A second book
Yes, thanks to all the buyers from all over the world who made this selfpublishing adventure a success, I am actively working on a second volume already. I will try to cover the path from raw material to the publication through the Blog, just holding back some names until all is set for sure.
The book will cover the whole diorama except the details about the castle. The castle' s front will of course be seen on a lot of photos because it's dominant feature. I will probably show 2-3 pictures from the back of the castle, overview style, not more in order to respect all those buyers of the first volume and just enough to put the whole thing in perspective and eventually spark the interest of new followers who might be tempted to pick up the first volume to.
But now comes the biggest question i had. What should be the content of the book? The history part of the battle is already covered in "Capturing Clervaux. A pure photo album was an option, but I am not sure it would sell well. Inserting Tips and Tricks is the way to go, but I am certainly not reinventing all the existing techniques and I also do not want to rehash modeling tips widely accessible on the Internet or in other recently published diorama books. What do I have to offer what could be somewhat unique?
Let's leave that aside for a moment.
For the publication of the first book i had tremendous help from my friend Paul from Iowa (USA) who transposed the script and layout I delivered in open source SCRIBUS software into Adobe Indesign and also worked intensely on the quality and appearance of the pictures I choose. Due to his job he made it also possible that i got professional proofreading (for the price of a drink) and some of the printing stuff done (pre-press and so). I was really lucky to have him. Unfortunately he does not have the job any more!
A big problem for selfpublishers is distribution!
I contacted certainly near to a hundred online modelling shops, was lucky enough to find 15 interested ones, but the most frustrating part is that only those interested answerd to the mails, all others ignored my inquiries! Very impolite! Why not give a short reply and say "No, thanks"? I found a few other takers during expositions, but there is certainly more room to grow.
Getting someone who does the layout for me and assuring a decent distribution, but still retaining myself the self publishing status, is a path I am pursuing right now. I am confident I found it already but am not yet announcing a name.
I finally decided to start writing some text and see where it would lead me.
Well, that is more easily said then done. The build of the lower part of the village, the first part i will cover, started in 2007! That's over 5 years ago already.
Should I explain the build chronologically? How would I avoid repetitions?
I quickly dismissed the language question? I had a few potetial customers not buying the book because the do not have the necessary english knowledge.
Being quadrilingual myself (if you allow me to count this english gibberish as speaking the language) i would be able to make all the book in german and french without relying to outside help.
The problem here is the cost/income ratio. Doing the whole book in either of this languages is financially suicidale. I would barely be able to sell a 100 copy edition in those countries, but it is well known that the first 100 copies of a print job are the most expensive. There is always a fix cost in printing, the more copies you do the cheaper it gets.
Doing the text in the book trilingual would be possible of course, but this would engross roughly 20 more pages, ergo some 20-25 % more printing costs compared to the 80 page book it will probably be again. Everybody would need to pay 20 % more just for the few customers i would add myself! So I am really sorry for those customers but I can assure them that there are plenty of pictures to look at and if need would be I can certainly help them out with the text.
Ok, meanwhile i have completed over 50 pages already, sifting to 1000 of pictures, doing new ones, adding text, sorting and resorting, slowly advancing!
This post is long enough now, more later