Last night I had an email from lulu.com – the publishing platform that I use – that the format (Comic Book) I use for all my books is being retired as ‘part of their site update’. As a result of this, no comic book format books will be available after 31st March.
They give other options – either using a ‘coated paper’ format, or use another paper layout.
‘Coated paper’ is actually code for ‘full colour printing throughout’, which would mean a retail cost of about £90 for each book. Clearly that isn’t viable.
The other option isn’t straightforward, as other paper sizes have different height/width ratios, so I can’t just upload the files I have and stretch them to a new size; I have to re-format the entire book in Indesign, and then re-export it. This means a significant amount of work (I’d estimate at least a week’s full time work, probably more), but after that I need to order a proof copy and check that is OK, before then approving it to distribution to Amazon (which takes typically 6 weeks). Even if I get started on this straight away, there will be at least a month where my book is not available on Amazon, which has become a significant source of income for me.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that sometimes there are logistical issues around these things, and formats may need to be changed from time to time. But giving a month’s notice when a reasonable timescale to get a new version in production is more like 3 months is incredibly bad, and in addition it will mean using a new ISBN so I’d imagine people will be suspicious of why what is notionally the same book now appears in two different formats.
In addition, this will mean retirement of ALL previous versions of the book, plus the Sibelius 7 title – in effect I will now only have one book for sale as I just can’t afford the time to produce new versions of previous titles, so my apologies for that.