One of the things I wasn't looking forward to with my book was typesetting. I am actually not the greatest typist in the world, and Microsoft Word isn't equipped for a clean copy. Typesetting means 'formatting' the words so that all paragraphs and spacing is even, and all graphs look clean and sharp.
When you self-publish, typesetting is one of those things that will make the book look more professional as opposed to just having it printed yourself. "Help! My 401(k) Has Fallen - And Must Get Up!" may sound like a catchy title, but I really want a professional look for it, not a 'wimpy' one. This is an opportunity to establish myself as THE authority on 401(k) plans.
I had about 2 options for this. First, I could have used Create Space, which will also assemble and print the book. Since Create Space is part of Amazon, they will also handle the customer ordering and shipping. They offered to do the typesetting also, and thought they could do it for about $1000 for my 100 page book.
They also told me that because I am using some graphs and tables in the book, I should make the size about 7"x10". Fine with me. I just need to let my graphic artist, Aimee Sims know that.
From reading "The Well-Fed Self Publisher" by Peter Bowerman, he also makes suggestions for firms which he uses to get his books done. Peter seems like a straight shooter, who knows what he is talking about, so I e-mailed a copy to a firm he endorses, Hoehne-Werner Book & Graphic Design.
I have spoken with Angela Werner there, and looked at their work on the website. Angela gave me an estimate of $800. If they are good enough for Peter, they are good enough for me. He suggests cutting costs where possible. Its also important to remember that you get what you pay for. With Hoehne-Werner, I believe it will be the right call. Typesetting is their specialty.
One thing I learned right away - I had wasted a LOT of time putting page numbers with my index. Angela suggested taking the page numbers out. Once the book is typeset, the page numbers could easily change!
"D'OH!" Oh well, I will know that next time.
The whole process should take about a month, so I am hoping to have the book out now by the end of May.
You can contact me for more information on "Help! My 401(k) Has Fallen - And Must Get Up!" at my website, http://www.helpmy401k.us/. Follow me on Linked In or Twitter also. I am currently hosting an advice show, "Improving Your Financial Health" on Blog Talk Radio, which also airs on Harvest 103.1 WHME-FM in South Bend.