any event, now that I’ve finished my first one, I can’t wait to do another!