Lulu, one month later
published: Thu, 2-Nov-2006 | updated: Sun, 14-Jan-2007
On Tuesday 3 October, I finally ticked the checkbox on Lulu that released the reprint of my book, The Tomes of Delphi: Algorithms and Data Structures. In the week following that event, I wrote three articles (one, two, three) describing the publishing process and how it went for me. Now that it's been a month, I'd like to make a couple more points.
One of the fun things about Lulu is that they provide statistics. Here are some of mine. The book eventually reached number 11 in the weekly 100 for the week following the release, crawled up to number 22 for the month of October, and overall the book reached number 235 in the all time charts by the end of the month (Chris Gerrib points out that the Lulu charts only show sales through Lulu, and not sales through Amazon and others). I sold 187 copies in October.
I created an Excel spreadsheet to show my sales on a daily basis, and as part of that spreadsheet I calculated a running 7-day average. I can let you know that after the initial flurry of sales (someone even bought 6 copies, wow), I'm now down to one sale a day on average. But any sale is a good sale: I'm still amazed that it was that popular, even after so long.
So far, the people who've emailed me about getting the physical book have all complimented how well it's been printed. Tonight, at our regular Delphi User Group meeting here in the Springs, Jeff Duntemann brought along his copy (for me to sign) and I was able to see another print. There were a couple of very slight differences between his and mine, but nothing worth pointing out. Jeff complimented me on the layout, which was extremely head-swelling for me since he's a real publisher (I only play one on this blog).
I was also unaware that Lulu printed copies abroad as well. Several readers in England have pointed out that their copy came from a British printer and was not shipped over from the States.
Ay yay yay. Self-editing your own book is a trap full of nasty sharp spikes. If you manage to fall into the trap and not touch a spike, you're damn lucky. Me, not so much, and I have the band-aids to prove it. Several people have kindly emailed me with the textual equivalent of a well-deserved slap to point out various, luckily minor, errors in the text. Thanks Primoz, William S., and Marcel. Apologies all: I will put up an errata page soon.
I'd certainly do it again. Smaller, more focused, typeset with a real desktop publishing program, but definitely another book.