Yes, hardback copies! When I was writing Marshall Flippo’s biography, he emphatically wanted a hardback version, so this is how I did it and the state of my supply now of hardbacks!
I had previously published my four books as paperbacks and e-books with kdp.com, an affiliate of Amazon. Originally it was called createspace.com. So far, I have been happy with their copies and production. Before changing to kdp.com, they provided some marketing and editing services I used and liked. They no longer do that.
When Flippo said “I want a hardback version,” I didn’t panic because I had already researched this possibility. IngramSpark.com, another self-publishing site, did hardback copies, so I published Flippo’s biography as a hardback, paperback and e-book with them.
Also, I published a paperback and e-book on kdp.com. That may sound crazy, but look at the price below—it costs me nothing to do it. Both companies offered different market focuses, as seen below. Also, I love having it on Amazon immediately, so I published with kdp.com first, then with IngramSpark.com.
Here’s the difference between kdp.com and IngramSpark.com:
|Fees||Free upload; free changes||$49 upload fee; additional charge for change|
|Available Formats||Paperback and e-book||Paperback, hardcover, and e-book|
|Returns||No returns||Can make books returnable|
|Distributions||Better for Amazon and online sale||Better for bookstores and libraries|
|Proof and Author Copies||Proof copies only before pub||Author copies available before pub|
Since this table was creating, Amazon does print a hardback version, but it was after I released Flippo’s biography.
When my first shipment of the hardback version arrived in May 2020, I had a disaster—IngramSpark messed up the covers! They had not centered Flippo’s iconic picture on the front; therefore, everything else on the front and back was off. I chatted with IngramSpark, and they sent me new covers in twenty-four hours. But, I had to fold each cover for each book.
Then I realized it was the way they were folded. I still have to refold or replace the covers for most of them because they haven’t gotten it right!
Yes, I fulfilled Flippo’s request, and he died before I published the book, which broke my heart. He so wanted to read this book about his life and see how I organized it, and I wanted to see the look on his face when he saw the cover and opened it to read about his life. I have a hard copy on my shelf for him I can see daily.
So, the sad part for me is I self-published Flippo’s biography in May 2020 after the pandemic hit. At that point, we did not know how long it would last. The sales had boomed until then because I hadn’t taken pre-orders, but because all the major dance events stopped for a couple years, the tidal wave of enthusiasm has waned for all versions.
A couple years ago when the pandemic seemed to subside, I thought we would host our annual Hot August Night’s dance, so being the optimistic person I am, I bought more copies to sell to those enthusiastic readers I envisioned clamoring for this outstanding book. We canceled the event because fear of COVID still ran high among the dancers because of the proximity of our activity. And I still had all those books.
As a result, I have a storage shed with shelves of over a hundred paperbacks and almost a hundred hardbacks. I thought callers and dance enthusiasts would want a hardback copy to place on their bookshelf along with other great square dance history books because it’s about more than Flippo’s life—it’s the history of square dancing from the mid-1950s to when he completely retired on New Year’s Eve, 2017. He saw so many changes through those years and realized the impact!
This weekend I sold my books at a square dance festival in Albuquerque, NM, where I live, and the attendees were mostly older dancers. Again, I thought I would sell a stack of books—I sold two paperbacks. This makes little sense to me. Yes, I wrote it, but it’s about the most famous square dance caller in the world!
This is a brilliant book with lots of marvellous stories about square dancing and Flippo’s life.
Did you know he enlisted in the Navy at seventeen years of age?
Have you read about him calling at a nudist colony? Yes, these stories and more are in this book.
Have you bought your copy yet? If not, why not? Go to my website, https://laradasbooks.com and buy from me directly so I can reclaim shelves in my storage shed, but more so than anything, to get Flippo’s biography and amazing life out in the world.
News, News, News!
~For me, it’s Christmas all year long! Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A
~My new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? WON the 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Body, Mind & Spirit Category. Have you bought your copy yet? Vist my website: laradasbooks.com or at Amazon.