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Publishing on Demand April 17, 2013

Posted by flutebrarian in Librarianship, Publishing.
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It’s been quite a while since my last post and for good reason. I’ve entered into the world of self-publishing, or, publish-on-demand.

I am president of our local historical society and as such was looking for a way to share some of the history of our community in a way that wouldn’t 1) break our small and meager bank account, or 2) force us to find a dry place to store 1,000+ copies of something that might not sell very well.

So, as I was browsing the help screens at Amazon.com one day, I stumbled onto a related service called CreateSpace.

I had experience in laying out documents, indexing, and editing and fortunately, we have a top-notch graphics layout person on our board. So I found a suitable manuscript in our archives on the reminiscences of someone who grew up in Alliance, Ohio in the late 1800s and the project began.

CreateSpace has a variety of layouts and options available and templates to use in Microsoft Word. I added several photographs from the historical files to enhance the narration. The process of uploading the correct format of PDF (I didn’t even realize there was more than one!) was the biggest challenge but once that occurred, the rest of the process was easy.

I was able to order a proof copy before unleashing it to the public which really helped to see what the final product would look like. Another great feature was being able to order copies directly from CreateSpace for sale by our organization. We added a link to the CreateSpace store on our website and the title also became available through Amazon.com. This alleviated the need for us to mail copies to remote persons (I hate packaging things for the mail).

We had a big launch party and sold almost all our copies at that event. We have been able to order small shipments since then and sell them before ordering more. It was so much fun, I’ve just finished our second book – this time a local history cookbook. I’m waiting the approval of the project even as I type.

Things They Never Taught Me in Library School May 7, 2008

Posted by flutebrarian in Librarianship.
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When I attended library school back in the dark ages of the early 1980s, my instructors always told us that there would be lots of things that we would need to do that they would never teach us. Well, I think I’m in the middle of all that these days!

What I did learn was that part of the mission of the public library was to develop collections and preserve local history for future generations. What I didn’t learn was how to scan photographs, documents, and conduct video interviews of prominent local people. Oh yeah, and then there is post production editing and creation of archival tapes and DVDs. Of course, none of these procedures existed then.

We have started identifying persons to be interviewed and over the past several weeks have conducted three interviews with another one scheduled for next week.  That, as it turns out, is the EASY part!

After taping, we load the tape into Pinnacle software for editing – Since these are oral histories, there’s not much to do to the bulk of the interview. What we do need to do is add chapters, titles, transitions in and transitions out. We check for audio levels so that all the speaking is clear and a consistent volume level.

The next part is to feed the data back to mini DV, creating a master archival copy and to create DVD copies for end users. We label the DVD using a Casio disc writer, capture a shot of the person being interviewed from the video, and then place that in a template I’ve created in Photoshop and Publisher for the cover.

But wait! We’re not done yet!

The file now needs to be converted to streaming media so that we can place it on the web. We have a Helio server so Real Media will be created, but Windows Media will probably also be created. Fortunately, Pinnacle can handle all these formats with ease!

Final steps include creating a timeline, indexing, and *gulp* transcribing. Well, two out of three learned in library school will be useful. Transcription skills, anyone?